Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, Jan. 21


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Orléans Ward
Matt Luloff

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





(Posted 11:30 p.m., Nov. 20)
Leslie appointed chief government whip

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Two weeks after being left out of the Liberal Cabinet, Orléans MP Andrew Leslie has been named chief government whip by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

After being passed over for a Cabinet appointment, freshman Orléans MP Andrew Leslie has been named Chief Government Whip by the ruling Liberals. File photo

The job of whip has often been compared to that of a cat wrangler. The whip’s main task is to ensure party discipline. That includes making sure his party’s members are in the House of Commons for parliamentary votes.

The whip is also responsible for assigning the pecking order for backbench MPs to speak on various bills, motions and other proceedings.

That’s 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.

When 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.

The next best location is in the West Block, preferrably with a view of the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills.

The West Block is also connected to the Centre Block by a pedestrian tunnel so that the MPs don’t have to go outside to get to the House of Commons.

The 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.

MPs with offices in the Justice Building must either walk to Parliament Hill, or take the House of Commons shuttle.

As 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.

As 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.

In a statement released by the Prime Miniter’s Office, Trudeau said the freshman MP will be an asset in the Commons.

“I have every confidence in the remarkable abilities of retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie,” Trudeau said in the statement.

“He 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.”

The 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.

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)


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