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Christopher Alexander, Former Deputy Special Representative to the UN Secretary General in Afghanistan and former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan. September 17 2009 (Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)
Christopher Alexander, Former Deputy Special Representative to the UN Secretary General in Afghanistan and former Canadian Ambassador to Afghanistan. September 17 2009 (Fernando Morales/Fernando Morales/The Globe and Mail)

Tory tide carries some fresh faces to Ottawa Add to ...

A diplomat, a journalist, an Innu leader, a pediatric surgeon, an investment watchdog and a former cabinet minister.

The Conservative wave Monday is bringing some fresh blood into Stephen Harper's caucus, and possibly some new cabinet choices in a majority government.

Peter Penashue (Labrador): The prominent Innu leader beat out Liberal Russell Todd. Mr. Penashue is best known for his work negotiating land claims for the Innu of Labrador, including a place at the table in nickel and hydroelectric developments.

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John Williamson (New Brunswick Southwest): The former National Post editorial writer, Harper adviser and one-time national director of the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation grabbed one of a clutch of new Tory seats in Atlantic Canada. He's a leading advocate for lower taxes, including the controversial decision to cut the goods and services tax by two per percentage points.

Chris Alexander (Ajax-Pickering): The lifelong Canadian diplomat and former ambassador to the United Nations and Afghanistan could be a candidate for Foreign Minister. The defeat of Lawrence Cannon, who last held the job, leaves the portfolio open.

Mr. Alexander left the foreign service to run for the Conservatives. Since then, he has also worked as president of a small resource company, Red Mountain Energy Corp. The Nevada-based company operates mainly in the former Soviet republics, selling equipment for the oil and gas sector, including air compressors and separators.

Bernard Valcourt (Madawaska-Restigouche): The professional politician held four separate cabinet posts in the Mulroney government, including immigration and labour. Mr. Valcourt later moved onto the Legislative Assembly, where he was opposition leader.

Kellie Leitch (Simcoe-Grey): A pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children, she helped the Conservatives design and implement the Children's Fitness Tax Credit. She is one of several prominent incoming Toronto-area Conservative MPs. She beat out deposed Conservative cabinet minister Helena Guergis, who was running as an independent.

Joe Oliver (Eglinton-Lawrence): The bilingual broker, stock market regulator and industry lobbyist adds heft to the crop of economic-savvy Conservatives in caucus. Mr. Oliver, a Harvard MBA graduate, most recently was head of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada, the voice of the stock brokerage industry.

Parm Gill (Brampton-Springdale): His defeat of Liberal Ruby Dhalla symbolizes a historic shift of cultural communities to the Conservatives, particularly in vote-rich Southern Ontario. Mr. Gill, a Sikh, is likely to be a key lieutenant for the party in the East Asian community. He worked in the family furniture business and developed a close relationship with Jason Kenney, Immigration Minister in the previous Harper government.

Follow on Twitter: @barriemckenna

 

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