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Michael Sabia speaks during a business luncheon in Montreal on November 28, 2019.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

One day after announcing a new Clerk of the Privy Council, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made more changes to the senior team of public servants who provide him with policy advice.

Earlier this week, the government announced that John Hannaford, the current deputy minister of natural resources, will take over as Privy Council Clerk – the top job in the federal public service – on June 24. Current Clerk Janice Charrette is retiring from the government.

The PCO Clerk is the Prime Minister’s main conduit for policy advice from the public service.

Wednesday’s announcements included official confirmation that Michael Sabia is leaving as deputy minister of finance to lead Hydro-Québéc, as reported last week by The Globe and Mail and other news organizations.

Nick Leswick, currently associate deputy minister of finance, will replace Mr. Sabia on an interim basis until a permanent deputy minister is appointed.

“The Prime Minister took the opportunity to thank Mr. Sabia for his dedication and service to Canadians,” the government said in a news release.

The government is also making changes to the team that advises the Prime Minister on national security and international affairs issues at a time when it is on the defensive over its handling of Chinese election interference.

Stephen de Boer will take over as foreign and defence policy adviser to the Prime Minister on June 12, moving from his current position as assistant deputy minister at Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Daniel Rogers will shift positions at the Privy Council Office, moving from deputy secretary to cabinet to deputy national security and intelligence adviser to the Prime Minister.

Cynthia Termorshuizen, the associate deputy minister of foreign affairs, is being given an additional assignment as personal representative of the Prime Minister for the G7 summit.

Other changes were also announced related to associate and assistant deputy minister positions at PCO, Health, National Defence and Public Services and Procurement.

The Globe reported last week that official Ottawa is buzzing over who will permanently replace Mr. Sabia in the key role of deputy minister of finance.

Historically, the job would go to a veteran deputy minister who has experience managing economic files.

Mr. Sabia’s arrival in 2020 was somewhat unique in that his long career included a mix of public- and private-sector leadership roles.

He has had a significant influence on government policy under Mr. Trudeau, beginning as a key member of an economic advisory panel in 2016 and 2017 that urged Ottawa to boost annual immigration targets and to create a Canada Infrastructure Bank.

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