Updated

Jason MacDonald named PMO communications director

Jason MacDonald, who has been spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt for the past year, has been named director of communications for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Former chief of staff for CBC Television becomes prime minister's chief spokesman

Jason MacDonald, who has been spokesman for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt for the past year, has been named director of communications for Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

He replaces Andrew MacDougall, who held the position for a year and a half and announced his decision to leave the post last month. MacDougall's last day on the job was Wednesday.

MacDougall confirmed MacDonald's appointment on Twitter Thursday morning, calling him "professional, experienced and able to handle tough files."

MacDonald is a former chief of staff at CBC Television and ran for the Ontario Progressive Conservatives in Ottawa South in the 2011 provincial election. He has also served as vice-president, corporate and public affairs, at Veritas Communications, a public relations agency headquartered in Toronto.

MacDonald will be in charge of a team of communications staff in the Prime Minister's Office that includes press secretaries, communications officers, strategists and advisers as well as a new media and marketing specialist.

MacDonald is Harper's eighth director of communications since coming to power in 2006.

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