Andrew Leslie named government's chief whip
Justin Trudeau speaks with Andrew Leslie prior to a ceremony marking the one year anniversary of the attack on Parliament Hill at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Thursday Oct. 22, 2015. (Fred Chartrand / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, November 20, 2015 10:54AM EST
OTTAWA -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tabbed retired general Andrew Leslie to be the government's chief whip in the Commons.
The whip is in charge of mustering votes in the Commons, although the Liberals have promised that MPs will be free to vote as they please except in critical matters.
The Liberal platform says MPs will only be required to toe the party line in votes on campaign promises, traditional matters of confidence such as the budget and on questions of values and charter rights.
Leslie is a retired general first elected in a suburban Ottawa riding last month.
He was a high-profile candidate and many expected him to land a cabinet post, but he was left off the ministerial list.
The whip's job pays $28,420 on top of the regular MP salary of just under $158,000.
Trudeau said Leslie will be an asset in the Commons.
"He will ensure that our members in Parliament are in the right places at the right time and ensure that we remain focused on implementing our plan for a positive, ambitious, open, and transparent government," Trudeau said in a statement.