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Tim Powers

A good score by the PM Add to ...

Lots of chatter in Ottawa today about Senate appointments instead of elections. It is almost a pleasant distraction. One appointment that has actually transpired so far is that of John Williamson to the position of director of communications to the Prime Minister. John's signing on with the PM should be a good score for the government.

Like his predecessor, Kory Teneycke, John is an experienced professional. Not only has he worked in the media, he was an effective advocate for the Canadian Taxpayers Federation. He has spent the past year at the London School of Economics. (To the best of my knowledge, he did describe himself as a Canadian while living abroad.) His 12 months away and the detachment from the day-to-day nonsense of federal politics gives him somewhat of an outside perspective as he returns to Ottawa to take on a tough job. Coming from Atlantic Canada, he possess the tenacity, relationship-management skills and all-important sense of humor to cope with the ups and downs of a PM's D-Comm.

Williamson would not want to be viewed as the second coming of Christ. Nor should he be. Though those of us from the East are often apt to think we are unique. Both his job and that of government communications are about managing expectations. He will be judged by those metrics. He'll be fine.


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