OTTAWA — Conservatives will pick an interim replacement today for former leader Stephen Harper — a decision that could, at least temporarily, mark a shift to how the party operates.
There are eight members of Parliament running for the temporary position, which was vacated by Harper after the Tories lost the October federal election.
Behind the scenes, the candidates have been lobbying hard to win the job, but some have been criticized for being too closely associated with Harper’s team, or for having embraced the former leader’s tone.
Each candidate will be given three minutes to address their fellow caucus members, and convince them why they would be the best choice to head the party until a more permanent replacement is chosen.
It’s not yet clear exactly who will be voting for the interim leader.
Changes to the Parliament of Canada Act enacted before the election will require MPs to decide on four matters at the caucus meeting, including whether senators should be excluded from the leadership vote.
There are perks to the interim leader’s job, including a hike in pay of $80,100, a car and driver, and accommodation at Stornoway, the official residence of the Opposition leader in Ottawa’s tony Rockcliffe neighbourhood.