Erin O’Toole elevates Candice Bergen and announces House Leadership Team

The newly elected leader of the Conservative Party Erin O’Toole announced his picks for his House Leadership Team today. This slate of MPs will represent the Pfficial Opposition in the House of Commons. They are:

Candice Bergen – Deputy Leader

Richard Martel – Quebec Political Lieutenant

GĂ©rard Deltell – House Leader

Blake Richards – Whip

Karen Vecchio – Deputy House Leader

Alex Ruff – Deputy Whip

Tim Uppal – Caucus-Party Liason

Tom Kmiec – National Caucus Chair

Eric Duncan – QP Coordinator

Bergen’s appointment as deputy leader is overdue. She worked diligently House leader under Rona Ambrose and Andrew Scheer and has great reviews on this work from caucus and staff alike.

Rookie MP Eric Duncan takes on a significant role as QP coordinator but it should come as no surprise as Duncan acted as Guy Lauzon’s executive assistant and Chief of Staff when the former MP was Conservative Caucus Chair. In other words, Duncan has worked on Question Period coordination for some time and brings a wealth of experience to the team.

New Government leader in the Senate to be an elected one?

Earlier this month, Mulroney appointee and Harper lieutenant Marjorie LeBreton announced her retirement as Government leader in the Senate. LeBreton, who is 73, will retire from the Senate in two years.

LeBreton has held the government’s line in the Senate through its problems this year; Senator Brazeau is up on sexual assault charges, while he and three other Senators are facing RCMP investigation over allowance expense irregularities.

A government official speaking about LeBreton’s retirement said, “A fully elected cabinet is an important thing right now”. This was taken by most of Ottawa to mean a deprioritization of the Senate as an institution in the executive branch of government.

However, it could also slyly mean that the Prime Minister will appoint an elected Senator to cabinet to be the government’s voice in the Upper Chamber.

Candidates for this position in cabinet include:

  • Scott Tannas
  • Betty Unger
  • Doug Black