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Ontario Premier Doug Ford has hired a top Sun newspaper executive as his new deputy chief of staff.

James Wallace, vice-president of editorial at the newspaper chain and a former columnist for the Toronto Sun, starts in his new role on Monday.

“I am pleased to announce that James Wallace will be joining the Premier’s office as deputy chief of staff,” Dean French, Mr. Ford’s chief of staff, wrote in an internal memo to senior staff on Friday.

“The Premier has known James for many years and we both have a great deal of respect for him. He will be a fantastic addition to our team. Please join me in welcoming James to Queen’s Park.”

Mr. Wallace was formerly the editor-in-chief of the Toronto Sun, as well as a columnist at Queen’s Park for Osprey Media, a former Canadian newspaper chain. He also worked as a press secretary to former Progressive Conservative cabinet minister Bob Runciman in the Ministry of Public Safety.

Mr. Wallace comes to Queen’s Park after the departure of Jenni Byrne, Mr. Ford’s principal secretary, earlier this month. Mr. Ford appointed Ms. Byrne, a top adviser to former prime minister Stephen Harper, as a full-time member of the Ontario Energy Board. Her two-year term comes with an annual salary of $197,000.

In his new role, Mr. Wallace will report to Mr. French.

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