Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Mr. Harper and Mr. Wright pause in the House of Commons foyer following a statement concerning the ongoing crisis in Libya in 2011. “The PM takes Nigel seriously,” says one insider. “He respects Nigel’s intelligence because it’s not ostentatious.”

Jason Ransom

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is shuffling the ranks of his own office, turning to familiar faces as he tries to move past the Senate spending scandal and begin preparations for the 2015 federal election.

Staffing changes announced internally this week, and confirmed to The Globe by Conservative Party and government sources, have begun to paint a picture of the powerful Prime Minister's Office turning to former staff to fill some vacant positions. Other roles, however, have yet to be filled.

Jenni Byrne, currently director of political operations for the Conservative Party, is moving to the Prime Minister's Office to become a deputy chief of staff to Mr. Harper. She will join Joanne McNamara, another deputy chief of staff to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has had multiple deputy chiefs of staff in the past.

Story continues below advertisement

Ms. Byrne previously served as director of issues management in the PMO and managed the Conservatives' 2011 election campaign, and is known for her partisan style and tight message control. She is expected to keep her volunteer position as the Conservative Party national campaign chair, according to a source – signalling campaign preparations will be a priority for Mr. Harper.

The current director of communications for the Conservative Party, Fred DeLorey, will become the party's new director of political operations, taking over Ms. Byrne's vacated role.

Alykhan Velshi, who previously worked for Jason Kenney while he was Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, takes on a new role in issues management in the Prime Minister's Office. His most recent position was director of strategic planning for the PMO.

Joseph Lavoie, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird's former director of strategic communications, recently moved to the Prime Minister's Office to become director of strategic communications. He announced the change on his Twitter profile.

Lanny Cardow will become senior advisor to the Prime Minister's chief of staff, Ray Novak. Mr. Cardow previously worked as an executive assistant to Ian Brodie, a former chief of staff to the Prime Minister, but was working in the private sector recently. A source familiar with the staffing changes said Mr. Cardow's position will focus on communications and marketing, and may include market research.

The Prime Minister's director of communications, Andrew MacDougall, announced his departure on August 14. He will join MSLGROUP, a communications firm, and will be based in London. He is due to leave the PMO early next month.

The PMO has also lost press secretary Julie Vaux, who has already left and is moving to Health Canada next month. No replacements have been appointed for either Mr. MacDougall or Ms. Vaux.

Story continues below advertisement

The changes come a few months after the resignation of former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright, who left after it was revealed he'd written a cheque to Senator Mike Duffy to cover housing claims. Mr. Harper then gave the job to Mr. Novak, his longest-serving aide.

Other recent changes include Chris Woodcock's departure from his position as director of issues management last month. RCMP have said in an affidavit Mr. Woodcock was one of three staffers, other than Mr. Wright, who knew of the deal with Mr. Duffy. Another of the three, Benjamin Perrin, also left the PMO earlier this year.

In addition, former PMO staffer Dave Forestell recently left his job as chief of staff to Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver for a position with the Conservative Party, where he is now senior adviser to the leader. In turn, Mr. Woodcock now serves as Mr. Oliver's chief of staff.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies