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O’Toole shakes up critic roster to reflect emphasis on economy

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Erin O'Toole

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has shuffled his critic roster to reflect the party’s plans to emphasize the importance of electing a government that will prioritize rebuilding the Canadian economy post-pandemic.

As part of the shakeup, several MPs have been reassigned, and a few new faces have joined what the Official Opposition calls its “shadow cabinet.”

Among the changes, Abbotsford, B.C. MP Ed Fast will take on the role as finance critic, and Carleton, Ont. MP Pierre Poilievre moves from the finance portfolio to a new position as the critic for jobs and industry.

Fast was the minister of international trade in former prime minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet, and made headlines when he turned down a critic role under O’Toole’s predecessor Andrew Scheer, citing a lack of support for him as leader.

Poilievre, who mulled a leadership bid in the party’s latest race, has been at the forefront of the Conservative caucus’ criticisms of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his government over a range of issues, from ethics controversies to the size of the federal debt.

O’Toole has also created a specific critic role focused on the COVID-19 economic recovery, being filled by Edmonton Centre, Alta. MP James Cumming; and a position focused on future workforce development, being filled by Kildonan-St. Paul, Man. MP Raquel Dancho.

“Canadians are worried about their economic future,” O’Toole said in a statement. “Our team is relentlessly focused on rounding the corner in this pandemic and getting Canadians back to work.”

The move also includes replacing roles held by longtime Conservative MPs Peter Kent and Cathy McLeod who are among the handful of current members of Parliament who have already announced they will not be running in the next federal election.


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  • Pierre Poilievre

    Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre holds up redacted documents during a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020. The documents were tabled by the Government at the House of Commons Finance Committee. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

  • Ed fast

    Conservative MP Ed Fast rises during Question Period in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on Friday, October 6, 2017. Fast has declined a spot in Andrew Scheer’s shadow cabinet, saying he feels the leader needs to be surrounded by people who fully support him. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

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