Canada PM to unveil new team of ministers after scandal -sources

Sun Jul 14, 2013 3:01pm EDT
 
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OTTAWA, July 14 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper will conduct a major cabinet shuffle on Monday to put a fresh face on a Conservative government struggling to overcome an expenses scandal, two political sources said on Sunday.

Harper aides have made clear for months the prime minister intended to make changes to the government over the summer. The new cabinet will be unveiled at about 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) on Monday, the sources told Reuters.

Harper spokesman Andrew MacDougall declined to comment when asked about the timing of the shuffle.

The main focus will be whether Finance Minister Jim Flaherty keeps his job. Flaherty, who is taking powerful medication for a rare skin ailment, says he wants to keep a job he has held since February 2006.

The right-of-center Conservatives - who do not have to face an election until October 2015 - have been on the defensive since May, when two members of the upper Senate chamber quit the party caucus after improperly claiming expenses.

The scandal cut popularity of the party, which came to power in early 2006 promising to boost accountability.

Recent polls show the Conservatives trailing the centrist Liberals of Justin Trudeau, the telegenic son of former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau.