OTTAWA – Interim Conservative Leader Rona Ambrose is turning to defeated MP Scott Armstrong to advise the party on Atlantic issues after the Liberals swept Eastern Canada in the federal election.
The Tories, like the New Democrats, are working to rebuild support that evaporated when Canadians cast their ballots last month.
Armstrong lost his seat to Liberal Bill Casey.
Ambrose will also lean on other party veterans, in addition to rookies, for key roles in the party’s shadow cabinet.
Long-time MP Lisa Raitt will serve in the key position of finance critic, former justice minister Rob Nicholson will be the critic for his old portfolio and Kellie Leitch, a physician, will be the health critic.
Tony Clement is tabbed to watch foreign affairs, Ed Fast will handle environment and former veterans minister Erin O’Toole will have responsibility for Public Safety.
The critic for veterans affairs, in turn, will be new Quebec MP Alupa Clarke, who will be joined by his Quebec colleagues Gerard Deltell as critic for employment and Pierre Paul-Hus who will be one of two on the defence portfolio. The lead spot on defence was given to Manitoba MP James Bezan.
Ambrose, who will also be critic for the status of women, also carved out some new positions, including a critic for matters relating to maternal, child and newborn health, to be handled by Alberta MP Mike Lake. Ontario MP Bev Shipley has been tabbed as rural affairs critic .
In a statement, Ambrose said her team has the experience, dedication and drive to effectively challenge and hold the Liberals to account.
Here’s the full list of appointed cabinet members.