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Politics This Morning: Scheer to name House leadership team today

By Kristen Shane      
Since his May 27 victory, Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has picked his senior staff and is now set to name his House leadership team Thursday. The Hill Times photograph by Jake Wright
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Good Thursday morning,

He’s already named his chief of staff and other senior staff, and today new Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is expected to announce his House leadership team.

The leader of the official opposition is planning to hold a press conference at 11:30 a.m. at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa to reveal the names.

Citing unnamed sources, the CBC reported Wednesday that Mr. Scheer would appoint Lisa Raitt (Milton, Ont.) his deputy. Though she came in eighth place in the leadership contest, she’s considered a strong contender in QP and has deep ties in Atlantic Canada, where the Conservatives have no MPs. Mr. Scheer has said he’ll name a “regionally and gender diverse team.”

Also making news today:

Trump’s ambassador pick to face Senate committee

U.S. President Donald Trump’s pick for ambassador to Canada, Republican donor Kelly Knight Craft, is scheduled to testify before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee as part of the confirmation process. The meeting begins at 9:30 a.m.

It’s a safe bet the Kentucky philanthropist will be asked about trade, given that Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are set to start renegotiating the NAFTA trade pact Aug. 16 in Washington.

Chances are it could be a meatier Q&A than the quick and painless questioning of former U.S. ambassador Bruce Heyman during his nomination hearing on Dec. 11, 2013. The meeting ended with the committee chair and Mr. Heyman, an Obama nominee, sharing a few laughs about Santa Claus’s citizenship, after the candidate was asked about competing claims to the North Pole.

Where in the world is the PM?

Today, in Barrie, Ont.—well, partly.

Along with meeting the mayor of the city north of Toronto, Jeff Lehman, at 10 a.m. and then touting the Liberals’ Canada Child Benefit at a park in the city at 11:15 a.m., Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) is also set to attend the “Dock 2017 (un) Conference,” in an undisclosed location in Ontario at 1:30 p.m., which is closed to the media, according to the PMO itinerary.

The weirdness surrounding this one had Global News chief political correspondent David Akin asking his Twitter followers where they thought the PM was going.

Turns out when the same conference-not-conference had journalists scratching their heads last year, the PM ended up visiting the cottage (and more precisely, “the deck above a Muskoka boathouse”) of Magna CEO Donald Walker, along with 30 CEOS and tech leaders. It was organized by C100, a networking group started by Canadian executives now working in Silicon Valley.

Sticking in southern Ontario, the PM will take off his shades tonight and join Liberal donors in Mississauga for one of the party’s “open fundraising” events, where he’ll give a speech. The speech portion of the evening, to start at 7 p.m. at Paramount Fine Foods, is open to media. This chance to schmooze with the PM will cost you $750 to $1,500.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Jane Philpott will be in Winnipeg to make an announcement on Canada’s high containment laboratories at the Canadian Science Centre for Human and Animal Health.

And, last but not least, a couple shout-outs are in order

  • One to Liberal MP Bob Bratina (Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, Ont.) who celebrates his birthday today. He turns 73.
  • And another to former CBC Radio Hill reporter Louise Elliott, who is being fêted tonight by colleagues from 5:30 p.m. onwards at the South Block Whisky Bar (148 Sparks St.). Those wanting to send her off in style are asked to contact Karina Roman so she can reserve space: karina.roman@cbc.ca.

Have a great day.

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