A Rachel Notley geography lesson: the power around the premier

Since she was elected, Premier Rachel Notley has hired many people from outside the province to work in her office.

The Alberta premier has hired many from other provinces to work in her office

Chief of staff Brian Topp, deputy chief of staff Anne McGrath and and senior adviser Jim Rutkowski are in Premier Rachel Notley's inner circle. Other staff in the premier's office have been recruited from Vancouver, Edmonton, Regina, Winnipeg and Ottawa. (CBC )

Since she was elected, Premier Rachel Notley has hired many people from outside the province to work in her office. Two of her top advisers have close ties to former federal NDP leader Jack Layton. Many other staffers come from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. All have ties to the provincial or federal NDP. 

Here is a list. 

Notley's closest advisers:

  • Brian Topp, chief of staff: Former federal NDP party president, ran for the NDP leadership in 2012 against Tom Mulcair
  • Anne McGrath, deputy chief of staff:  Former chief of staff to NDP leader Jack Layton, former NDP national director
  • Jim Rutkowski, senior adviser: Adviser to Brian Topp during his leadership bid

Where people have come from:

British Columbia

  • Jim Rutkowski, senior adviser. Victoria. He was adviser to Notley chief of staff Brian Topp when he ran for leadership of federal NDP, most recently worked for Hill and Knowlton in Victoria
  • Parm Kahlon, Notley's executive assistant. Vancouver. Former constituency assistant for several B.C. NDP MLAs
  • Matt Hannah, issues manager. Victoria. Formerly with the B.C. NDP
  • Benjamin Alldritt, issues manager. Victoria. Former communications officer with the B.C. NDP caucus


  • Chris O'Halloran, stakeholder relations officer. Edmonton. Former provincial secretary for the Alberta NDP
  • Alayne Sinclair, director, public agency appointments. Edmonton. Former clerk of Edmonton city council
  • Carissa Halton, director of correspondence for the premier's office. Edmonton. Feelance writer, former executive assistant to then-NDP leader Brian Mason
  • Bob Hawkesworth, director of stakeholder relations at McDougall Centre. Calgary. Former NDP MLA and recent NDP candidate
  • Mark Wells, managing director Public Affairs Bureau. Edmonton. Manager of research, education and communications, Alberta Union of Provincial Employees, former communications director with Alberta NDP


  • Rick Pollard, stakeholder relations officer. ReginaFormer director of communications with Saskatchewan NDP


  • Matt Williamson, deputy director of communications for premier's office. Winnipeg. Forrmer press secretary for Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger
  • Jennifer Anthony, director of issues management. Winnipeg. Director of caucus services for Manitoba NDP government
  • Peter Dalla-Vicenza, issues manager. Winnipeg. Acting issues management director for Manitoba premier


  • Brian Topp, chief of staff. Toronto. Former NDP party president, ran for NDP leadership against current leader Tom Mulcair
  • Anne McGrath, deputy chief of staff. Ottawa. Former chief of staff to NDP leader Jack Layton, national director of the NDP. Lived in Alberta in the 80s and 90s. 
  • Kyall Glennie, issues manager. Ottawa. Legislative assistant for NDP MP Linda Duncan, originally from Saskatchewan