Andrew Leslie named chief government whip

The Canadian Press

Liberal candidate Andrew Leslie speaks to supporters after winning in the riding of Orleans in the 2015 federal election, in Ottawa, October 19, 2015. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tabbed retired general Andrew Leslie to be the government’s chief whip

The whip is in charge of mustering votes in the Commons, although the Liberals have promised that MPs will be free to vote as they please except in critical matters.

The Liberal platform says MPs will only be required to toe the party line in votes on campaign promises, traditional matters of confidence such as the budget and on questions of values and charter rights.

Leslie is a retired general first elected in a suburban Ottawa riding last month.

He was a high-profile candidate and many expected him to land a cabinet post, but he was left off the ministerial list.

The whip’s job pays $28,420 on top of the regular MP salary of just under $158,000.

Trudeau said Leslie will be an asset in the Commons.

“He will ensure that our members in Parliament are in the right places at the right time and ensure that we remain focused on implementing our plan for a positive, ambitious, open, and transparent government,” Trudeau said in a statement.

© The Canadian Press , 2015

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