Some guys you know, some guys you don’t know. Dat’s competence! – Rt. Hon. Jean Crouton
High school graduate Mary Ng‘s dizzying fall upwards continues, from PMO porkmeistress to parachutist MP to fresh plank of deadwood in the Trudeau cabinet.
Cue once again the choking, incredulous envy from passed-over backbenchers, who for all their long service, educational and professional attainments and assiduous braunnosing, simply don’t have what Mary’s got: the enduring and close friendship the PM’s chief of staff, Katie Telford, best galpal from their days in the Dalton McWimpy regime.
Who better, then, to staff up the post-partisan Trudeau meritocracy as PMO director of appointments than our crony and Katie’s, the Ngster?
Possibly just about anyone, as it turned out. Mary’s tenure in PMO was a shambolic morass of unanswered emails, missed meetings (as often as not because a flustered and overwhelmed Mary had double-booked), and an ever-growing backlog of vacancies in ministerial offices, on federal boards, the courts, et cetera.
When the bitching from cabinet, caucus and public service sluggos became too much for even Katie to ignore, there was still no question of firing her friend. Mary just needed a gig more in line with her, er, talents.
And thus did Immigration Minister Johnny Walker McCallum find himself on a slow boat to China last year, his ambassadorial kiss-off greasing the skids for Mary in a quickie by-election in Markham-Thornhill.
Ng, alas, made even fewer friends in caucus, where she annoyed more senior MPs with her windy and scattered interventions, though none dared get on the wrong side of Telford’s creature, who was widely considered to be on the express track for cabinet.
A year later, it came to pass, and Mary got her limo as Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. She’s also been prudently assigned a babysitter, chief of staff Jason Easton, one of many Liberal Queen’s Park refugees from this spring’s invasion of the Ford Horde.
Jason, the erstwhile General Motors lobbyist who masterminded Ng’s byelection campaign, comes with a year’s helpful experience in the office of provincial Small Business Minister Jeff Leal (dec’d) and a desperate need for a job, even this one.