Don Guy, who has run McGuinty’s office since the Liberals took power in 2003, is leaving to work on the premier’s 2007 re-election campaign as of July 1.
Guy’s replacement is Peter Wilkinson, Finance Minister Greg Sorbara’s no-nonsense chief of staff.
Diane Flanagan, a veteran Sorbara spin-doctor, will succeed Wilkinson at Finance.
The changes were announced Wednesday night.
For readers with time on their hands, here is a lengthy e-mail from Guy to his staff:
> Subject: Moving Forward >
> Most of you reading this will have a sense of what a tremendous privilege it is to work with Premier Dalton McGuinty...how truly different he is from every other politician. >
> I wish I could find the words to convey what it does for your spirit to work with a Leader who unflinchingly steers towards the right thing to do, regardless of the heat. To do that, you have to be fearless and completely honest with yourself, two qualities that well describe the Premier. > > After a decade of Conservatives who adhered rigidly to policies that they knew were wrong-headed and would hurt people, Ontario has an "anti-politician" as Premier who puts the public interest ahead of everything else, special interests, political interests or personal interest. And he has support from a tremendous cabinet, caucus and party. >
> It has been a privilege to help him and all of you get the Ontario ship of state on a course where it is helping rather than hurting people by bringing Ontarians together to fight common challenges rather than score political points by pitting Ontarians against each other. The results of this approach are already amazing, and we have much more to accomplish together. >
> But I am a realist. Conservatives will pay whatever price necessary to regain power, roll back our agenda of positive change, and put the public purse back in the service of their narrow group of interests; whether it is distorting the economy to benefit the privileged at the expense of working families; siphoning billions out public education and into the private schools only their kids can get into, or billions more from medicare into the kind of two-tier medicine only they can afford to access. I am convinced that this coming election is the most important in Ontario history...a showdown between two different ways of life, a hand up for all Ontarians with the McGuinty Liberals or an even more virulent Conservativism more carefully concealed under a bland face. >
> Given this, the biggest contribution that I can make to our Ontario Liberal project is to step aside from my position as Chief of Staff for the balance of this term to run that coming election campaign. I will do this July 1, 2006. >
> I am very pleased that Peter Wilkinson will be assuming the position of Chief of Staff to the Premier, effective that date. Peter has proven himself > to be tremendously effective in this capacity with Finance Ministers Sorbara and Duncan. His integrity and knowledge of the workings of our government are unrivalled. Peter will be inheriting a tremendously talented and committed group in the Office of the Premier, about whom I simply can't say enough, so I will simply say - thank you to all of you. >
> I look forward to working together with all of you in my different capacity, and will have new coordinates to share July 1st. > > Don >