Conservative Leader Scheer highlights unity in shadow cabinet reveal
OTTAWA -- Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer put the emphasis on caucus unity in his reveal of the official opposition front bench of critics Wednesday.
The roster includes both former leadership rivals, and gives files to MPs that backed Scheer in the leadership race. Absent from the lineup are Conservative MPs and former leadership candidates Brad Trost, whose social conservative supporters helped propel Scheer into the leadership seat; Kellie Leitch, who ran a divisive campaign that included a proposal to have newcomers to Canada take a values test; and Deepak Obhrai, who finished last among the 13 candidates who made it to the May leadership convention.
“Our Shadow Ministers are united, energized, and diverse,” said Scheer in a statement announcing the new critic lineup. The Conservative caucus will be coming back to Ottawa ready to take on not only Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government when Parliament resumes in September, but the Liberal Party in 2019, Scheer said.
The lineup of 42 Conservative MPs, counting Scheer and his House leadership team, is not gender balanced, but includes 12 of the 17 women in the 97-member caucus.
“Ours is a movement that has room for every Canadian who believes in responsible government spending, strong borders, and a more affordable Canada for everyone,” said Scheer.
Opposition parties have critics for all the major files and cabinet positions, for the purpose of challenging ministers during question period, and to communicate how their party would approach policy differently than the current government.
The Conservative shadow cabinet lineup includes portfolios for a dozen MPs that supported Scheer during the leadership race, as well as spots for five of the candidates that ran against him for the party’s top job. A number of MPs kept the critic files they held under former interim leader Rona Ambrose, who is no longer an MP.
The full roster is as follows:
Ziad Aboultaif, MP for Edmonton Manning, Alta. is critic for international development.
Dan Albas, MP for Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, B.C. is critic for small business.
Dean Allison, MP for Niagara West, Ont. is critic for international trade.
The agriculture and agri-food portfolio went to Mégantic-L'Érable, Que. MP Luc Berthold. He has an associate critic, John Barlow, MP for Foothills, Alta.
Leadership runner up Maxime Bernier, the MP for Beauce, Que. is the innovation, science and economic development critic.
James Bezan, the MP for Selkirk-Interlake-Eastman, Man. maintains his position as national defence critic.
Steven Blaney, the MP for Bellechasse-Les Etchemins-Lévis, Que. and former leadership candidate is veterans affairs critic.
Kelly Block, MP for Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek, Sask. maintains her position as transport critic.
Michael Chong, the MP for Wellington-Halton Hills, Ont. and former leadership candidate is critic for infrastructure, communities and urban affairs.
Tony Clement, the MP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont. is public services and procurement critic.
Gérard Deltell, MP for Louis-Saint-Laurent, Que., is Treasury Board critic.
Todd Doherty, MP for Cariboo-Prince George, B.C. maintains his position as critic for fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and adds the Asia-Pacific Gateway file.
Ed Fast, the MP for Abbotsford, B.C. maintains his position as environment and climate change critic.
Marilyn Gladu, MP for Sarnia Lambton, Ont. is health critic.
Rachael Harder, MP for Lethbridge, Alta. is status of women critic.
Matt Jeneroux, MP for Edmonton Riverbend, Alta. is science critic.
Pat Kelly, MP for Calgary Rocky Ridge, Alta. is national revenue critic.
Peter Kent, MP for Thornhill, Ont. is ethics critic.
Cathy McLeod, MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo, B.C. is critic for both Crown-Indigenous and northern affairs, and indigenous services. She is also critic for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
Rob Moore, who is a former Conservative MP, stays on as critic for Atlantic issues and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The party currently doesn’t hold any seats in the region.
Rob Nicholson, MP for Niagara Falls, Ont. maintains his position as justice critic.
Alex Nuttall, the MP for Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte, Ont. is critic for youth, sport and disability.
Erin O’Toole, the MP for Durham, Ont. that placed third in the Conservative leadership race, is foreign affairs critic.
Pierre Paul-Hus, MP for Charlesbourg-Haute-Saint-Charles, Que. is public safety and emergency preparedness critic.
Pierre Poilievre, MP for Carleton, Ont. is finance and National Capital Commission critic.
Scott Reid, MP for Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston, Ont. maintains his position as democratic institutions critic.
Michelle Rempel, MP for Calgary Nose Hill, Alta. maintains her position as immigration, refugees and citizenship critic. She has an associate critic, Bob Saroya, MP for Markham-Unionville, Ont.
Shannon Stubbs, MP for Lakeland, Alta. is natural resources critic.
Peter Van Loan, MP for York-Simcoe, Ont. maintains his position as Canadian heritage and national historic sites critic.
Karen Vecchio, MP for Elgin-Middlesex-London, Ont. maintains her position as families, children and social development critic.
Dianne Watts, MP for South Surrey-White Rock, B.C. is employment, workforce development and labour critic.
Alice Wong, MP for Richmond Centre, B.C. keeps her portfolio as seniors critic.
Scheer also announced two additions to his House leadership team Wednesday, naming John Brassard, the MP for Barrie-Innisfil, Ont. deputy whip; and Haldimand-Norfolk, Ont. MP Diane Finley caucus-party liaison.
In July, Scheer revealed the other members of his House leadership team.
At that time he named former Conservative leadership rival Lisa Raitt, the MP for Milton, Ont. to be the party’s deputy leader.
He kept Portage-Lisgar, Man. MP Candice Bergen in the Conservative House leader role, and Grande Prairie-Mackenzie, Alta. MP Chris Warkentin in the deputy House leader role.
He also took the opportunity to reward two caucus members that supported his leadership run, naming Chilliwack-Hope, B.C. MP Mark Strahl Conservative whip; and Richmond-Athabaska, Que. MP Alain Rayes to the Quebec lieutenant role. In Wednesday’s announcement Rayes was also named critic for intergovernmental affairs.