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Stories by Laura Ryckewaert

O’Toole gets his OLO in shape, names Bélanger as his deputy chief

Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Veteran Conservative staffer Martin Bélanger will be working closely with new leader Erin O’Toole’s chief of staff, Tausha Michaud.
Plus, the Senate Internal Economy Committee is meeting today to discuss financial compensation for former employees to ex-senator Don Meredith.
Political strategists say they expect a mini-budget or beefed-up economic statement before year’s end, something former PBO Kevin Page says ‘can’t wait’ until next spring.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay recently promoted Cameron McNeill to press secretary, among a number of other recent political staffing moves.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, press secretary Maéva Proteau recently left the finance minister’s office to take over as director of communications to Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly.
House leaders continue to hold talks over the summer, but whether an agreement can be struck to get Conservatives on side with a recent call to allow remote voting in ‘exceptional circumstances’ remains to be seen.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, the Liberal research bureau has a new communications director, and there are a couple of staff departures from the Conservative OLO to note.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair is in need of a new director of communications after Brittany Perreault’s exit.
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‘The pressure is that much higher on whoever is selected the new leader to really hit the road as fast as possible and go out on tour and start introducing themselves to Canadians,’ says Andrew Brander.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Cheryl Cardinal has a new job in Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand's office.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
After more than a year in the role, Jim Kapches recently exited his post as director of litigation to the justice minister.
Spending by Members of Parliament totalled $144.7-million in 2019-20, a roughly 4.3 per cent decrease from 2018-19.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Michael McNair has rejoined the Prime Minister’s office on a temporary basis, serving as a special adviser on the economic response to COVID-19.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Government House Leader and Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez has hired a new director of operations and outreach for his latter office.
Team Sloan is led by former Scheer staffer Paula Iturri, and includes Ashley Brown as tour director and Daniel Paolini, who’s currently a member of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party executive.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
On the flip side, former PMO staffer John Power has returned the Hill to join Innovation, Science, and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains’ team.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Mathée Warnett is a new special assistant to Economic Development Minister Mélanie Joly.
The PMO declined to provide a specific breakdown of self-identified Black staffers among cabinet offices when asked, but says it plans to circulate further voluntary surveys to better understand its staff ‘later this sum
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, John O’Leary has exited as director of strategic communications in the Liberal research bureau and joins Crestview Strategy as a senior consultant this week.
Meanwhile, despite COVID-19 causing the cancellation of this year's Calgary Stampede, two fireworks shows to mark the occasion are planned and will be streamed online, the first of which takes place tonight.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers takes a look at the public declarations of outside activities filed with the federal conflict of interest commissioner by political staffers since the start of the year.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Seniors Minister Deb Schulte has a new special assistant for West and North regional affairs.
‘Any leader of the Conservative Party needs to think a lot more, a lot better about how to broaden the base,’ and address issues of diversity, racism, and inclusion in its own ranks and beyond, says Angela Wright.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Helena Kojo is now executive assistant in the transport minister’s office, replacing Benoit Michon who left in March after landing a job in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers catches up on where some more former staffers have landed since leaving Parliament Hill.
A House committee is set to make recommendations on possible Standing Order changes needed as a result of COVID-19 by June 23, including on whether to introduce remote voting for MPs.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers catches up with a number of former political staff, including Jeni Armstrong, who is soon to start a three-year term as an instructor with Carleton University’s political management master’s program.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Emily Harris, who was previously director of communications to the public services minister, recently joined the federal public service.
‘Dr. Lewis has surprised many by getting this far,’ says campaign manager Steve Outhouse. ‘We’re looking to continue to surprise people right up to the end.’
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier recently shook up her office, with a number of staff getting new titles, including Blue Knox taking on oversight of communications.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Marie-Pier Baril is a former deputy press secretary to Chrystia Freeland during her time as minister of foreign affairs.
Former MP Alex Nuttall is Peter MacKay’s campaign manager, with ex-Ford aide Michael Diamond as his deputy, and veteran staffer William Stairs acting as a key adviser.

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