OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau and his Liberals are preparing to take over government, although Stephen Harper remains prime minister until he formally submits his resignation to Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Trudeau is formally sworn in. Here are five things to note about the transition, which will ramp up over the next week or two.
— Trudeau's first task will be to select a cabinet. He and a small team of close advisers will tackle a delicate juggling job which requires balancing political clout, talent, demographics, geography and sexes to come up with a group of people who will essentially run the country. The new ministers will all be sworn in at Rideau Hall before starting their new jobs.
— No MPs can sit until the Clerk of the House of Commons receives the formal writs of election from the 338 returning officers in the various ridings. The writs designate the newly elected members, who then must be individually sworn in and sign the roll.
— The moving vans will soon be making calls. Harper will be leaving the prime minister's residence at 24 Sussex Drive to make room for Trudeau. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will have to vacate Stornaway, the Opposition Leader's home. It's not clear if an interim leader of the Conservatives will move in after Mulcair goes.
— Preparations for a new Parliament will keep things hopping in Ottawa. There will be a protracted game of musical offices as defeated MPs move out, Liberal members shift to nicer digs and Conservative and NDP MPs get shuffled to lesser accommodations. Chairs in the Commons will have to be rearranged to reflect the new realities in the chamber.
— Once the cabinet is named, the MPs are sworn in and the logistics are settled, the Governor General will officially summon Parliament. The MPs will gather in the Commons chamber and then be called to the Senate, where they will be told that their first order of business will be to go back and elect a Speaker. With that chore done, the government can then bring in its speech from the throne and begin the new Liberal era.
The Canadian Press