Jeff Green | Sep 09, 2020

Reid backs the losing candidate for the first time.

Lanark Frontenac Lennox and Addington MP Scott Reid, who has served as an Member of Parliament for over 20 years including a long stint as the Deputy Government House Leader under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has always backed the eventual leader over his career, whether he was part of the Reform, Canadian Alliance or the Conservative Party of Canada.

Until now.

In the latest leadership contest, he supported Leslyn Lewis, who ultimately finished in third place behind Peter McKay and the winner and now Leader of the Official Opposition Erin O’Toole.

The party announced the members of the shadow cabinet this week, and Scott Reid’s is not on the list of 44 Conservative MP’s given an official role in either the Shadow Cabinet or the 10 on the “House of Commons Leadership Team”. There are 121 MP’s in the Conservative Party caucus currently. 16 of the people on the list represent Ontario ridings, out of 36 that are held by the party.

Reid had been serving as the Party Critic for the Ministry of Democratic Institutions until November of last year, when the Ministry was disbanded as the current parliament took shape after the federal election in October of 2019. Party Leader Andrew Sheer resigned in December of 2019 and the race to replace him was set to end in the spring of this year but was put off because of the COVID-19 lockdown in March.

Andrew Sheer does have a position in the what a party release calls its “Shadow Cabinet”, and critic for Infrastructure and Communities.

Among senior positions in the O’Toole configuration, Manitoba MP Candie Bergen is Deputy Party Leader, the House Leader is Gerard Deltelle from Quebec, and the Finance Critic is Pierre Poilievre from Ontario.

Of the three leadership candidates who contested the leadership race with O’Toole, only one, Dereck Sloan, is an MP. Sloan was not named to the Shadow Cabinet.

The next election is scheduled for October of 2023, but the governing Liberals do not control a majority of the seats in parliament and need the support of at least on of three opposition parties on any vote of confidence that comes up in the House of Commons.

A new session of the House is set to start in late September with a Throne Speech, which will need to be adopted by a vote sometime in early October. Votes on Throne speeches are confidence motions, so a fall pandemic election is a possibility.

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