Doug Ford’s chief of staff is leaving | Daily News Byte


Premier Doug Ford’s chief of staff continues.

Jamie Wallace, the premier’s top aide since 2019, is leaving to lead Supply Ontario, the province’s procurement agency.

Count the Star first reportedWallace was replaced by Patrick Sackville, the premier’s chief secretary.

“There are no words to express my gratitude to Jamie for his many years of advice, leadership and, most of all, friendship,” Ford said in a statement Friday.

“He leaves behind an amazing legacy that he should be proud of, including helping to lead Ontario through the COVID-19 pandemic. I am excited that he will be the next leader of Supply Ontario as he brings to life the important mission of this agency,” said the premier.

Ford emphasized that there will be continuity as Wallace passes the baton to Sackville.

“From day one of our government, Patrick has been a constant source of support and leadership as he has successfully handled some of the most pressing and challenging files,” he said.

“Patrick is full of confidence and will do great things as the new leader. There is no better person to fill this role as our government continues to build Ontario.”

Like Wallace, Sackville, who has a masters in political science from Western University, is not viewed as particularly partisan Progressive Conservative.

An alumnus of the prestigious Ontario Legislative Internship Program — like Chris Morley, a chief of staff to former Liberal premier Dalton McGuinty — he is considered a calm, methodical operative with expertise in infrastructure and energy policy.

Colleagues praised him for his low-key style and dedication to staff development.

“Pat Sackville is universally respected, liked and among the brightest minds in Ontario,” said Laryssa Waler, Ford’s former head of communications.

“He’s also a great manager and staff coach,” Waler said on social media.

Wallace, a former Toronto Sun senior executive and one-time president of the Queen’s Park Press Gallery, is credited with professionalizing Ford’s office after a rocky first year in office.

“It has been humbling and a privilege to serve Premier Ford, his government and the people of Ontario for the past four years,” he said.

“I am so grateful for the partnership that (cabinet secretary) Michelle DiEmanuele and I have built and for our incredible public service.”

When Wallace took over in the summer of 2019 — after the premier parted ways with beloved Dean French following the “French connections” cronyism scandal — he imposed order on a chaotic operation that suffered an exodus of key staff.

Working closely with Ford and the public service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that began in March 2020, he was instrumental in the Tories’ re-election on June 2.

Wallace, who succeeded interim CEO Martha Greenberg, is heading an agency established by Ford to modernize public procurement despite shortages in the supply of personal protective equipment early in the pandemic.

Supply Ontario’s mandate is to better coordinate billions of dollars in public spending on materials and use the government’s purchasing power.

Robert Benzie is the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau chief and a reporter covering Ontario politics. Follow him on Twitter: @robertbenzie


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