OTTAWA — Local MP Eric Duncan has been granted a role with the Official Opposition’s “House leadership team” as the Conservatives’ Question Period Coordinator.
Tory leader Erin O’Toole named the Winchester resident to the post today.
Duncan had publicly endorsed O’Toole’s leadership bid in early June. Conservative Party members elected the Durham, Ontario, MP and former Minister of Veterans’ Affairs as their new leader on Aug. 24.
The leadership team is responsible for the daily operations of the Conservative Caucus in the House of Commons as they face off against the governing Trudeau Liberals.
“It is an honour and something that came as quite a surprise,” said Duncan, who had been passed over for any official role by O’Toole’s predecessor, Andrew Scheer. “As a new Member of Parliament, I’m humbled that Erin has selected me for this important job in our Caucus.
“Erin has hit the ground running and done a fantastic job in his tone and messaging as our new leader. I am re-energized and looking forward to this experience on the leadership team,” added the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MP.
“I am incredibly proud to work with these dedicated and professional Members of Parliament who I know will help grow our Conservative movement and ensure more Canadians see a Conservative when they look in the mirror,” said O’Toole.
Though some media have described the new leadership team as the Conservative “shadow cabinet” — the group of critics corresponding with members of the government cabinet — that’s incorrect. O’Toole has yet to name his shadow cabinet, confirmed Duncan’s executive assistant, Adrian Bugelli, who explained that the newly announced leadership team is “above” the shadow cabinet.
“Above that. It’s the Conservative Leadership Team; they meet daily and steer the agenda for the rest of the Conservative caucus. Shadow cabinet roles will be released later,” said Bugelli.
Some of the confusion may be related to the “Shadow Cabinet” title used on the conservative.ca web page announcing the new team that includes Duncan. Actual shadow cabinet members will appear on that page later as they are named, according to Bugelli.