OTTAWA — Justin Trudeau and his Liberals are preparing to take over government, although Stephen Harper remains prime minister until he formally submits his resignation to Gov. Gen. David Johnston and Trudeau is sworn in. Here are five things to note about the transition, which will ramp up over the next two weeks.
— Trudeau’s first task will be to select a cabinet. He and a small team of close advisers will tackle a delicate juggling job which requires balancing political clout, talent, demographics, geography and gender to come up with a group of people who will essentially run the country. The cabinet is likely to be smaller than those of recent years, with equal numbers of men and women. Trudeau says he will name the cabinet on Nov. 4, when the new ministers will all be sworn in at Rideau Hall and the new government can go to work.
— No MPs can sit until the Clerk of the House of Commons receives the formal writs of election from the 338 returning officers in the various ridings. The writs designate the newly elected members, who then must be individually sworn in and must sign the roll.
— The moving vans will soon be making calls. Harper will be leaving the prime minister’s residence at 24 Sussex Drive to make room for Trudeau. NDP Leader Tom Mulcair will have to vacate Stornoway, the Opposition leader’s home. It’s not clear if an interim Conservative leader will move in after Mulcair goes.
— Preparations for a new Parliament will keep things hopping in Ottawa. There will be a protracted game of musical offices as defeated MPs move out, Liberal members shift to nicer digs and Conservative and NDP MPs get shuffled to lesser accommodations. Seats in the Commons will have to be rearranged to reflect the new realities in the chamber.
— Once the cabinet is named, the MPs are sworn in and the logistics are settled, the Governor General will officially summon Parliament. The MPs will gather in the Commons chamber and then be called to the Senate, where they will be told that their first order of business will be to go back and elect a Speaker. With that chore done, the government can then bring in its speech from the throne and begin the new Liberal era.
The Canadian Press
Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version had an incorrect spelling for Stornoway.