Ryan Sparrow is back on Parliament Hill, starting a new job today as director of communications for Human Resources Minister Diane Finley. Until Friday, Mr. Sparrow was the main spokesman for the Conservative Party. In that job, he ultimately reported to Ms. Finley's husband, Doug Findley, the party's national director.
Mr. Sparrow has kept a low profile in 2009, but was at the centre of two controversies last year. In April of 2008, it was Mr. Sparrow who hosted a secret media briefing for select reporters related to an Elections Canada search of Conservative headquarters in connection with an elections financing investigation. The event turned into a circus when uninvited media showed up with television cameras. Then, during the 2008 campaign, Mr. Sparrow was suspended as the party's communications director for saying a father of a fallen Canadian soldier who was critical of the government was a Liberal supporter.
Mr. Sparrow has worked in government before, including as director of communications to Rona Ambrose during her time as Minister of the Environment.
In the new position, he will need to become a quick study of the ins and outs of employment insurance. Ms. Finley is the senior Conservative on the six person Tory-Liberal panel working on EI reform this summer.