Canadian Press reports that a former energy-industry lobbyist and Reform party activist is expected to become Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s new communications director. An excerpt of the CP story: “Highly placed sources tell The Canadian Press that (Kory) Teneycke will take over Monday from Sandra Buckler, who announced her resignation June 26.”
Kory Teneycke seems to be best-known for his role in the renewable fuels industry; his latter appointment to the Conservative caucus generated some controversy. Not much information yet about his perspective on journalism and the role of the press in government, though something might be gleaned from his involvement in a confusing kerfuffle over use of material from Stephen Harper in an ad campaign.
Here’s a previous Townhall post, about the resignation of former Harper spox Buckler.
Update: Maclean’s Paul Wells has some background on his blog, along with this wry observation: “It is pointless to speculate whether he will be a kindler, gentler face for reporters to deal with. For one thing, I’m told the debate over whether it makes strategic sense to show reporters a kinder face is not settled at the PMO. ”
And here’s what CanWest’s Andrew Mayeda has to report:
“The government is expected to be more proactive at hammering home its political message under Teneycke, who is believed to have played a major role in the government’s recent attacks on Liberal Leader Stephane Dion’s plans for a carbon tax. Relations with the parliamentary press gallery might not necessarily become more friendly, but reporters will no longer receive little or no response to requests for comment, said the source….
“”The PMO’s going to become a lot more political. It’s going to be a lot more aggressive . . . Every single story, we’re going to try to get our say in.”
Mayeda also noted PMO communications will be supervised by Patrick Muttart, “an influential adviser who specializes in parsing the electorate into categories such as “soccer moms” or the “Tim Hortons crowd.””
Hmmm. What slot might Muttart give journalists?