B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver and NDP leader John Horgan (Black Press)

NDP creates new department to work with Greens

John Horgan, Christy Clark pick senior staff for new roles

The B.C. NDP has set up a new executive office to manage its agreement with the B.C. Green Party as it hires new staff to take over the provincial government.

The “Confidence and Supply Agreement Secretariat” will be part of the premier’s office, Victoria MLA Carole James announced Tuesday. A new executive director position for the office is to be filled by Donna Sanford, currently a policy analyst in the government’s Climate Action Secretariat.

James, spokesperson for the NDP transition team, announced several other appointments in preparation for the swearing-in of premier-designate John Horgan and the NDP cabinet, set for July 18.

Sage Aaron, director of communications for BC Hydro office union MoveUP, becomes director of communications in the premier’s office. Sheena McConnell continues as Horgan’s press secretary.

Premier Christy Clark also announced staff choices for the B.C. Liberal transition to opposition, after the agreement with B.C. Green leader Andrew Weaver gave the combined parties one more seat following the May 9 provincial election.

In a memo to staff, Clark announced that Nick Koolsbergen is chief of staff in the B.C. Liberal caucus. Koolsbergen served in a similar role for the government caucus, and was previously director of issues management for former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Jessica Wolford, a former chief of staff for Transportation Minister Todd Stone, becomes deputy chief of staff for the B.C. Liberal caucus. Stephen Smart, Clark’s press secretary in the premier’s office, becomes issues management director for the B.C. Liberal caucus.