The Liberals and Progressive Conservatives are doing their best to emulate TV’s favourite Mafia family with some cold-blooded spring cleaning.
On Monday, Andrew Hilton, the well-regarded communications adviser and legislative assistant to Community Safety Minister Monte Kwinter, was mysteriously offed.
Despite the ongoing native crises in Caledonia and Kashechewan, Hilton, who had a good relationship with the Queen’s Park press gallery, was let go. He is now off to join his wife in Beijing, China.
Sources say the blame does not lay with Kwinter, who is known as one of the true gentlemen at the Park, but one of his underlings. The official in question is a polarizing figure and insiders confide the minister’s office is a toxic place right now.
Political veteran Ashley Dent has now been thrust into the apparently thankless job.
The Liberals, however, are not alone in their ruthless treatment of loyal staff members. Brett Kelly, another popular fixture at the pink palace, was sacked last week as the Tories’ research director.
PC sources say leader John Tory wanted to move in a different direction and a new appointee will be named soon.
The affable Kelly, a stalwart dating back to the Mike Harris era, is well liked by reporters because of his strong institutional history and his thoughtful demeanour.
His biggest triumph was exposing the controversy swirling around Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar, which continues to haunt the Liberal government.
No word yet on what Kelly’s plans are, but as he is close to senior provincial and federal Tories, including Health Minister Tony Clement, his services will be in demand.