Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will have three parliamentary secretaries working with him when action in the House of Commons resumes this week.
On Wednesday, Trudeau named 35 parliamentary secretaries who will assist his cabinet and answer questions on behalf of ministers absent from the House of Commons. The job comes with a pay bump of $16,600 on top of the base MP salary of $167,400.
Considered junior ministers, high-performing parliamentary secretaries often get promoted to the front bench. It's also a pretty decent consolation prize for those passed over for cabinet.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a rookie MP from the Ontario riding of Whitby, has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister. The appointment means Caesar-Chavannes will likely have to answer for Trudeau when he is outside of the Commons — and possibly even when he is.
Justin Trudeau looks on as Celina Caesar-Chavannes speaks at a campaign event during the 2014 byelection in Whitby. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
Former Conservative MP Paul Calandra last held the job and was repeatedly accused of obfuscating in question period. Liberals are promising a new tone in Parliament and Caesar-Chavannes will expected to help deliver.
Toronto MP Adam Vaughan has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister (intergovernmental affairs). A former journalist and Toronto city councillor, Vaughan was first elected federally in a 2014 byelection and handily defeated former NDP MP Oliva Chow in October.
Vaughan was considered a contender to crack Trudeau's first cabinet, but Toronto colleagues Bill Morneau, Chrystia Freeland, and Carolyn Bennett were chosen instead.
Peter Schiefke, a new MP from the Quebec riding of Vaudreuil–Soulanges, has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister (youth). Schiefke, who is in his 30s, co-founded Youth Action Canada, an organization that encourages young people to fight climate change.
Cabinet omissions get positions
While three parliamentary secretaries may seem like a lot, Trudeau appears to be following in the footsteps of former PM Paul Martin who also used three and assigned some specific areas of focus.
Current Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains served as Martin's secretary in 2005 and 2006, and Treasury Board President Scott Brison was his parliamentary secretary with an emphasis on Canada-U.S. relations from 2003 to 2004.
Some key names passed over for Trudeau's first cabinet have also been named parliamentary secretaries.
Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair, elected in the Toronto riding of Scarborough Southwest, will serve as one of two parliamentary secretaries to the minister of justice and Attorney General of Canada. Blair will help Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould tackle a number of big files, including the promised legalization of marijuana and right-to-die legislation.
Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair smiles during a news conference with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau in April (Photo: Adrian Wyld/CP)
Vancouver MP Joyce Murray, a former British Columbia environment minister who ran against Trudeau for the Liberal leadership in 2013, will be parliamentary secretary to Scott Brison, the president of the Treasury Board.
First-time MP Karen McCrimmon, who represents the Ottawa riding of Kanata-Carleton, will be parliamentary secretary to Kent Hehr, the minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence. A former lieutenant colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, she also ran for the Liberal leadership.
Some key names were nowhere to be found in the list of secretaries Trudeau tweeted Wednesday, including former Liberal cabinet ministers Judy Sgro, Wayne Easter, and Hedy Fry. Veteran MP David McGuinty, brother of former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, was also not appointed.
A Liberal source told The Huffington Post Canada this week that some familiar names would be left off the list and that the Prime Minister's Office is hoping some of those not included will be elected committee chairs.
