On Thursday, Ross Parry became the latest senior official to announce he was leaving.
Parry, chief of staff to Public Infrastructure Renewal Minister David Caplan, is widely considered to be one of the dozen or so brightest lights in the government.
He is departing at the end of July to start his own government relations/communications business.
To underscore the well-liked Parry’s importance to the administration since 2003, here’s Caplan’s lengthy memo to staff distributed Thursday:
Dear PIR Staff:
It is with a heavy heart and deep regret that I wish to inform you of Ross Parry's departure as Chief of Staff.
After more than two years as my principal advisor, strategist and above all friend and colleague, Ross has offered his resignation to resume his career in the private sector and I have reluctantly accepted.
As all of you know, Ross has been a critical part of the PIR team and has helped shape and lead this ministry since its inception into a highly effective and accomplished part of the government.
Our successes under his strategic vision and leadership are many, but it would be remiss of me to not note a number of spectacular achievements that are attributable largely to a combination of Ross' unmatchable political acumen, Herculean work ethic, and an unwavering commitment to the government's legislative agenda to improve the quality of life for all Ontarians.
Let me start with Places to Grow, our ministry's most recent accomplishment. The release of the final Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe marked a personal highlight and achievement for me and I believe for the future of the province.
While many close to this initiative are well aware of Ross' singular contribution to the successful development and rollout of this initiative, many others are unaware of the enormity of Ross' efforts over the past two years that ultimately ensured the near universal acclamation the growth plan has received.
Perhaps it's self evident, but building consensus across such a varying group of stakeholders and over such a diverse and contentious range of issues is no easy feat. But through a deft combination of brokering and consensus building, Ross and the PIR team managed to do what others said would be impossible.
I would also like to acknowledge Ross' contribution to the development and rollout last year of ReNew Ontario, the government's five-year strategic infrastructure investment plan. ReNew Ontario has redefined capital planning for the government, both in terms of financing, procurement and planning. Again, Ross' ability to strategize politically and develop astute policy was invaluable to me in the successful development and now implementation of this initiative.
There are many, many more files that have benefited from Ross' leadership, including, but not limited to:
-the ongoing successes on the Toronto Waterfront
-the successful negotiation of the historic Canada-Ontario Affordable Housing Agreement
-ongoing management of some of the government's biggest and most important partners such as the OLGC, the LCBO, the ORC, and the Strategic Asset Management Unit
-the launch of Infrastructure Ontario and the repositioning of OSIFA
-the development of the Building a Better Tomorrow Framework and the Alternative Financing and Procurement policy
The amount of gratitude I would like to express to Ross is immeasurable and my indebtedness to him for his contribution to me and the government is infinite, so I will simply compensate with brevity: Ross, thank you.
Ross' departure will no doubt leave a huge gap in the ministry and in my own office, but I am pleased to announce the appointment of Andy Stein, currently Senior Policy Advisor in my office with responsibility for the ORC, the LCBO,SAMU and the Toronto Waterfront and a host of other sensitive files, as Acting Chief of Staff.
Like Ross, Andy brings exceptional experience, strategic thinking, work ethic and commitment to the task and I am confident that his leadership will allow for a smooth transition. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Andy to the position.