Peterborough-Kawartha MP Michelle Ferreri named shadow minister for families, children and social development

Peterborough—Kawartha MP Michelle Ferreri is taking on a new role in the opposition shadow cabinet of new Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre.

Ferreri was named Wednesday by Poilievre as the new Official Opposition Critic for Families, Children and Social Development.

After being elected in September 2021, Ferreri was named tourism critic by then-conservative leader Erin O’Toole. As Tourism Critic, she has also spoken in the House of Commons on family and mental health issues over the past year. Niagara Falls MP Tony Baldinelli takes over as shadow tourism minister.

Ferreri, who backed Poilievre in the leadership race earlier this year, said Wednesday she was “very honored” by the new nomination.

“This is a very important issue for Canadians at all stages of their lives, from early childhood to Canadians collecting EI, to seniors collecting OAS, CPP and the SRG,” Ferreri said in a press release.

“I take this responsibility as spokesperson for the Minister (Burlington MP Karina Gould) very seriously and will work closely with my colleagues to ensure timely and targeted access to support for Canadians. I will strive to hold the Minister accountable to ensure that essential services such as obtaining a passport in a timely manner are respected. We need service standards in this country.

“We need a government that doesn’t just talk and signal virtue, but takes action and delivers on its mandates.”

Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock MP Jamie Schmale remains the Shadow Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, a position he has held since December 2019.

Northumberland—Peterborough South MP Phil Lawrence was appointed by Poilievre as Associate Shadow Minister for Finance and Middle Class Prosperity (Tax Reform) while Hastings-Lennox and Addington MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman, was appointed Associate Shadow Minister for National Defense (Recruitment and Retention).

O’Toole, MP for Durham and son of John O’Toole of Peterborough, was kicked out of Poilievre’s shadow cabinet.

“Canada’s Conservatives have a proud history and tradition of supporting members of the Canadian Armed Forces by ensuring they have the tools and support they need to carry out their critically important work, both at home and abroad. ‘abroad,’ Kramp-Neuman said in a press release.

“I look forward to working with Shadow Minister of National Defense James Bezan on this extremely important file. I would like to thank my colleague Frank Caputo for his dedication to this role and look forward to continuing his diligent work. I also want to congratulate the new Shadow Minister for Seniors, MP Anna Roberts. I know that Canada’s seniors are in good hands.

Poilievre welcomed two former leadership rivals to serve as spokespersons in Parliament.

Ontario MPs Scott Aitchison and Leslyn Lewis are among the group of Conservative MPs chosen to take on Liberal government ministers on certain issues.

Aitchison has been asked to handle the housing file, while Lewis will be the party’s infrastructure critic.

Alberta MP Jasraj Singh Hallan takes over as the party’s finance critic, a role Poilievre held before becoming leader in September.

In addition to O’Toole, those who did not make the cut include longtime British Columbia MP Ed Fast, who backed Jean Charest in the leadership race, and Alberta MP Michelle Rempel Garner, who supported Patrick Brown before his disqualification. Former Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who still sits as an MP from Saskatchewan, also did not receive a critical role, but was named last month by Poilievre as Leader of the Opposition.

— with files from The Canadian Press

Joel C. Hicks