Ignatieff drops chief of staff, hires Peter Donolo
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has dropped his chief of staff, Ian Davey, and replaced him with veteran political strategist Peter Donolo.
Ignatieff confirmed the move in a statement late Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce the arrival of Peter Donolo, who has accepted the role of Chief of Staff. Mr. Donolo brings a wealth of experience to this role," Ignatieff said.
Donolo was a communication director under former Liberal prime minister Jean Chr�tien and was a partner at the Strategic Counsel, an Ontario polling firm.
"I'm very pleased to be joining the team," Donolo said in a statement. "Michael Ignatieff is an outstanding Canadian who I believe would make an excellent prime minister. I am fortunate to be building on the work initiated by Ian Davey."
Davey was a key figure in convincing Ignatieff to leave his position at Harvard University and run for the Liberals in federal politics. He also ran Ignatieff's leadership campaign in 2006.
"Ian Davey has my gratitude for his enormous service in building this OLO team, and I look forward to his continuing counsel," Ignatieff said.
However, with the party dealing with an internal dispute over Denis Coderre's resignation as Ignatieff's Quebec lieutenant and low poll numbers nation-wide, Davey was deemed expendable.
CTV News is awaiting confirmation on whether the Liberal director of communications, Jill Fairbrother, has also left her post.
Donolo served as Chr�tien's director of communications from 1993 to 1999. Following that, he served for two years as Canadian Consul General to Milan and later was a vice president at Air Canada.
Ignatieff has been criticized for having an inner circle that lacks in political experience and is too Toronto-based.
While Donolo is not lacking in experience, he is yet another Toronto addition to the Ignatieff team, having worked for two of the city's mayors. Though in all fairness, Donolo is originally from Montreal.
However, it is expected that Donolo will be put in charge of widening Ignatieff's inner circle of advisors, including adding more francophones.