McLeod begins Parliament as member of Opposition

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod Conservative government’s new Opposition critic

Kamloops This Week

Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod began poring over the mandate letter from the Liberal government’s minister of Indigenous and Aboriginal Affairs as the first session of Parliament officially began last Thursday.

McLeod is the Conservative government’s new Opposition critic for the portfolio.

She will scrutinize the department headed by Minister Carolyn Bennett.

“The mandate letter is public,” McLeod said.

“I’m reviewing her mandate letter. Next week, the full reports for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission will be released . . . We’re looking at her mandate and waiting to see where she takes the portfolio.”

The new Liberal government’s throne speech is set for Friday and follows the election Thursday of Liberal Geoff Regan as speaker of the House of Commons.

Regan, 56, who represents the riding of Halifax West, was first elected in 1993, defeated in 1997 and re-elected in 2000.

He has served as MP ever since.

In the speaker election, Regan defeated fellow Liberal MPs Denis Paradis and Yasmin Ratansi and Conservative MP Bruce Stanton.

Regan is the son of former Nova Scotia premier and federal cabinet minister Gerald Regan. His wife Kelly is a member of the provincial legislature.

Conservative MP Andrew Scheer, who held the post since 2011, opted not to run again, choosing instead to serve as Opposition House leader.