Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty is losing his chief of staff seven months after his governing Liberals were re-elected with a minority.
Chris Morley is leaving the gruelling job as the Premier’s top political aide after two years in that post. Mr. Morley, 35, began his career at Queen’s Park as an intern and steadily rose through the ranks. He initially worked for Mr. McGuinty when he was opposition leader and then joined his media office after the Liberals were elected in 2003.
Mr. Morley played a key role in the 2007 and 2011 re-election campaigns. But he was equally effective off the campaign trail, where most recently he helped shape the Liberals’ negotiations with the New Democrats on the provincial budget, tabled in March.
“Chris’s effectiveness has been based not only on his keen political mind and understanding of the needs and priorities of Ontarians, but also on his wonderful people skills,” Mr. McGuinty said in a note to staff on Thursday. “Chris treated all with respect. And that earned him our respect and loyalty in return.”
Mr. Morley was enormously popular with members of the Queen’s Park press gallery, who first got to know him in his earlier roles as Mr. McGuinty’s press secretary and executive director of communications.
Mr. Morley has not announced his next career step. He will be succeeded by David Livingston, chief executive officer of Infrastructure Ontario. The government entity is responsible for arranging financing for the construction of new hospitals, roads and other infrastructure projects.