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Stories by Laura Ryckewaert

From staffer to MP: five former Hill staffers among newly elected

With the post-election transition underway, hundreds of staffers are being affected, with defeated MPs given until Nov. 11 to pack up and clear out.
Almost 4.8-million Canadians voted at advance polls this year, according to Elections Canada estimates, a roughly 30.6 per cent increase over 2015, accounting for roughly one-quarter of all ballots cast this election.
The Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, and Greens collectively spotlighted tax offers on 17 of 31 days of the campaign, climate change on 15 days, and health care on 11.
Maxime Bernier launched his new party one year ago, and a core team of seven staffers are behind the People’s Party’s national campaign.
The federal NDP campaign team is stocked with experienced organizers, including people who backed Ontario NDP Leader Andrea Horwath in 2018 and B.C. Premier John Horgan in 2017.
Hamish Marshall is in charge as national campaign manager, supported by two deputy campaign managers: Dustin Van Vugt and Marc-André Leclerc.
The Green Party’s Ottawa headquarters now has roughly 80 staffers, up from 39 before the start of the year.
‘People are starting to wake up to how badly planned this pipeline is, and I think it will be a major issue during the election campaign,’ says B.C. NDP MP Peter Julian.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister Ahmed Hussen has also seen a couple of staffers from his policy unit exit in recent weeks.
For one, Jeff Kovalik-Plouffe recently left International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr’s Ottawa office to take over as the MP’s 2019 campaign manager.
The Manitoba Progressive Conservatives are projected to win another majority government, which would be a boon to the federal Conservative campaign.
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is down a deputy director, while Trade Minister Jim Carr is down a press secretary.
The government has an advantage during the pre-election period, and with a volatile electorate, the longer the campaign, the more potential for unpredictable ‘hinge moments,’ says John Delacourt.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
A couple of staff departures have taken place in the Prime Minister’s Office, including the exit of special assistant for policy Mark Calderaro.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Marjorie Michel, who only recently took over as chief of staff to Families Minister Duclos, has taken leave to serve as the Liberal Party’s Quebec campaign director.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers takes another look at where a number of former political staffers landed after leaving Parliament Hill.
The Conservative Party continues to lead the pack in central fundraising, but at the riding association level, Liberals have outpaced Conservatives two to one overall.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Dan Lindenas is now acting chief of staff to Treasury Board President Joyce Murray after Adam Carroll’s recent exit.
Plus, Grassy Narrows Chief Rudy Turtle to run on the NDP ticket, and Ottawa-area Tory candidate Mike Lalonde drops out of election citing health concerns.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Marc Gervais takes over as interim chief of staff to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains as of Aug. 6, with Gianluca Cairo exiting for the private sector on Aug. 16.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
From active roles in local riding associations to positions on the board of directors of non-profits, 37 political staffers have declared outside activities since June 2018.
'People [have] come back to the Bloc … they support us with volunteers, they support us with their money, so everything is on track,' says Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin.
Meanwhile, Melissa Rumble has been promoted to take over as director of operations to Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan.
No doubt adding to the NDP’s financial woes is the fact the application for leave to appeal at the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed with costs to the House.
It’s up to the prime minister to decide if he ‘wants to go into the next election arresting Indigenous communities and leaders,’ says the Squamish Nation council’s Dustin Rivers.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau has a new policy adviser in her office, Pearson Croney-Clark.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Women and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef has a new issues manager in her office.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Justin To has left the finance minister’s office, and deputy policy director Ian Foucher has already been promoted to replace him.
'I really don’t have a reason why it would have taken that period of time to have this nailed down,' says former sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers on the naming of his successor.
Marjorie Michel has in turn replaced Olivier Duchesneau as chief of staff to Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos.
'You can bet if we had 100 MPs that were Indigenous, the tone about Indigenous issues would change,' says Liberal MP Michael McLeod.

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