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Reshuffling in Ottawa: Are We Getting Ready for an Election this Spring or Fall or is this a Government Face-Change to Align with Emerging Priorities?

PMO has hired Sean Mullin, a Former Senior Queen’s Park Ministerial Staffer, as Special Adviser on the Economy.


At a time when the state of the economy, cost of living, and inflation are important priorities nation-wide, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has hired Sean Mullin: He is a former senior Queen’s Park ministerial staffer, as special adviser on the economy.

Linked In Portfolio 

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  • Mullin headed the Toronto-based Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship for eight years.

  • Mullin, held a position with Dalton McGuinty’s Government from 2007 to 2011.

  • Prior to that, he served as special assistant for policy in the Ontario minister of finance’s office from 2004 to 2006.

PMO Staff Shuffle:  Are Staffers Sensing Now is a Time to Jump to the Private Sector?

Katie Telford Deputy, Chief of Staff, sent out an internal memo last week about the departure of Samantha Khalil from the PMO.

  • Khalil, who had been the the PM’s director of issues management and parliamentary affairs, is joining Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino’s (Eglinton-Lawrence, Ont.) office as chief of staff, succeeding outgoing chief of staff Mike Jones. 

At the PMO issues management shop, Deputy Director Alana Kiteley will replace Khalil.

Are More Changes Coming on the Hill?

  • After the PMO shuffle is complete, a significant change at the director level and a shake-up of junior ministerial staffers is also expected, as new chiefs of staff like to put together their own teams in their respective offices.
  • If staffers and Cabinet Ministers sense an election coming this year, expect more of them to jump to the private sector and take advantage of their existing positions. This is an important ‘canary in a coal mine’ signal for an imminent election coming.

Minority Being Held by A Thin-Thread?

Only recently, the NDP threatened to pull out of its supply-and-confidence agreement with the government over health care. The Liberals are getting their legislation through in the House with the NDP’s support. 

Jagmeet Singh has been using “When I’m Prime Minister” speech more often in the house.

Government officials from the Hill have told us the following:

“Everyone should be focused on the polling numbers for the NDP, if Jagmeet believes there is an upside to distancing themselves from the Liberals, he’ll trigger an election in April or the Fall.”

The Case for all these Changes are Just Business as Usual

  • Staff indicated that with some staff leaving to the private sector, matching the Ministers with the right chief of staff has became a priority during this tenuous period. 
  • The chiefs of staff shake-up is like a ministerial shuffle, where once one chief leaves, several other people move around to fill the spots. 

Cabinet Shuffle Coming in the Spring?

Other Hill insiders have stated the following:

“Rumour on the Hill is if an election isn’t triggered, a Cabinet Shuffle is coming in the spring!”

Expect Prime Minister Trudeau looking to promote some parliamentary secretaries.

TheCCSGroup Recommended Strategy

  • Staff shuffles offer you an opportunity to re-introduce your organization to the Minister’s Office. With new chief of staffs come a ‘fresh’ perspective on your issue. If your first impression in the Minister’s Office didn’t work, a new chief of staff could offer you a second chance and an opportunity to change the existing dynamic with the Minister’s Office.
  • If you haven’t reached out to Conservatives, this should be an important priority that should be ‘flagged’ for February and March 2023.

Looking for some further insights within Parliament Hill and some advice on your government relations challenges?

Feel free to connect with one of our Senior Consultants

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