GiornoWatch: Weekend Update Teaser Edition


Full roundup of confirmed changes, plus a halfhearted attempt at figuring out What It All Means coming later today, but for starters:

  • A quick scan of GEDS confirms that Keith Beardsley — formerly the deputy chief of staff for “issues management” has left the building — voluntarily, according to The Hill Times, although that may just mean that he was able to scramble over the barbed wire fence before Guy Giorno could release the hounds.
  • Lydia Difrancesco, previously listed as “Coordinator, Special Projects” was, apparently, not quite special enough to survive the Gioreckoning Hour – no word on where she wound up, but she’s no longer listed in the main PMO directory, and was apparently one of the earliest casualties of the new regime.
  • Near total decimation at Operations, starting with deputy chief of staff Rosanna Whissell. In fact, the only staff members who seem to have survived are the office manager and administrative assistant.
  • Finally, we’re still trying to find out just what transpired between Giorno and the driver — yes, the PM’s chief of staff has a driver; who knew? – that he inherited from his predecessor. He apparently lasted less than four hours on the job, but it’s not clear whether he was fired, or quit for ‘stress-related reasons.’ We invite the former driver – or, heck, Guy Giorno himself – to drop us a line to let us know what happened.


GiornoWatch: Weekend Update Teaser Edition

  1. Operations only had three people, including RW. They are just cleaning up the layers. There were a few too many Deputy Chiefs and Directors running around.

  2. Is there a single woman working in the PMO in a job other than admin?

  3. That would actually make some sense, Anon 1 — although I doubt the superfluous directors and deputy chiefs would agree. What was Operations supposed to do, anyway? I’m assuming it will be re-formed (as opposed to reformed) under another division — could you give both communications and operations to Muttart, who seems to be turning into Deputy Chief of Everything?

    As for the female factor — or, as I like to think of it (with apologies to The Poor Man), ‘Where the Tory Women At?”, that is an excellent question, Anon #2. Depending on whether you count Carolyn Stewart Olson as a member of the inner circle, the only one left with real influence may be Jenni Byrne. (If I’m forgetting anyone, I’m sure someone will let us know.)

  4. Jenni was really Brodie’s person. Hard to see Giorno keeping her on, but she’ll probably move elsewhere (she is a longtime Reform party worker).

    Stewart-Olsen is quite powerful. Why would she want another woman of influence inside the PMO after all they had to endure with Buckler?

    Kady — did the Press Gallery throw a sendoff party for Buckler? Send her flowers, candy — any kind of parting gift, anything at all? Did the PMO arrange anything for her? Enquiring minds want to know.

  5. Let’s not forget that, at least in the wonderful world of PMO/PCO, executive assistants are most definitely NOT admin/support staff.

  6. Steph C. makes a very good point: the thing is, as per the (apparent) redundancy of Whissell, who was ostensibly a deputy chief of staff, we have no way of knowing which EAs are powerful in their own regard, and which ones depend on the power of their respective bosses. If you go by Maclean’s “Harper’s 12”, the only senior female political (specifically, non-bureaucratic)staffer to make the A-list is Sandra Buckler, although Jenni Byrne does manage to take an honourable mention slot in the “Harper’s 13th” bonus track.

  7. Oh, and speaking of the departed Ms. Buckler — in response to the question from Anon 1, I’m not sure if the gallery has presented her with an official farewell gift. I suspect Miss Manners would say that we have at least a month to do so without violating protocol. I do know that quite a few of my colleagues emailed goodbyes and good wishes after the news broke. In fact, at the post-24 Sussex garden party apres-shmooze, a few reporters actually sent shots over to the table where she was holding court with various ministerial staffers.

  8. “a few reporters actually sent shots over to the table where she was holding court with various ministerial staffers.”

    You mean drinks, right? :)

  9. I am trying very hard not to giggle at that. Yes, delicious, alcoholic demonstrations of camaraderie and good will!

  10. Yes operations had 3 people, 1 of which was her daughter Jessica who was hired to be the Admin Assistant for Operations…interesting considering Whissell was adamant that family members were not to be considered for potential employment within the PMO…

  11. I am now consumed with curiosity over exactly what, if anything, the clandestine – and allegedly consanguineous – staff at Operations actually *did*.

  12. Operations sounds like HR stuff mostly – travel arrangements, keeping track of pens and pencils, keeping track of evaluations, etc.

    Did Dimitri “The Greek” Soudas survive the carnage? He obviously didn’t get promoted, but is he still around? And would he know it – I mean, would they tell him to leave, or by promoting Kory sort of suggest that he should?

    And with Novak now Principal Secretary, will Muttart report to him or to the Great Giorno?

  13. As far as I know, Dimitri (and his non-ITQ-approved tie) has escaped intact — at least, so far. You have to think that at least a few of those deputy communications directors may be in danger of being offloaded to make room for any CRG staffers who will be swept upwards to PMO as part of the Teneycke retinue. Man, I think I just mixed way too many metaphors there. As for reporting – now there is an org chart I would very much like to see; not just Muttart -> Giorno/Novak, but the whole PMO power structure, colour-coded by loyalty and faction.

  14. Hopefully that won’t result in any goofy photoshopping appearing on the PMO’s website…

  15. Remember, there will be changes at Ministerial offices too. Most of those press secs & chiefs of staff were Bucklerites or Brodites. Very soon, they will be, well .. Someotherites.

  16. They would have to go from PMO to some MO, because the July 1 deadline has come and gone for political staff to jump ship and register as lobbyists without having to wait five years. You snooze, you lose!

  17. Interesting point, Anon@4:59. GiornoWatch may have to expand beyond Langevin Block. (Is Place du Portage technically Inside the Queensway, I wonder?) There are, however, those who are predicting that the new regime will be less obsessed with controlling every aspect of government from the centre: communications directors, we’re told, may actually be permitted to *direct communications* for their respective ministers’ offices. If that’s the case, it may even extend as far as to allow ministers to choose their own staff, rather than acquiesce to PMO. I know, I’m sceptical too, but who knows?

  18. Isn’t it north of the Queensway? I never understood the “inside” part of your name…

  19. I think it’s meant to mean inside the area bordered by the Queensway, the Ottawa River, a line drawn directly North from the Montreal Rd. exit of the Queensway, and a line drawn directly North of the northern terminus of the 416.

  20. I think “Inside the Queensway” might be shorter though.

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