Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Diane Finley Puts Name Forward to Run for Interim Conservative Leader

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Diane Finley Puts Name Forward to Run for Interim Conservative Leader

Article excerpt

Finley to run for interim Conservative leader

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OTTAWA - Longtime MP and former cabinet minister Diane Finley says she has the experience to guide the Conservative caucus into its new role as the official Opposition, and intends to run for the interim leadership of the party.

The reduced caucus of 99 MPs is responsible for appointing the interim position, but the date for their next meeting has yet to be set. The party's constitution says that an interim leader cannot seek the permanent position.

In an interview, the 58-year-old Finley, a former businesswoman, said she has the right resume for the interim leader's role, starting with the fact that she sat with the party in opposition after her first win in 2004.

She said the role will require a good manager, as the caucus transitions into a different kind of operating culture.

"When you're in government, you have the officials and bureaucrats to do a lot of research for you, to prepare speeches and notes. You have a much bigger political staff to be able to support the members," said Finley, whose last cabinet post was as public works minister.

"When you're in opposition, you don't have that, you have to do a lot of the work yourself...so you have to become much more self-sufficient, and a lot of our returning members have never sat in opposition, so that's something for which they're going to need some support in developing those skills and talents."

Finley said she does not know yet when the caucus will convene and vote for interim leader. Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau is naming his cabinet on Nov. 4, and the Conservatives will need to shape their own shadow cabinet.

She's already got some criticism for Trudeau, who attended a memorial service Thursday marking the anniversary of last year's Oct. 22 shooting on Parliament Hill.

Trudeau has already made U.S. President Barack Obama aware that he wants to end Canada's role in the bombing mission in Syria and Iraq. On Thursday, media reports suggested the Liberals are already looking at proposed changes to Bill C-51, the controversial anti-terror legislation passed last year.

"Mr. Trudeau is out there reinforcing that he will withdraw our troops from the Middle East and that he'll repeal parts of Bill C-51, that were intended to help our intelligence agencies protect Canadians," said Finley. …

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