POLITICS
09/06/2011 11:42 EDT | Updated 11/06/2011 05:12 EST

Dimitri Soudas Bids Colleagues Goodbye

Prime Minister's Stephen Harper's chief spokesman Dimitri Soudas bid goodbye to his staff, colleagues and even some members of the media with whom he has sparred over the years last Tuesday evening during a festive celebration.

Soudas jumped on a high-table at Sir. John A., a pub-type restaurant on Elgin Street, and recounted how nine years ago, he arrived in Ottawa from Montreal to come work for Harper, who was then the leader of the Canadian Alliance and the official opposition. He told a boisterous crowd that he didn't think then that Harper would later become prime minister.

Watching Soudas give his speech were Harper's chief of staff Nigel Wright, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of State for finance Ted Menzies along with many senior Conservative staffers.

Soudas thanked and praised the communications team he had built. He also took the time to tell the crowd that he would especially miss Ray Novak, the prime minister's principal secretary. Soudas recounted how both men have been at Harper's side since the very beginning and Soudas said that as an only child growing up with a single mother, "Ray was the brother I never had."

Soudas' last day as director of communications for the prime minister was September 5. He is moving to Toronto to begin a yet unannounced position with the private sector. He told caucus members in June, he was stepping down after nine years in Ottawa to spend more time with his wife and three young children.

Left Photo: Dimitri Soudas thanked his colleagues at his going-away party last week. (Althia Raj/The Huffington Post Canada)

Right Photo: Dimitri Soudas and Ray Novak, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's principal secretary. (Althia Raj/The Huffington Post Canada)