Canada Liberal MP George Chahal doesn't make cabinet, despite expectations
The West Block – Episode 50, Season 10
Watch the full episode of The West Block with host Mike Le Couteur – Oct 24, 2021.Episode 50, Season 10
Calgary’s only Liberal MP didn’t make the cut for cabinet when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his picks Tuesday.
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal, formerly a city councillor, was one of just two Liberals elected in Alberta last month. Many political watchers said he’dfor a cabinet post after Liberals were shut out in the province in the 2019 election.
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But shortly after the 2021 vote,emerged that appears to show Chahal removing a Conservative flyer from a home’s doorstep and replacing it with his own. Chahal’s campaign manager said he took the brochure because it had inaccurate information about where to vote, but former Conservative MP Jag Sahota said it was the Liberal flyer that listed an incorrect polling location.
In a recent interview, Chahal said the flyer incident was “a dumb mistake.”
A lawyer for Sahota said Tuesday he’s finalizing an application to the Court of Queen’s Bench seeking to overturn the election results in Calgary-Skyview.
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OTTAWA — The Latest on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement of his new team of cabinet ministers. A major shuffle is expected. All times local: 9:55 a.m. Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault has arrived at Rideau Hall. He was considered a shoo-in for cabinet as one of only two Liberals elected in Alberta in the last federal election. Boissonnault was re-elected in September after being defeated in 2019. He was first elected in 2015. ---9:55 a.m.
“We’re actually finalizing our last few affidavits and they expect to be filed by the end of the week,” said Kyle Shewchuk.
Shewchuk said he’s also aware that an investigation by the Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections is currently underway, since investigators have spoken to the man who lives at the house where Chahal is alleged to have improperly removed campaign material.
“I do know that Elections has interviewed Glenn Pennett,” he said.
A representative from the commissioner’s office has said that to maintain confidentiality, they generally don’t confirm whether they have received complaints or are looking into any issues.
Mount Royal University political scientist Duane Bratt said he thinks the incident cost Chahal a bigger role in government.
Congratulations to my friendfor his appointment to Cabinet as Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance!
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The Liberal leader's announcement was met with cheers from several ministers standing behind him on Tuesday, shortly after he unveiled his new federal cabinet. Read more: Trudeau unveils new cabinet with 9 new faces, major shake ups to top jobs Trudeau's leadership has come into question in recent weeks, after he failed to win a majority in last month's election. The Liberals came out of the September election with 159 seats, less than a dozen shy of the 170 seat-threshold needed to secure a majority government.
Randy will undoubtedly be a strong voice for Alberta and I am excited to support him as we bring local concerns to the national table.— George Chahal (@ChahalGeorge)
“They wanted to appoint Chahal, but there’s just no way that they could,” he said. “You can’t put him in a portfolio . . . especially given that the previous two Liberals (in Calgary), one was removed from caucus and one was removed from cabinet.”
Theis a slightly larger lineup that adds nine new faces, drops three and moves most other senior ministers to new posts. Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault — the only other Liberal elected in Alberta — will be .
Chahal congratulated Boissonnault on Twitter, saying he would be “a strong voice for Alberta.”
Mayor Jyoti Gondek said Tuesday it’s “disappointing” not to have representation from Calgary in cabinet, but she added she’s still determined to forge connections to the federal government, noting she has an upcoming meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.
“As mayor, I know that I will work with council to make sure we build strong relationships with federal ministries and office of the prime minister and deputy prime minister so that our needs can be well understood.”
Bratt said if the flyer episode is resolved and Chahal’s name is cleared, he might yet earn a cabinet spot in a shuffle. For now, it’s more of the same for Calgary, which is almost entirely Conservative blue while a Liberal government is in power.
“We’re used to being frozen out,” he said. “So this is just standard practice.”
— With files from Meghan Potkins and The Canadian Press
The West Block – Episode 1, Season 11 .
Watch the full episode of The West Block with host Eric Sorensen – Oct. 31, 2021.Episode 1, Season 11