Mark Marissen

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Mark Allan Marissen (born 1966 in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada) is a senior strategist for the Liberal Party of Canada, and principal of Burrard Communications Inc.,[1] a strategic communications firm he founded in 1998. He has also recently joined Pacific Future Energy Corporation, along with former International Trade Minister Stockwell Day [2] and former National Chiefs of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi.[3]

Marissen graduated from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and also attended Simon Fraser University. Marissen resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has one child by his ex-wife, current British Columbia Premier Christy Clark. Marissen's older brother is professor of music Michael Marissen, who teaches at Swarthmore College.


Marissen has a long record of involvement in the Liberal Party, joining the party in early high school. Upon graduating from Carleton University, Marissen served as the party's national youth director in the early 1990s, and as an organizer for the Liberal national campaign during the 1993 federal election under then-leader Jean Chrétien. Subsequently, Marissen became a political advisor to then cabinet minister David Anderson during his tenures as Minister of National Revenue, Minister of Transport, and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

Marissen was the British Columbia campaign chair for Paul Martin's successful bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada and then served as the federal Liberals' British Columbia campaign co-chair in the 2004 and 2006 general elections.

In 2003, at the time of the BC Legislature Raids associated with the sale of BC Rail, Marissen was visited at home by the RCMP to be questioned about the individuals under investigation. He was told in writing by the RCMP that he was not under investigation, and that he was the "innocent recipient" of documents then in his possession.[4] More recently, Premier Clark was cleared of conflict-of-interest allegations made by independent MLA John van Dongen about Marissen's consulting work for CIBC World Markets, unrelated to CIBC's handling of the sale of BC Rail.[5]

In 2006 Marissen served as campaign manager for Stéphane Dion's successful campaign to become leader of the Liberal Party of Canada. It was a come-from-behind victory which many observers viewed as an historic upset. The vote took place at the 2006 leadership convention in Montreal on December 2, 2006.

Dion appointed Marissen, Nancy Girard and Senator David Smith as national campaign co-chairs for the Liberal campaign in the federal election which took place October 14, 2008. While no one predicted victory for the Liberal Party, and Prime Minister Harper was held to a second minority, Mr. Dion was widely criticized for his performance.

Following Dion's resignation, Marissen supported Michael Ignatieff for Liberal Party leader.[6] Ignatieff was confirmed as Leader at a national convention in Vancouver in late April 2009. In the most recent federal Liberal leadership contest, Marissen was campaign manager for George Takach for Liberal Party leader.[7] After Takach withdrew from the contest, Marissen joined him in supporting Justin Trudeau.

Most recently, Marissen was very involved in BC Premier Christy Clark's successful campaign in the 2013 BC provincial election.[8]