|| Nicholson named Opposition whip in Conservative shakeup
St. Catharines Standard – Wednesday, January 26, 2022
Niagara Falls MP Rob Nicholson is moving up the ranks in the
Conservative party caucus.
Following the announced retirement of Conservative House leader
John Reynolds, a shuffle of the portfolios has moved Nicholson
from transport critic to chief Opposition whip.
“I’ll help out in any way I can for the party,”
Nicholson said Tuesday from a Conservative caucus retreat in
Victoria, B.C. “It’s a new challenge for me.
“I’ve been fortunate in our parliamentary system
to take on a number of different roles.”
Nicholson said Opposition leader Stephen Harper phoned him a
couple of days ago asking if he would be willing to take on
the new job.
Nicholson is now responsible for communications within the caucus
and ensuring members are informed of key votes.
In a party that professes the value of free votes for its members,
Nicholson’s role isn’t so much making sure everybody
makes the same choice, but at least ensuring they have the details
of the vote and perhaps determining where they stand.
His first big test will likely come with the vote on same-sex
“Our position on that is that it’s a free vote,”
he said. “Each member will decide for him or herself,
and that’s the way it should be.
“My job will be to make sure they know when and where."
Reynolds, MP for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country,
was House leader until he announced Monday that he would not
stand in the next election. He has been appointed by Harper
as national chair for the Conservative election campaign.
His pending retirement has set off a chain reaction of changes
within the Conservative caucus.
Jay Hill, Prince George-Peace River MP, takes over as House
leader, with Nicholson filling Hill’s old role as whip.
Simcoe-Grey MP Helena Guergis has been named deputy critic for
seniors’ issues and James Moore, MP for Port Moody-Westwood-Port
Coquitlam, will assume the critic duties of transport and amateur
sport on an interim basis on top of his public works critic
“I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Nicholson
said. “It’s another expression of confidence (Harper
has) shown in me and I appreciate it.
“It’s a minority Parliament, so votes are more critical
than they usually are.”
Nicholson was science minister with responsibility for small
business in the Kim Campbell government of 1993.