Andrew Scheer unveils full shadow cabinet leaving Kellie Leitch off front bench


Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled his full shadow cabinet Wednesday notably leaving fellow leadership candidate Kellie Leitch off his party’s front bench while promoting others to key critic posts in the House of Commons.  

Pierre Poilievre, an MP from the Ottawa area, was given the Finance critic role ahead of Quebec MP Maxime Bernier, who finished second in the Conservative race. Bernier, who announced publicly months ago that he wanted the finance role, has been given a senior critic role on the Innovation, Science and Economic Development file as CBC reported Tuesday.

Leitch’s leadership campaign, which saw her finish sixth in the race, drew criticism and accusations of intolerance for vowing to strengthen the vetting process for new immigrants. The former cabinet minister also pledged to screen all new immigrants for “Canadian values,” drawing widespread criticism, including from some of her fellow leadership candidates.

Brad Trost, the Saskatchewan MP who finished fourth in the leadership campaign, was also left off the shadow cabinet list. Trost did not serve as a minister under prime minister Stephen Harper and campaigned on social conservative values that opposed the “gay lifestyle” and abortion.

Another leadership candidate, Deepak Obhrai, was also left out of Scheer’s shadow cabinet. Obhrai served as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of foreign affairs in the Harper government. 

As CBC reported Tuesday, Candice Bergen remains House leader and former leadership candidate Lisa Raitt will take up the role of deputy leader. 

Ed Fast will face off against Environment Minister Catherine McKenna as the critic for environment and climate change, while Michael Chong, the only leadership candidate that called for a carbon tax, has been assigned the critic role for infrastructure, communities and urban affairs. 

James Bezan retains the critic role for national defence and Michelle Rempel does the same for the immigration, refugees and citizenship file. 

Scheer’s also keeping former Conservative MP Rob Moore as the critic for Atlantic issues; as The Canadian Press notes, the party doesn’t have a single elected MP from the Atlantic provinces. Ambrose initially hired Moore to keep tabs on that region and that arrangement is being continued under Scheer. 

The other critic roles include:

  • Ziad Aboultaif — International Development.
  • Dan Albas — Small Business.
  • Dean Allison — International Trade.
  • John Barlow — Agriculture and Agri-Food [Associate].
  • Luc Berthold — Agriculture and Agri-Food.
  • Steven Blaney — Veterans Affairs.
  • Kelly Block — Transport.
  • Tony Clement  — Public Services and Procurement.
  • Gérard Deltell — Treasury Board.
  • Todd Doherty  — Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Asia-Pacific gateway.
  • Marilyn Gladu — Health.
  • Rachael Harder — Status of Women.
  • Matt  Jeneroux — Science.
  • Pat Kelly — National Revenue.
  • Peter Kent — Ethics.
  • Cathy McLeod — Crown-Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Indigenous Services and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
  • Rob Moore — Atlantic issues and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
  • Rob Nicholson — Justice.
  • Alexander Nuttall — Youth, Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
  • Erin O’Toole — Foreign Affairs.
  • Pierre Paul-Hus — Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
  • Alain Rayes — Intergovernmental Affairs.
  • Scott Reid — Democratic Institutions.
  • Bob Saroya — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship [Associate].
  • Shannon Stubbs — Natural Resources.
  • Peter Van Loan — Canadian Heritage and National Historic Sites.
  • Karen Vecchio — Families, Children and Social Development.
  • Dianne Watts — Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.
  • Alice Wong — Seniors.

In addition to the critic roles, Scheer also announced his House leadership team. Rayes has been given the task of Quebec lieutenant. Mark Strahl takes up the role of whip with the deputy whip job going to John Brassard. 

Backing up Raitt will be deputy House leader Chris Warkentin with Diane Finley taking up the role of caucus party liaison. 

All MPs earn a base salary of $172,700. MPs with additional responsibilities, either for the government or in opposition get a financial top-up, although those taking up a critic role do not. 

The positions that do get a financial top-up include:

  • Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons — $82,600.
  • Opposition House leader — $42,722.
  • Opposition whip — $30,900.
  • Deputy House leaders  [government and Official Opposition] — $17,000.
  • Deputy whip of the Official Opposition — $12,000.
CANADA-POLITICS/

Ottawa MP Pierre Poilievre will take on the high-profile finance critic role on the Conservative side of the House. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)



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