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Prime Minister Ontario Doug Ford's office lost the top political and communications directors, and two more

A group of key officials are leaving Prime Minister Don Ford's environment when his government approaches the end of his first year.

Over the past few days, government officials have announced that Mr Ford has lost his top communications and policy directors, and two communications officers are moving to the office of federal conservative leader Andrew Sheer in Ottawa.

David Tarant, chief executive of Ford's strategic communications, told the Prime Minister's office in January that he would leave after the budget to work in the private sector, said Larissa Waller, Ford's chief executive officer for communications. Mitchell Davidson, CEO of Mr Ford, is leaving the prime minister's office this summer, Waller said. It is not known where Mr Tarrant or Mr Davidson will work.

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Mr. Tarrant previously worked in the office of then Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the BMI finance group before joining Mr. Ford's office last June. Mr. Davidson worked at Queen's Park for progressive conservatives while they were the official opposition for four years.

Mr. Tarrant will be joining Matt Bondy, senior adviser to Mr Ford's Head of Staff, Dean French, a long-time ally of the prime minister who is seen as a strong figure in the Royal Park, rivaling only Mr Ford . Mr Davidson's work will be completed by Greg Harrington, also advisor to Mr French.

"By the end of the first year, it is natural and some staff shifts are expected, especially when the federal political arena is warming up," Ms Wooller said in an electronic statement. "We wish to each member of our team nothing but our full support and continuation of friendship as long as they continue."

Andrew McDougall, formerly Mr Harper's chief spokesman, praised Mr. Tarant in a Twitter post last week, calling his retirement a "big loss for Team Ford."

Other deviations from Mr Ford's office include Simon Jefferis, Director of Media Relations, and Veronica Green, deputy director of communications, who will join Mr. Sheer's office this spring before the federal election campaign.

Mrs. Waller said her boss thought the couple would serve Mr. Sheer well. The two leaders made a common cause against Justin Trudo's liberal government.

"Premier Ford is delighted to be in a critical time, Mr. Sheer's office will have the skills and support of two of our team members," said Mrs. Waller. She said that Kayla Iafelice, who is now Education Director Communication Director Lisa Thompson, will move to the Premier's office to replace Mr Jefferies.

Mr Ford also lost his principal secretary, Jenny Burn, in January, for a highly paid meeting at the Ontario Energy Council. Ms. Burn was also a key figure in Mr Harper's conservative government.

In recent weeks, Ford's government has been involved in political battles for major spending cuts for health care facilities, kindergartens and legal aid, as well as controversial plans to increase classrooms in provincial schools and change the way the government finances autism. treatment.

Mayor John Torrey and other municipal leaders in the province joined in opposition to the cuts Mr Torrey had said would cost his city $ 180 million this year alone. The prime minister was strongly shocked at the opening of the Toronto Special Olympics on Tuesday night, while Mr. Tory was greeted with greetings.

Meanwhile, the Ontario Liberal Party, which won Mr Ford's election, reduced to a small butt in the legislature, will also lose two more MLAs, potentially reducing the party's turn from seven to five.

Nathalie Des Rosiers, MPP for Ottawa-Vannie, is working as a director of Massey College at the University of Toronto. But she said she would not resign later this year. Earlier this week, Orleans MPP Marie-France Lalonde announced it was seeking federal liberals' candidacy in its Ottawa ride.

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