Horgan’s handyman stays in Alberta

Chief of staff John Heaney takes up new senior role with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan's senior political staffer is staying on with Alberta Premier Rachel Notley

B.C. NDP leader John Horgan’s chief of staff has resigned to take a senior job with the Alberta NDP government.

Lawyer John Heaney took unpaid leave from his B.C. job in May to serve as acting associate deputy minister for policy and planning for Alberta. Horgan announced Monday that Heaney “is in discussions with the Government of Alberta regarding a senior policy position.

“While I am sorry to lose his talent here in British Columbia, I am not surprised he has proven to be invaluable to Premier Rachel Notley and the new NDP government of Alberta.”

Horgan’s deputy chief of staff Suzanne Christensen will assume the job she has been filling in an acting capacity since Heaney’s departure from Victoria, and any further changes to political staff will be made in September, Horgan said.

Heaney’s jump to a newly created senior administration role with a top salary of $287,000 a year caused a stir in Alberta, with opposition Wildrose Party MLAs accusing Notley of politicizing the civil service.

“Using the non-partisan public service to reward a partisan apparatchik is very dangerous to the ability of the public service to do what is in the best interests of all Albertans,” Wildrose finance critic Derek Fildebrandt told the Edmonton Journal in May. “It is the very thing the Tories have done for decades.”

Heaney attracted similar criticism during his days with B.C. NDP premier Mike Harcourt’s government, where he ran a “public issues and consultation branch” that was part of the B.C. public service.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Killing of Discovery Island wolf was legal, says BC Conservation Service

Takaya was shot and killed by hunters on March 24

Anti-racism rally takes to the streets of downtown Victoria

Vigil for George Floyd planned at B.C. Legislature for 7 p.m.

Pub seeks 55-seat patio on Oak Bay Avenue

Oak Bay invites businesses to expand onto sidewalks, parking spots

B.C. Conservation kills bear in Langford amid growing problem of habituation

Officer demands garbage lockdown for residents in bear territory

PHOTOS: Greater Victoria School District reports 50 per cent of students back in class

Students are on a rotational schedule alternating two days a week

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Island community

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read