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Harper hires new chief spokesman from aboriginal affairs ministry

The spokesperson for Aboriginal Affairs Minister Bernard Valcourt is taking on the role of director of communications in the Prime Minister's Office, sources confirmed Thursday.

Jason MacDonald was also director of communications in the Department of Aboriginal Affairs for the last minister, John Duncan, and is a well-regarded public relations expert.

He served as director of communications at Carleton University, ran for the provincial Progressive Conservative party in Ottawa South under Tim Hudak and is a former chief of staff for CBC Television.

MacDonald replaces Andrew MacDougall, who recently left the office to take a job with a consultancy group in the U.K.

Don Martin of CTV News reported Tuesday that sources were confirming the new member of the PMO staff, but MacDonald remained ambiguous when asked for comment.

"I'm happy working for Minister Valcourt. Thanks. Jason," he told iPolitics in an email.

The Prime Minister's Office, readying itself for the 2015 election, has seen some movement recently, with Harper stalwart Jenni Byrne returning as the deputy chief of staff.

Laura Beaulne-Stuebing reports for iPolitics.

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