October 20, 2015 / 4:36 PM / 4 years ago

Canada's Liberals eye seven candidates for finance minister

Liberal MP Ralph Goodale speaks to journalists as he arrives for a caucus meeting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 11, 2011. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA/MONTREAL (Reuters) - Former Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale is among seven 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 ministers 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 lost to 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 chief of the C.D. Howe economic think tank and the head of 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 favorite for the job.

A spokesman for Goodale declined to make him available.

Crafting the cabinet is a job for Trudeau’s transition team, which a Liberal source said would be headed by former senior federal bureaucrat Peter Harder.

Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and James Dalgleish

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