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Dion makes changes 
Politics Watch News Services
October 9, 2007, updated 5:35 p.m.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion announced changes Tuesday to his shadow cabinet.

OTTAWA  (PoliticsWatch.com) —  Liberal leader Stephane Dion announced minor changes to his shadow cabinet on Tuesday as his MPs prepare for the return of Parliament and a possible election.    

> Complete list of Liberal caucus roles 

The most notable appointment is that of Liberal leadership candidate Bob Rae. Although he is not an elected MP, Rae has been named Dion's foreign affairs critic, replacing Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, who becomes the party's public safety critic. 

Other former Liberal leadership candidates who were in Dion's original shadow cabinet have kept their portfolios, including deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff.  

The only other major name to be involved in the shuffle is Liberal MP Dominic Leblanc, who was named the party's intergovernmental affairs critic. 

Of the 96 Liberal MPs in the House of Commons, 45 will have critics roles in Dion's shadow cabinet. 

"Today's changes will strengthen our ability to leverage the expertise and experience of our team and to ensure that we will work and act on behalf of all Canadians," Dion told a news conference in Ottawa. 

Dion said he made the changes in preparation for a new session of Parliament which will begin with a throne speech next Tuesday. 

The Liberal leader would not offer any specific details about what  the Liberals want to see in the throne speech and would not say whether his party would support or reject it. 

Votes on the throne speech and two opposition amendments to it are all confidence votes which could result in a federal election if all three opposition parties vote against the government. 

"Once we have heard next week's throne speech we will assess how well it addresses what Canada needs," Dion said. 

Both the Bloc and the NDP have sent the signal that they will vote against the throne speech and it is up to the Liberals to prop up the minority Conservative government. 

There has been some speculation that the Liberal MPs could abstain from voting on the throne speech to ensure it passes, but last week Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that all legislation that comes out of the throne speech will be confidence matters. 

Dion said his party does not want an election, but will give the Conservatives a "fight they will regret having started" if an election does happen. 

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