Ontario has named a former General Motors executive as its new representative in Washington, D.C.

David Paterson has also worked as an executive at BlackBerry and Manulife Financial, as well as director of the Canadian American Business Council and chair of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Economic Development Minister Vic Fedeli says Paterson brings extensive experience and an impressive background to the role in which he will promote Ontario businesses, including in the electric vehicle and battery manufacturing sector.

The $350,000-a-year job was previously held by Ian Todd, a campaign adviser to Premier Doug Ford.

The government notes that it operates a trade network in key United States cities, including agents-general in Chicago and Dallas, and Trade and Investment Offices in San Francisco and New York.

The agents-general positions had been a source of controversy for the Ford government in its first term, with the premier having to revoke the London and New York appointments after it emerged that one was related to Ford's then-chief of staff Dean French and the other played lacrosse with French's son.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 6, 2023.