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Harper Shifts Strahl to Transport, Replacing Baird

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Aug. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper made changes to his cabinet that included replacing his party’s leader in the legislature and appointing a new transport minister.

Chuck Strahl, formerly minister of Indian Affairs, replaces John Baird at transport. Baird becomes government House Leader, replacing Jay Hill, who is not seeking re-election. John Duncan replaces Strahl. The ministers were sworn in at a ceremony in Ottawa today.

The Conservatives’ lead over the main opposition Liberals has shrunk in recent weeks, polls show, amid controversy over the government’s decision to eliminate a mandatory census.

The Conservatives had the support of 29.7 percent of voters, versus 28.5 percent for the opposition Liberal Party, according to a poll released yesterday by Ekos Research Associates. The Conservatives held an 11-point lead in mid-July, Ekos said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Theophilos Argitis in Ottawa at targitis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Wellisz at cwellisz@bloomberg.net; David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net.