If you need further evidence the provincial Liberals have backed off on their promise to de-politicize government communications here it is: Minister Gary Collin's longtime assistant Robert Pauliszyn is moving out of Rockpile to head up finance's public affairs shop. That position has been occupied on an acting basis by Robert Duffus ever since Karen Johnston made her prison break to become vice-president of client relations at the B.C. Ambulance Service.
Prior to becoming a Liberal staffer in 2000, Mr. Pauliszyn was director of research for the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation, British Columbia division - guess which side of the political spectrum he comes from. He is rumoured to be the first of several ministerial assistants who will be moving into communications director positions.
Meanwhile, executive assistant Steven Puhallo, who has been working for Sustainable Resource Management Minister George Abbott, is taking Mr. Pauliszyn's old job. Mr. Puhallo is said have a friendly relationship with many backbenchers, having previously worked as the executive assistant to Government Whip Kevin Krueger.