OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's former top adviser, Gerald Butts, is taking on a new role with a New York-based global consulting firm, helping it to build a new practice advising clients on risks related to climate change.
Butts says helping the Eurasia Group establish a "geopolitics of climate" practice is one of what he calls a "small number of exciting projects" he's working on, but it's not a permanent new job at this point.
Butts resigned as Trudeau's principal secretary in March, amid the furor over the SNC-Lavalin affair.
The Eurasia Group, founded in 1998 by Ian Bremmer, touts itself as the first consulting firm "devoted exclusively to helping investors and business decision-makers understand the impact of politics on the risks and opportunities in foreign markets."
The new practice aims to advise companies on how best to adapt to those changes.
Butts, who was Trudeau's chief policy adviser but also an instrumental strategist behind the Liberals' 2015 election victory, will not be involved in this fall's election campaign, apart from offering friendly advice if asked.
In an email update to friends, Butts says "the next heavy lift" on climate change must come from the private sector, which has just a couple of business cycles to plan for "major changes to the natural world upon which all their supply chains depend."
He left the Prime Minister's Office amid allegations that former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould was improperly pressured by the PMO and others to halt the criminal prosecution of Montreal engineering giant SNC-Lavalin. Butts continues to insist neither he nor anyone else in the PMO did anything wrong.