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Trudeau To Reconvene Parliament In Early December

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Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press
Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau will be calling MPs back to work in December.

The prime minister-designate hasn't officially picked a date, but he will ask the Governor General to summon Parliament the first week of December with a speech from the throne laying out his new government's ambitious agenda, a well-placed source said.

Before all MPs return to Ottawa, however, Trudeau will first appoint his smaller and gender-balanced cabinet on Nov. 4. The size of the cabinet is expected to be between 28 and 30 individuals. Parliamentary secretaries — government MPs who assist ministers with their portfolios — will be announced shortly thereafter.

The Conservative caucus will also elect its interim leader and the person who will become the official Opposition leader on Nov. 5.

While bureaucrats and Liberal advisors sort out of some of Trudeau's campaign pledges — such as a promise to re-locate 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada by year's end — Trudeau will be attending several international summits with world leaders.

First on his plate is a summit of G20 leaders in Antalya, Turkey, on Nov. 15 and 16. The Liberals expect to make a bit of a splash by moving from the austerity camp, embodied by British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, towards U.S. President Barack Obama and leaders who support investment to foster growth.

An APEC economic leaders' meeting in Manila follows on Nov. 18 and 19. A week later, the Commonwealth heads of government are gather in Malta from Nov. 27 to 29. The next day, on Nov. 30, Trudeau is expected to attend, in company with provincial premiers, the opening ceremonies of the UN’s Paris Climate Conference with other world leaders such as Obama, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. That conference continues until Dec. 11.

There had been some speculation that Trudeau would wait until January to reconvene Parliament. The current House of Commons calendar had MPs going home on Dec. 11 and resuming work in Ottawa on Jan. 25.

Veteran Liberal MP Ralph Goodale, who is expected to land a senior role in Trudeau's cabinet, told Global's "The West Block" Sunday that it was "unlikely" Parliament would reconvene before Christmas.

"I would think a meeting of Parliament before Christmas is unlikely, just given the time-frame but that remains to be seen," Goodale said.

Several Liberal MPs are arriving in Ottawa this week as the Trudeau team finalizes its cabinet picks. Toronto MP Bill Morneau, who has long been rumoured to be the next finance minister, was spotted on Rideau street Tuesday, just blocks from the Prime Minister's Office.

With a file from Ryan Maloney

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