Sajjan’s chief of staff leaves sparking more questions about the minister’s future

The resignation of veteran Liberal staffer Brian Bohunicky from his position as Harjit Sajjan’s chief of staff has prompted a new round of questions about whether a cabinet shuffle will see Sajjan moved from the defence portfolio.

Bohunicky resigned a week ago, touching off a new round of speculation at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa about whether Sajjan will also be moving on from his job. The minister has had more than his share of controversy, in particular, his claim that he was the architect of Operation Medusa in Afghanistan. He has since apologized for making that claim.

News outlets have already reported that a cabinet shuffle is probably in the works for early fall. That could be good timing for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to move Sajjan out of his position. Sajjan recently delivered the Liberal’s Defence Policy Review and so it can be argued has set the stage for his successor. He has been in the job coming up to two years this fall.

Sajjan’s director of communications, Renee Filiatrault, is now handling Bohunicky’s job.

Whether she will stay in that position full-time is unclear. “I am not in a position to comment on broader staffing questions within government at this time,” Matthew Luloff, a spokesman with Sajjan’s office, noted in an email.

He also added:

“Minister Sajjan wishes to thank Brian Bohunicky for the great work he has done over the past year and a half at DND, most recently ensuring the successful rollout of the Defence Policy Review. On behalf of the team in the Minister’s Office, we’d like to thank Brian for his tireless efforts as our Chief of Staff, and wish him well as he takes some well-deserved personal time.”

 

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