OTTAWA, July 15 Canadian Prime Minister Stephen
Harper brought new, younger faces into his cabinet on Monday
after an expenses scandal dented the Conservative government's
popularity, but kept senior players such as Finance Minister Jim
Flaherty in place.
"We need a steady hand on the tiller," a Conservative source
told Reuters about the decision to keep Flaherty, 63, in a job
that gives him a crucial role in managing the economy.
Flaherty, who is taking medication for a rare skin ailment,
had made it clear he wanted to stay as finance minister until
the federal budget is balanced, forecast for 2015.
Harper named James Moore, a rising star in the government,
as industry minister with responsibility for telecommunications
and the politically charged reviews of major foreign takeovers
of Canadian companies.
Moore, heritage minister for almost five years, will now be
the key point person responding to any bid to take over ailing
smartphone maker BlackBerry Ltd, which reported
disappointing sales and a wider than expected loss in its most
The Conservatives have long stressed their handling of the
economy as a strength. Canada emerged faster from the 2008
recession than most other leading industrialized nations.
Although Harper brought eight new faces into the cabinet,
most of them in secondary posts.
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 Parliament's upper house, the
Senate, quit the party caucus after improperly claiming
The scandal undermined the popularity of the party, which
came to power in early 2006 promising to boost government
Recent polls have shown the Conservatives trailing the
centrist Liberals, who are led by Justin Trudeau, the telegenic
son of former Liberal prime minister Pierre Trudeau.