Liberals announce critic roles
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae announced who will go toe-to-toe with the government's cabinet ministers, putting in place the party's critics heading into the new parliamentary session.
Long-time Regina, Sask., MP Ralph Goodale will act as Rae's right-hand man, continuing in the deputy leader role.
New Brunswick MP Dominic Leblanc, who has formerly held the defence critic position, will take over from Rae as foreign affairs critic. He'll be facing off against the notoriously aggressive John Baird, the new minister in the file.
Scott Brison will stay on as finance critic, up against Minister Jim Flaherty.
Former astronaut and Montreal MP Marc Garneau will replace Ottawa MP David McGuinty as Liberal house leader, going up against Government House Leader Peter Van Loan. McGuinty will take on the natural resources file,
Newfoundland and Labrador MP Judy Foote will be in charge of maintaining party discipline as the Liberal whip.
Quebec MP Francis Scarpaleggia was elected caucus chair during its meeting Wednesday and will run the party's closed-door meetings.
"We've got a very talented team. We want to focus on the issues that matter to Canadians," Rae said.
Rae said the party, now made up of 34 MPs and 45 senators, had a candid discussion at Wednesday morning's caucus.
"The advantage of a smaller group is that you can have very direct conversations. It's bigger than a phone booth and we've got lots of talented people who've got lots to say and are willing to serve," he said.
"I think you're going to see us a very feisty, very effective party in opposition. We accept the role that the Canadian people have given us. We've taken our lumps and our licks and we're going to be back in the House very eagerly tomorrow and Friday."
MPs will meet in the House of Commons Thursday to vote for a new Speaker to replace Peter Milliken, who retired this spring after 10 years in the role. Both the Senate and House will meet Friday for the Speech from the Throne to open the new session.
Complete list of Liberal critics:
Ralph Goodale – Deputy Leader
Marc Garneau – House Leader
Kevin Lamoureux – Deputy House Leader and Critic for Citizenship and Immigration
Judy Foote – Whip
Massimo Pacetti – Deputy Whip and Critic for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Francis Scarpaleggia – National Caucus Chair and Critic for Public Safety and Water Policy
Scott Andrews – Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics
Mauril Bélanger – Official Languages
Carolyn Bennett – Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
Scott Brison – Finance and National Revenue
Gerry Byrne – Public Accounts, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Atlantic Gateway
Sean Casey – Veterans Affairs and Associate Justice Critic
Denis Coderre – Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Irwin Cotler – Justice and Human Rights
Rodger Cuzner – Human Resources & Skills Development and Labour
Stéphane Dion – Intergovernmental Affairs, the Queen’s Privy Council of Canada, Democratic Reform and La Francophonie
Kirsty Duncan – Environment
Wayne Easter – International Trade
Mark Eyking – International Cooperation
Hedy Fry – Health
Rodger Cuzner – Fisheries, Oceans & Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Ted Hsu – Science and Technology, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Jim Karygiannis – Multiculturalism
David McGuinty – Natural Resources
Dominic Leblanc – Foreign Affairs
Lawrence MacAulay – Fisheries and Oceans
John McKay – National Defence
John McCallum – Treasury Board, Public Works & Government Services, Housing and Government Operations
Joyce Murray – Small Business and Tourism, Asia - Pacific Gateway and Western Economic Diversification
Geoff Regan – Industry and Consumer Affairs
Scott Simms – Canadian Heritage
Judy Sgro – Seniors, Pensions and the Status of Women
Justin Trudeau – Post Secondary Education, Youth and Amateur Sport
Frank Valeriote – Agriculture & Agri-Food, Rural Affairs and Auto Policy