Liberals and NDP retool staff in lead-up to government transition
Senior staff for Premier Christy Clark leaving after move to opposition
The B.C. Liberals are trimming their staff as they get set to move from government to opposition. In a memo to staff, Premier Christy Clark announced Nick Koolsbergen as the B.C. Liberal caucus's chief of staff.
Descbribed by Clark in the email as a "thoughtful and strategic thinker," Koolsbergen previously served as director of issues management in former prime minister Stephen Harper's office. While in the position, he was criticized for co-writing a memo requesting government staff develop "enemy" lists for incoming ministers.
Jessica Wolford has been appointed as deputy chief of staff for the B.C. Liberal caucus and Stephen Smart is moving from his role as the premier's press secretary to executive director of communications and issues management.
"These appointments will support our strong and experienced team of 43 MLAs in the legislature," said Clark in the email. "Together, I believe we will form an extremely effective opposition to hold the NDP-Green alliance to account on behalf of British Columbians."
Communications Director Ben Chin and Deputy Chief of Staff Michele Cadario will not be part of the new team.
Chief of Staff Mike McDonald won't be continuing on either, but he was only serving in the job on a short term basis through the confidence vote.
NDP filling up government jobs
The NDP also announced more senior staff appointments Tuesday, including a new role — executive director of the Confidence and Supply Agreement Secretariat.
In that position, Donna Sanford will be in charge of ensuring the new premier's office delivers on the agreement between the NDP government and the B.C. Green caucus.
"We have announced a co-ordination with respect to our agreement with the Green caucus and that is designed to be open and transparent, so the public understands we want this minority situation to work," said premier-designate John Horgan.
"I want to make sure the public is confident in the decisions that are being made. That is why we are putting in place the secretariat."
These positions will begin on July 18, when Horgan is officially sworn in. Last week, Horgan named former Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs as his chief of staff.
Sage Aaron will take on the role of director of communications in the premier's office, moving from a similar role at MoveUP, the union formerly known as the Canadian Office and Professional Employees.
Kate Van Meer-Mass has been hired as the premier's new director of operations, after working on the provincial campaign.
The transition team also announced Jen Holmwood as the deputy director of communications, Sheena McConnell will serve as the premier's press secretary, and Marie Della Mattia will serve the premier as a special advisor.