OTTAWA - On January 4, the Honourable Peter Van Loan, MP for York-Simcoe was appointed Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform.
"I am honoured by the confidence the Prime Minister has shown in me, after just a short time in Cabinet," said Van Loan. "The responsibility of ensuring our Government continues to get things done for Canadians is a weighty and exciting challenge."
In this senior Cabinet position, Peter Van Loan will be responsible for planning and managing the government's legislative agenda, and maintaining relations with the Opposition concerning House of Commons activities. The Government House Leader works in close co-operation with the Prime Minister, and determines which proposed laws move forward.
The role is particularly important in a minority Parliament, where the Government cannot get laws passed without at least some co-operation from other Parties.
"The foot-dragging and opposition by the other Parties to our proposals to get tough on crime may be the biggest challenge we face today as we try to deliver on our commitments to Canadians," said Van Loan.
The Democratic Reform aspect of the portfolio includes the Government's Senate Reform and Electoral Reform legislation, including the proposal for fixed 4 year term election dates.
In addition, the Government House Leader plays a role as a lead spokesman for the government and the priorities it is pursuing, and also quarterbacks the Government responses in Question Period.
Van Loan's background as a Lawyer and as Conservative Party President in Ontario will assist him in these new responsibilities.
Peter Van Loan Appointed Government House Leader and Minister for Democratic Reform (1)