O’Toole rejigs Tory front benches as he continues to put party on election footing


OTTAWA — Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has removed longtime Tory MP Pierre Poilievre from the plum post of finance critic.

The move is part of a rejigging of critic portfolios for the Official Opposition and comes as O’Toole continues working to get the party on election footing.

Poilievre has long been one of the MPs most adept at getting under the Liberals’ skin and is wildly popular with the party’s fiscal hawks, a popularity he nearly parlayed into his own bid for leadership last year.

Replacing Poilievre in finance is longtime B.C. MP Ed Fast, while Poilievre has now been tasked as the so-called “shadow minister” for jobs and industry, a portfolio that doesn’t exist in that specific form within the minority Liberal government.

It’s one of several posts O’Toole has created in a bid to hammer home his party’s focus on ideas to rebuild the Canadian economy once the COVID-19 pandemic has loosened its grip.

Other new roles include a critic for COVID-19 economic recovery, to be handled by Edmonton MP James Cumming and one for future workforce development to be led by Manitoba MP Raquel Dancho.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press