I'm pleased to introduce the MPs who will serve as Parliamentary Secretaries in the House: https://t.co/WhOUbSGtIK
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) December 2, 2015
- Celina Caesar-Chavannes (Whitby), Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister
- Adam Vaughan (Spadina-Fort York) Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Intergovernmental Affairs)
- Peter Schiefke (Vaudreuil–Soulanges), Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (Youth)
- Michel Picard (Montarville), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- Jean-Claude Poissant (La Prairie), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Pamela Goldsmith-Jones (West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast–Sea to Sky Country), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Omar Alghabra (Mississauga Centre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Consular Affairs)
- Arif Virani (Parkdale–High Park), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- Yvonne Jones (Labrador), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs
- Joyce Murray (Vancouver Quadra), Parliamentary Secretary to the President of the Treasury Board
- Kevin Lamoureux (Winnipeg North), Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
- Greg Fergus (Hull-Aylmer), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
- Terry Beech (Burnaby North–Seymour), Parliamentary Secretary for Science
- Gudie Hutchings (Long Range Mountains), Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business and Tourism
- François-Philippe Champagne (Saint-Maurice–Champlain), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance
- Sean Casey (Charlottetown), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Bill Blair (Scarborough-Southwest), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Leona Alleslev (Aurora-Oak Ridges-Richmond Hill), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Services and Procurement
- David Lametti (LaSalle-Émard-Verdun), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade
- Kamal Khera (Brampton West), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health
- Terry Duguid (Winnipeg South), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- Kate Young (London West), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport
- Karina Gould (Burlington), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development
- Kim Rudd (Northumberland-Peterborough South), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources
- Randy Boissonnault (Edmonton Centre), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage
- Stéphane Lauzon (Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation), Parliamentary Secretary for Sport and Persons with Disabilities
- Anju Dhillon (Dorval–Lachine–LaSalle), Parliamentary Secretary for Status of Women
- Emmanuel Dubourg (Bourassa), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Revenue
- Karen McCrimmon (Kanata–Carleton), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- Jonathan Wilkinson (North Vancouver), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The Honourable John McKay (Scarborough–Guildwood), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
- Rodger Cuzner (Cape Breton–Canso), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour
- Pablo Rodriguez (Honoré-Mercier), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
- Mark Holland (Ajax), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Democratic Institutions
- Serge Cormier (Acadie-Bathurst), Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
With previous files
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A community organizer, Monsef was born in Afghanistan. She fled the Taliban and came to Canada as a refugee with her widowed mother and sisters in 1996. Monsef, 30, will serve as minister for democratic institutions.
Joly, 36, made a name for herself by finishing second to ex-Liberal cabinet minister Denis Coderre in the Montreal mayoral race in 2013. A lawyer and communications expert who was heavily involved in her community, she ran for the Liberals and beat ex-Bloc MP-turned-New Democrat Maria Mourani. Joly was named minister of Canadian heritage.
Caesar-Chavannes has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister. She first gave the Tories a fright in a 2014 byelection to fill the seat left behind by the late Jim Flaherty. Though she lost to Whitby's then-mayor Pat Perkins, the race ended up being a lot closer than many expected. In a rematch, Caesar-Chavannes, an entrepreneur and research consultant, won by almost 2,000 votes.
Deltell, a longtime member of Quebec's National Assembly, served as leader of the right-wing Action Démocratique du Québec until that party merged with Coalition Avenir Quebec a few years ago. He was considered a star recruit for the Conservatives, who have struggled in the province. Deltell easily defeated his Liberal challenger by nearly 20,000 votes. The NDP incumbent finished third.
Despite not having a seat, Beaulieu was elected leader of the Bloc Quebecois in June 2014. He gave up the role just before the start of the election to make room for former leader Gilles Duceppe. Though Duceppe lost his bid for a seat, Beaulieu was victorious and will soon have a chance to make his mark in Parliament.
Blair was chief of the Toronto Police Service from 2005 to 2015. He sparked controversy with his handling of the 2010 G20 protests in the city and publicly clashed with controversial ex-mayor Rob Ford. A police officer for 40 years, Blair says he was approached by the Tories and New Democrats before he decided to run for the Trudeau Liberals. He has been named parliamentary secretary to the minister of justice and Attorney General.
Rayes, the popular mayor of Victoriaville since 2009, was courted for months to run federally. His pursuit of a nomination was interpreted as a sign of Conservative momentum in the province. Rayes rolled to victory, besting his nearest competitor (a Liberal) by more than 4,000 votes.
Though New Democrats lost more than half their seats and saw many high-profile MPs defeated, Blaikie's razor-thin victory over a Tory incumbent was a bright spot. Blaikie, 31, is the son of NDP stalwart Bill Blaikie, who served as an MP from 1979 to 2008. His sister, Rebecca, is president of the NDP.
Leslie, a retired general who led Canadian troops in Afghanistan, was one of the Liberals' star recruits. He served as Trudeau's foreign policy and defence adviser and unseated a Conservative incumbent in the Ottawa riding. He has been named chief government whip.
Morneau, the former executive chair of Morneau Shepell, one of Canada's largest human resources firms, has landed the coveted finance portfolio.
Wilson-Raybould, a former Crown prosecutor and regional chief of the B.C. Assembly of First Nations will serve as justice minister and attorney general.
