November 5, 2015 5:47 am
Updated: November 5, 2015 12:37 pm

Conservatives to pick interim leader to replace Stephen Harper

Outgoing prime minister Stephen Harper arrives at his Langevin office in Ottawa, Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015. On his final day as prime minister, Harper reached out to a public service which his government had a tense relationship with for the last nine years.In a message sent to the entire government bureaucracy, he thanks them for the support they've shown his team over three successive Parliaments and for their dedication to the well-being of Canadians. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld


OTTAWA – Conservatives will pick an interim replacement today for former leader Stephen Harper – a decision that could, at least temporarily, mark a shift to how the party operates.

There are eight members of Parliament running for the temporary position, which was vacated by Harper after the Tories lost the October federal election.

Behind the scenes, the candidates have been lobbying hard to win the job, but some have been criticized for being too closely associated with Harper’s team, or for having embraced the former leader’s tone.

Each candidate will be given three minutes to address their fellow caucus members, and convince them why they would be the best choice to head the party until a more permanent replacement is chosen.

It’s not yet clear exactly who will be voting for the interim leader.

Changes to the Parliament of Canada Act enacted before the election will require MPs to decide on four matters at the caucus meeting, including whether senators should be excluded from the leadership vote.

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