11:30 p.m., Nov. 20)
Leslie appointed chief government whip
By Fred Sherwin
weeks after being left out of the Liberal Cabinet, Orléans
MP Andrew Leslie has been named chief government whip
by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
being passed over for a Cabinet appointment,
freshman Orléans MP Andrew Leslie has
been named Chief Government Whip by the ruling
Liberals. File photo
job of whip has often been compared to that of a cat wrangler.
The whips main task is to ensure party discipline.
That includes making sure his partys members are
in the House of Commons for parliamentary votes.
whip is also responsible for assigning the pecking order
for backbench MPs to speak on various bills, motions and
the fun part of the job. The not so fun part is assigning
members to the various parliamentary committees and allocating
office space to the 185 incoming MPs.
it comes to the latter, not all offices on Parliament
Hill are alike. The most sought after offices are located
in the Centre Block close to the House of Commons, the
Parlia-mentary restaurant and the Reading Room where the
government caucus traditionally meets.
next best location is in the West Block, preferrably with
a view of the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills.
West Block is also connected to the Centre Block by a
pedestrian tunnel so that the MPs dont have to go
outside to get to the House of Commons.
least preferred location is in the Justice Building which
sits just to the west of Parliament Hill between the West
Block and the Supreme Court building.
with offices in the Justice Building must either walk
to Parliament Hill, or take the House of Commons shuttle.
chief government whip, Leslie will get an office in the
Centre Block. He will also get paid an extra $28,420 on
top of the regular MP salary of just under $158,000.
a former lieutenant-general in the Canadian Armed Forces
schooled in both maintaining discipline and exercising
diplomacy, Leslie should be a natural for the job.
a statement released by the Prime Miniters Office,
Trudeau said the freshman MP will be an asset in the Commons.
have every confidence in the remarkable abilities of retired
lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie, Trudeau said in
will ensure that our members in Parliament are in the
right places at the right time and ensure that we remain
focused on implementing our plan for a positive, ambitious,
open, and transparent government.
statement did not say whether Leslie would be given a
seat at the Cabinet table. His predecessor, John Duncan,
was a member of the former Conservative Cabinet under
Stephen Harper when he was named Minister of State as
well as government whip.
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