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Stories by Laura Ryckewaert

Introduction of electronic, remote voting not called for yet, but should be re-examined by House committee, say some MPs

Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie says she doesn’t think such a reconsideration is warranted yet, but could be if COVID-19 keeps Parliament away into the fall.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Hill Climbers has tallied a total of 19 staff departures from Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer’s team since the 2019 election, and 14 recent hires.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
New additions to the minister’s team include senior policy advisers Kelsey MacDonald and Richard Léger.
Work inside the Centre Block building continues, but modifications have been made to workers’ daily schedules in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
‘Constituents have a lot of questions. So I know all of our offices are busy, wherever the staff are actually located at this point,’ says NDP Whip Rachel Blaney.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, there are a couple of staff additions to Associate Finance Minister Mona Fortier’s team to note, including Émilie Gagnon as director of communications.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Senior staff to the minister include Rebecca Caldwell as director of policy, Michael Brewster as director of parliamentary affairs, and Linda Campbell as director of operations.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Yanique Williams continues as policy director to the minister, while Matthew Pollesel is director of parliamentary affairs, and Christopher Evelyn is operations director.
Author
The Board of Internal Economy’s initial list of spaces where it doesn’t want to see major overhauls includes the House Chamber, the Hall of Honour, and La Francophonie room.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, there are some new staffers to note in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s office since Hill Climbers last checked in.
A Member of Parliament since 2000, Scott Reid has not been named as a member of any House, special, or joint committees this Parliament.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Veterans Minister Lawrence MacAulay held onto their portfolios in the shuffle last November, but both have a few fresh faces in their offices.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers dives into Dominic LeBlanc’s new office as president of the Queen’s Privy Council, where Kevin Lavigne is now deputy chief of staff and operations director.
NDP House Leader Peter Julian says he thinks ‘it’s important to hear from the Senators,' but doesn’t ‘think that all of what they’re putting forward can be justified.’
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Other senior staff in the office include: Annie Lagueux, director of policy; Brook Simpson, director of parliamentary affairs; and Allison Chick, director of operations.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, Geneviève Hinse is now chief of staff to Quebec lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez, whose team also now includes former Quebec MP Ramez Ayoub.
The three-member working group set up by the House Board of Internal Economy in 2019 to oversee Centre Block’s renovation was disbanded with the last Parliament, and discussions are now underway on its successor.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers dives into the team working in Families, Children, and Social Development Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers takes a look at Fisheries and Oceans Minister Bernadette Jordan’s new team.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers takes a look at International Development Minister Karina Gould’s office, where Hanna Button has stayed on as director of policy.
‘Now that it’s a minority government, they have to listen to everybody,’ says Bloc MP Rhéal Fortin, his party’s justice critic.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough has similarly brought a number of staff from her old office as public services minister to her new post, including now-policy director Nicholas Kang.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, there are more staffing changes to note in the Prime Minister’s Office, including the exit of Elyse Surette-DiMuzio, who’s now working for the Pete for America campaign south of the border.
On Feb. 4, the Federal Court of Appeal struck down one Indigenous-led challenge of the Trans Mountain expansion project’s re-approval, but the pushback continues.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Hill Climbers takes a look at Seniors Minister Deb Schulte’s team.
‘We’re looking for what I would call an accessible, diverse, and collaborative leadership contest,’ says interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Meanwhile, senior staff currently in Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos’ office include policy director Dylan Marando, communications director Karl Sasseville, and chief of staff Marjorie Michel.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Shaili Patel is policy director to Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, while Samuel Yorke is running Northern Affairs Minister Dan Vandal’s policy shop.
‘It would be a challenging project in a new build, but we’re trying to do it in an iconic heritage building, so there’s a technical challenge that’s quite significant,’ says PSPC’s Jennifer Garrett.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, former Liberal MP Matt DeCourcey has joined the political staff ranks post-election and is now a senior adviser to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
Meanwhile, Government House Leader Pablo Rodriguez is entering the new sitting with a director of Senate affairs, Kornelia Mankowski.
Feature|By Laura Ryckewaert
Plus, Danielle Keenan has been named director of communications to Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth Minister Bardish Chagger, among other recent hires.

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