Angelo Persichilli appointed citizenship judge for GTA

OTTAWA – A former Toronto newspaper columnist who served briefly as Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s director of communications has been appointed as a citizenship judge.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney says Angelo Persichilli will take on the role of citizenship judge for the Greater Toronto Area.

Persichilli was hired as communications director in the Prime Minister’s Office in August 2011, but resigned in March 2012 after less than a year in the job.

He cited the demands of the job and his age — he was 64 at the time — as reasons for leaving the post.

Born in Italy, Persichilli emigrated to Canada in 1975 and worked for Corriere Canadese, CFMT television and RAI-TV.

He also wrote columns for The Hill Times newspaper, the Toronto Sun and the Toronto Star.

The New Democrats labelled the appointment has another example of Conservative patronage.

“This really shows cynicism of the Prime Minister,” NDP ethics critic Charlie Angus said in an email.

“Mr. Harper promised Canadians he would stop partisan patronage but he has broken that promise again and again. From the Senate on down, this appointment is just more of ‘who you know in the PMO’,”

Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said the news release made no mention of Persichilli’s time in the Prime Minister’s Office.