Canada's Liberals eye seven candidates for finance minister

Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:28pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren and Randall Palmer

OTTAWA/MONTREAL Oct 20 (Reuters) - Former Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale is among seven top contenders to run the department in the new Liberal government that was elected on Monday, a senior advisor to Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

Choosing a cabinet will be one of Trudeau's top priorities before he and his cabinet are sworn in sometime over the next two to three weeks.

Goodale, 66, served as finance minister from December 2003 until January 2006, when the Liberals were defeated by the Conservatives. They have been out of power ever since, and only eight Liberal legislators in the new parliament have held a full cabinet post.

Another top candidate is Bill Morneau, 53, former head of the C.D. Howe economic think tank and the head of Toronto human resources firm Morneau Shepell. He was first elected to office on Monday.

Two veteran Liberals, stressing the need to calm markets which might be jittery about a new and relatively inexperienced government, said they believe Goodale's previous tenure at finance meant he would be the favorite for the job.

A spokesman for Goodale declined to make him available.

Other candidates likely to win a cabinet seat include:

* Dominic LeBlanc, 47, a lawyer and close friend of Trudeau's. Leader of the Liberals in the House of Commons   Continued...