New Conservative Interim Leader Candice Bergen has done a clean sweep of former leader Erin O’Toole’s leadership team in Parliament.
Tory MPs were informed Friday of the major shakeup, which follows their decision to force O’Toole from the job by a vote of 73 to 45.
Bergen announced that effective immediately Quebec MP Gérard Deltell, Ontario’s Michael Barrett, Alberta’s Blake Richards and fellow Manitoba MP James Bezan were off the team.
She replaced them with Ontario MP John Brassard, who will serve as her House leader, as well as Tom Kmiec, who will be the Tories’ deputy House leader.
“It’s a tremendous privilege to serve Canada as the next Opposition House Leader,” Brassard said. “Conservatives are the only party standing up for Canadians in every sector and every region of this country and pushing for a realistic exit plan out of the pandemic. I look forward to continuing to represent the residents of Barrie-Innisfil while serving all Canadians in my new role.”
Brassard, most recently, served as Shadow Minister for Ethics and Accountable Government. Prior to that, he spent two years as Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs. Brassard was also Deputy Whip and a member of the leadership team under the Hon. Andrew Scheer.
Both Brassard and Kmiec were among the nine candidates to have recently run for interim leader.
Bergen also appointed Alberta MP Blaine Calkins as her chief Opposition whip and Ontario’s Lianne Rood as her deputy whip.
With the removal of Deltell, the Tories now have no representative from Quebec on their parliamentary leadership team.
At least three of O’Toole’s picks still remain in the inner circle.
Those include MP Alain Rayes, who is the Conservatives’ Quebec lieutenant, as well as Ontario MP Erin Duncan, who is caucus secretary and Alberta MP Tim Uppal, tasked with outreach.
Stephanie Taylor, The Canadian Press
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