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adam radwanski

Guy Giorno, chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, is shown in May of 2004.Louie Palu/The Globe and Mail

Today's column, on the state of relations between the Harper and McGuinty governments, makes passing reference to Guy Giorno. Perhaps a little more is warranted.

Giorno has taken a great deal of criticism since going to Ottawa to run the Prime Minister's Office. Particularly in his early months on the job, an array of controversies and missteps - the disastrous fall 2008 economic statement, the departure of Kevin Lynch, etc. - have been largely blamed on his hyper-aggressive, hyper-partisan approach.

In the interest of a little balance, it's worth pointing out that there are people around the Ontario government - people who have reason to be naturally hostile to Giorno, given his ties to the provincial party currently in opposition - who have paid attention to the way he does business and have good things to say about it.

Partly, that's because - having spent many years at Queen's Park - he doesn't view it with the same contempt as some other federal types. But it's also because he's earned a reputation as a straight shooter who follows up on requests, gets things done when he can and is upfront when he can't.

Much of the criticism of Giorno has probably been justified; if nothing else, he's often seemed to reinforce his boss's worst instincts. But from the perspective of those in his old haunt, at least, he's not quite as irredeemable as some have suggested.

(And yes - I'm aware that there's a slight irony to writing about one chief of staff so soon after lamenting the media's fascination with a different one. In my defence, at least this one is actually involved in running the country.)