Watts, the very popular former mayor of Surrey, likely would have landed in cabinet if Harper's Conservatives won again. Instead, she will be a fresh face in the opposition benches. Mayor of B.C.'s second-largest city from 2005 to 2014, she was one of just two Conservatives endorsed by GreenPAC, a group dedicated to environmental causes.
Sajjan, a retired lieutenant colonel who also served in Afghanistan, was the first Sikh to command a Canadian Army regiment. He also served as a Vancouver police officer for 11 years. He has been named defence minister.
Liepert was an MLA in Alberta for 12 years and served as both minister of health and energy. He challenged controversial, longtime MP Rob Anders for the Tory nomination and even told Jason Kenney to "mind his own business" after the cabinet minister endorsed his rival. Liepert easily won his seat and, days later, bashed the way the Conservative Party ran the national campaign. Liepert, it seems, is no shrinking violet.
Mihychuk was an NDP MLA in Manitoba from 1995 to 2004, serving as minister of industry, trade, and mines, and later minister of intergovernmental affairs. She has been named minister of employment.
McKenna, a social justice lawyer, was a former legal advisor for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor and founded Canadian Lawyers Abroad (now known as Level), a charity focused on global justice issues. She will serve as minister of the environment and climate change.
Malcolmson captured the Vancouver Island riding for the NDP, winning by more than 6,000 votes. She is a former chairwoman of the Islands Trust Council, and was elected to that body four times. Her experience in local government could mean a key role in an NDP caucus now depleted of many veterans MPs.
McCrimmon ran for the leadership of the Liberal Party in 2013 despite never holding elected office. A former lieutenant colonel in the Royal Canadian Air Force, McCrimmon was the first female air navigator and first woman to command a Canadian Forces flying squadron. She has been named parliamentary secretary to the minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence.
Hehr, an Alberta MLA from 2008 to 2015, was one of just two Liberals elected in Calgary. Grits were shut out of that city for almost 50 years. The 45-year-old will serve as minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence.
Philpott is a family physician, associate professor at the University of Toronto, and former chief of the department of family medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She unseated controversial parliamentary secretary Paul Calandra by nearly 4,000 votes. She will serve as minister of health.
A respected Edmonton city councillor since 2007, Sohi immigrated to Canada from India 35 years ago and served time behind bars as a political prisoner in India. He has been named minister of infrastructure.
Qualtrough, a lawyer and former Paralympian, will serve as minister of sport. Legally blind, Qualtrough won three Paralympic and four World Championship medals for Canada in swimming and was president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee.
Hajdu, executive director of Thunder Bay's largest homeless shelter, will serve as status of women minister.
O'Regan, a former host of "Canada AM" and CTV journalist, unseated an NDP incumbent in the Newfoundland riding. While well-known for his broadcasting career, O'Regan also worked as an assistant to Jean Charest, back when he was a Progressive Conservative environment minister. He also worked as a speechwriter for former Liberal Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin.
The 35-year-old, who worked for the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, will serve as minister of small business and tourism.
Duclos, a renowned economics professor at Laval University, will serve as minister of families, children and social development.
Carr, a former Manitoba MLA and deputy leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party, unseated a Tory incumbent by an astounding 17,000 votes. He will serve as minister of natural resources.
Mendicino, a former federal prosecutor, knows how to go up against big names and win. First, he beat Tory-turned-Liberal Eve Adams in a nomination battle and won the Toronto seat held by finance minister Joe Oliver by nearly 6,000 votes. He could be headed for big things in a Trudeau government.
Fuhr is a former CF-18 fighter pilot who served with the Canadian Air Force for 20 years. Though his riding had been reliably Conservative, he unseated the Tory incumbent by more than 4,000 votes. Fuhr wrote a blog for HuffPost last year detailing how he went from being a lifelong Conservative to a Liberal candidate. He could be considered for a cabinet or parliamentary secretary role.
Ouellette, a Cree academic who served almost 20 years in the Canadian Armed Forces, surprised many with a strong campaign for mayor of Winnipeg in 2014. He unseated colourful NDP incumbent Pat Martin in a race that turned personal at times. Ouellette is one of a record 10 indigenous MPs elected to the House of Commons.