The Tories announced Wednesday that MP Pierre Poilievre will leave his role as shadow finance minister to become the party’s critic for jobs and industry in the latest shuffle of critic roles by the Conservatives leadership.
Poilievre will be replaced by veteran B.C. MP Ed Fast, who served as minister for international trade under former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole said the shuffle was done to “secure jobs, secure our economy, and our future.”
“Our team is relentlessly focused on rounding the corner in this pandemic and getting Canadians back to work,” O’Toole said in a release.
During his stint as a finance critic, Poilievre had, on many occasions, grilled finance minister Chrystia Freeland and her predecessor Bill Morneau over the federal government’s deficit spending, mounting debts, tax increases, and economic policies.
Besides fiscal and monetary issues, during the WE Charity controversy, Poilievre had also fervently proposed setting up an anti-corruption committee to investigate the prime minister and his family, including Morneau.
In recent days, Poilievre had actively scrutinized the Liberals over the country’s job numbers and unemployment rate prior to the announcement of his new role.
In a Jan. 8 joint statement with then-Shadow Employment Minister Peter Kent, the duo warned the federal government that “we cannot permanently put our economy on the national credit card,” but instead need to create jobs for Canadians to earn paychecks in order for the country to get the “economy back on track.”
The announcement on Wednesday also said that Kent and B.C. MP Cathy McLeod would not run for the next federal election.
Kent had announced in November 2020 that it was time to make way for a replacement.
“For everything there is a season and it’s time to prepare for the end of my active political season,” he said.
Other new roles include a critic for the COVID-19 economic recovery, which will be headed by Edmonton MP James Cumming, and one for future workforce development to be led by Manitoba MP Raquel Dancho, whose previous role as immigration critic will be replaced by Alberta MP Jasraj Singh Hallan.