Inside Politics

Orders of the Day: Let the GiornoWatch recommence! UPDATED

Only this time, all eyes are on the elusive Double G himself, as the capital reels in response to reports -- well, a report, anyway -- that the PM's second in command is leaving Langevin: his destination unknown, his successor uncertain. Wait, no, it's not -- not reeling, that is -- since this particular rumour has been ricocheting down Sparks Street and through the precinct for months. Which doesn't automatically make it untrue, of course, but it's not exactly news. In fact, when the speculation first started to churn back in the spring, he was expected to be gone by mid-summer, although when July, and then August passed without any official announcement, the anticipated date of departure was pushed forward to early fall, and then ... oh, maybe November-ish. Now, apparently, it's the end of the year. If he manages to stick around for that long, he'll easily beat out his predecessor, Ian Brodie, for the title of Longest Serving Chief of Staff in the History of the Harper PMO.  

Anyway, I've sent him -- Guy Giorno, that is -- a note asking if he has anything to say on the subject, which I'm betting he won't, but I'm totally prepared to be pleasantly, if flummoxedly, wrong. I'll keep you posted. Out of respect for his eerie and terrifying powers, let's not start naming possible replacements until we've given him sufficient time to confirm that the position will, indeed, be up for grabs sometime in the next few days/weeks/months.

UPDATE: From colleague Chris Rands: CBC News has confirmed Giorno is leaving at the end of the year.

As far as the Hill agenda, this being the Friday before the last long weekend of the summer, there's not much going on.  The Industry committee is meeting in camera this morning to discuss holding hearings into the "permanent closure of Abitibi-Bowater of Gatineau and Dolbeau-Mistassini." Meanwhile, the Upper House will be alive with the sound of international interparliamentary chatter, as Senate Speaker Noel Kinsella hosts a two-day confab with his G20 counterparts.
Oh, and remember that online anti-Sun TV petition launched earlier this week by not-actually-entirely-George-Soros-funded activist group It seems to be experiencing technical difficulties of the almost certainly intentionally malevolent sort. Colleague Davidson has all the latest details -- including a statement from the organization itself, which it sounds pretty darned serious about getting to the bottom of what was apparently a deliberate attempt to seed the petition with fake endorsements under the names of real people, including a handful of Hill journalists. (Including, for the record, me and CBC Colleague Chris Hall, as well as the Globe's Stephen Wicary, Maclean's columnist Paul Wells, the National Post's Chris Selley and Dan Gardner from the Ottawa Citizen, among others.) Also targeted: prominent political bloggers from both the left and right side of the ideological spectrum, as well as at least a couple of Conservative staffers. 

Feel free to share your conspiracy theories in the comments. Remember, spelling, grammar and internal consistency counts! 


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