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A Shake-Up in Premier Ford's Office

What You Need to Know and Additional Insights into the Appointment of Patrick Sackville, Ford’s new Chief of Staff

Shortly, after the Ontario Government announced the appointment of Patrick Sackville as the new Chief of Staff to Premier Ford, replacing James Wallace; Carlo Oliviero, Executive Director of Stakeholder Relations at Office of the Premier of Ontario posts the following:

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It’s too early in Ford’s mandate for anyone to come to any conclusion surrounding these key staff transitions, except to conclude the following:

Holding senior roles within the Provincial Government opens up many opportunities in the private sector. There is a short window during which one can capitalize on these opportunities and ambitious staff that walk through this private sector opportunity window tend to transition into executive roles and exciting new opportunities.

TheCCSGroup worked with Carlo on many of our files, from the time he was staff for Hon. Greg Rickford until his transition to the Premier’s Office.   He was always looking for ‘win-win’ solutions and assisted in advancing the agenda and files of stakeholders working collaboratively with the government.   Although I’m super happy for Carlo, and wishing him the best in his pivot into the private sector, he will be sorely missed in Ford’s office by those of us that had the pleasure of working with him.

There are staff vacancies that Ford needs to fill including:

  1. Patrick Sackville’s previous position: Principal Secretary
  2. Carlo Oliviero’s position: Executive Director of Stakeholder Relations

Those will get filled in the coming weeks but let’s get some further insight into Patrick Sackville, the new Chief of Staff.

Here is what we know to-date and what we’ve heard from those that have worked with Patrick:


Who is Patrick Sackville?

December 23rd, 2022, Premier Doug Ford announced the immediate appointment of Patrick Sackville as his new Chief of Staff: “There’s no better person to take on this role” said Premier Ford.

Officials shared with us the following:

“Resembling James Wallace for whom he is replacing, Patrick is not an idealogue.  We do not expect a significant departure in how the Premier’s office is run.  Patrick is low-key, calm, and methodical, placing a strong emphasis on being a coach and fostering a strong team with the objective of continuing the high level of professionalism James Wallace brought to the office.

No one is surprised Ford chose Patrick to succeed Wallace.  Patrick is universally respected across the whole of government and is considered one of the brightest minds in Ontario.”

What is significant is Patrick is respected beyond the political sphere.

Pivotal to the success of any Premier’s Office is the ability to work closely with civil servants to implement the government’s priorities. Patrick has established a valued relationship with the civil service, especially with top civil servant, Michelle DiEmanuele, Secretary of Cabinet / Clerk of the Executive Council.

Forward Planning & Agenda for Ford’s Government

Two top priorities of this government’s mandate with regard to Infrastructure are:

  1. Transit and Energy Costs and
  2. Electricity supply

These fit flawlessly within Sackville’s wheelhouse of expertise.

Perhaps what Sackville is best suited for is delivering on the most pressing challenge facing this government: stick-handling the healthcare file.

Those that know Patrick, will say he has:

An endless capacity to get things done and a brain for politics matched by few within the Province.”

…which is the central “theme of our second mandate” says outgoing Chief of Staff, Jamie Wallace.

Officials shared with us the following:

“To be sure, Sackville possesses the five necessary dimensions of leadership ‘to get things done’- particularly in the messy space of healthcare politics: personal performance, contextual awareness, inter-personal influence, stakeholder engagement, networks and alliances and influence on policy processes.

A consummate team player, Sackville will rely heavily on Ivana Yelich who has been elevated to Stakeholder Relations and Forward Planning to keep the government’s policy trains running on time and on message.”

Looking for some further insights within Queen’s Park and some advice on your government relations challenges?

Feel free to connect with one of our Senior Consultants


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