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Premier Christy Clark hires new press secretary

Jun 29 2012

Premier Christy Clark has tapped a veteran of Gordon Campbell’s former administration to be her new press secretary.

Mike Morton, who was Campbell’s press secretary for much of his three terms in office, will take over media relations in Clark’s office next Tuesday.

But the premier isn’t firing Sara MacIntyre, who has publicly scrapped with the media in several confrontations during her four months on the job.

Instead, MacIntyre, who was imported to Clark’s office from Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s communications shop, will retain her communications director duties and focus more on overall communications issues, said the premier’s office.

Morton had most recently served as executive director of the B.C. Liberal caucus, before retiring in November.

It is the third time in 15 months that Clark has shuffled her communications staff. Clark fired former CTV journalist Chris Olsen in February, replacing him with MacIntyre.

She’s also shuffled her chief of staff, principal secretary and issues management director at least once, though in those cases the staff retained other jobs.

NDP caucus chair Shane Simpson said the premier’s office is “chaotic” and “schizophrenic” in its shifting of people and priorities.

“It seems every couple of months, they bring somebody new in, but when they bring a new person in, nobody leaves and they add another $100,000-plus salary to the office and somebody shuffles over,” Simpson said.

“This is endemic of the problem we have with government. We see an announcement today of salaries for the ferry corporation, we have the debacle around [Community Living B.C.] bonuses and all this is going on while government is telling people there’s no money and people have to tighten their belts. It just doesn’t make sense.”

rshaw@timescolonist.com

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