OTTAWA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, whose foreign minister resigned abruptly last week, on Monday appointed Defence Minister Rob Nicholson as his replacement.
In an official statement, Harper also announced that Employment Minister Jason Kenney - one of the heavyweights inside the party - would take over at defense.
Former foreign minister John Baird quit last Tuesday, saying he wanted to do something else after 20 years in politics. Well-placed sources though said there had been increasing tensions with Harper's office over policy issues such as sanctions on Russia. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)