Alberta Politics

liberal coms director gone.

Word from the Legislature Annex is that Liberal Caucus Communications Director Neil Mackie‘s contract was terminated this afternoon. Sources say that Mr. Mackie was informed about the termination of his contract around 1:30pm and Liberal MLAs were notified of the decision at 2:00pm.

Liberal leader David Swann hired Mr. Mackie in March 2009 to replace former journalist Larry Johnsrude who had served in that job since 2007.

The Liberals had difficulty communicating their messages as they fell in the polls behind the Wildrose Alliance and their media savvy leader Danielle Smith in 2010, leaving Mr. Mackie with what may have been one of the most challenging jobs in the Official Opposition staff. It is likely that this staff shake-up is a result of the communications challenges of the past year.

UPDATE: When contacted by this blogger, Liberal Caucus Chief of Staff Rick Miller acknowledged that the Official Opposition caucus faced communications challenges of 2010 and commented that “the change is an opportunity to put a new face on our communications efforts.” An interim Communications Director is expected to be appointed soon and a search for a permanent replacement will begin soon after that.