Politics

Poilievre replaces top lawyer at Conservative Party

Pierre Poilievre has replaced the Conservative Party's top lawyer with his own pick, CBC News has learned, as he continues to shake up the party's upper echelons. 

Michael Wilson, an ally of the new leader, replaces Arthur Hamilton

Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre has replaced the party's legal counsel with a pick of his own, as he continues to shake up the party. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Pierre Poilievre has replaced the Conservative Party's top lawyer with his own pick, CBC News has learned, as he continues to shake up the party's upper echelons. 

The party's legal counsel, Arthur Hamilton, has been replaced with Michael Wilson, a Poilievre ally and partner at the law firm Goodmans, according to sources. The sources were not authorized to speak publicly about the change.

It's the latest in a series of appointments by Poilievre that include an overhaul of the party's powerful fundraising arm and a reported change to a high-ranking leadership role.

Wilson, a partner in the dispute resolution group at Goodmans, helped out with Poilievre's leadership campaign. A Politico profile of the campaign names him as an Ontario field organizer. He previously worked as chief of staff to Ontario's attorney general.

His predecessor, Hamilton, a partner at Dentons, has a long history of representing the party, including during high-profile incidents during the Stephen Harper era, such as the 2011 robocalls affair.

Former cabinet minister Tony Clement has been appointed to the board of the Conservative Fund. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The switch follows other recent behind-the-scenes changes. One of Poilievre's first moves upon becoming Conservative leader was to replace the head of the powerful Conservative Fund. 

James Dodds, appointed to the party's fundraising arm by former leader Erin O'Toole, was replaced with lawyer Robert Staley, another Poilievre ally who has been with the party since the Harper period.

Former MP and cabinet minister Tony Clement was also appointed to the Fund's board.

Less than a week after winning the leadership, the Toronto Star reported Mike Crase, executive director of Ontario's Progressive Conservatives, would become executive director of the federal party.

A spokesperson for Poilievre's office said he would not comment on staffing matters.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Catherine Cullen

Senior reporter

Catherine Cullen is host of CBC Radio's The House and a Senior Reporter on Parliament Hill.

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