Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided to start this week with a major Cabinet shuffle, biggest since he become PM in 2006, bringing eight new faces to the table. Reshuffled cabinet will have largest number of women ever, 12 in total, which shows that Harper wants to paint different picture about his team in the remaining two years of this term. While key players Clement, Flaherty, Baird and the House Leader Van Loan will remain in their position Harper promoted several ministers to show where his government will go in the future. This shuffle is branded as generational transition which brings in several new members, younger politicians, those who should lead party and the government in the next term.
First of all James Moore, one of the best performers in Cabinet and House of Commons, is promoted to be a new minister of industry replacing Christian Paradis. To many Paradis was lazy, inefficient and not suitable to deal with major problems as those in telecom sector which will emerge in the soon future.
Looking from British Columbia Prime Minister delivered today treat to all Conservative supporters through James Moore move to the Industry which is one of the key posts in the Cabinet. This is good move for Conservatives because they’re pretty much tied in three party race in BC, and having key minister from BC going into new election campaign will play significant role in getting larger support.
Second surprise to everybody was that Harper decided to move Jason Kenny to the portfolio of Employment and Social Development. As the minister of Immigration Kenny did an excellent job dealing with many problems especially with enormous backlog created in the past. Now he will play key role in delivering job promises and supporting Minister of Finance Flaherty on his budget promises in this area.
New Immigration minister is one of the Canada’s most experienced young diplomats Chris Alexander who was after last election in the game for position of Minister of Foreign Affairs. This is gonna be significant element for Harper because Alexander previously served as ambassador to Afghanistan, perfectly well understands problems of immigration and diplomatic relations. It is pretty sure Alexander will be one of government key spokespersons shaping new picture of where Canada will go on the issue of immigration and procedures.
Former Health Minister, Leona Aglukkaq, will take over Environment Ministry in which she’s gonna need to work on some very challenging projects, ideas and problems. Her colleague Lisa Raitt, minister who has been a solid performer in House of Commons and in the Labour job, moves to transport, which could be a hotspot in the aftermath of the Quebec train disaster. Her potential problem could be that she’s not bilingual, but everybody believes she’ll deliver expected results.
Good work in media and defence of governmental stand in Duffy/Wright affair landed new Cabinet position to Calgary MP Michelle Rempel. Her new position is the Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and will go perfectly well with her experiences in economics and consulting. She’s the youngest minister in this Cabinet, 33 years of age, which sends strong message to younger generations.
Following Cabinet shuffle ceremony Prime Minister Harper started with message to Lac Mégantic people in regard their recent tragedy sending strong message of support and promising help from the federal government. Describing his new Cabinet he branded it as the strong team of new faces, mixture of experience and young political forces focused on economy, jobs, security, new markets and Canada’s security on the sea. In his words this is a new strong and stable government which is on the track to deliver balanced budget while keeping current tax policies. He praised number of women in his team, their multidisciplinary abilities and hardworking as significant addition to his team.
What was missing from PM’s press conference was a concrete date of Speech from the Throne in fall when Parliament is suppose to come back, and lack of new ideas which Conservatives will unveil on their Convention which is scheduled for October 2013. Convention delay was caused by severe floods in recent weeks and damages to major convention amenities in Calgary.
One of the key events on Monday was Cabinet Shuffle announcement over the social media in real time as each Minister was arriving to the Rideau Hall. Previously names we’re tightly kept secret until the ceremony starts but now PM Harper decided to change it and to make whole process more active, live and available to Canadians and media.
Social media is truly changing a world of politics, and I’m pleased to see that Canadian government is friendly to it at this point, hope they’ll continue working more in this area. I could even say that Tony Clement who’s one of the most active politicians on social media is one of the reasons why Harper’s team at PMO decided to use this tool to communicate with public.
Opposition as it was expected didn’t saw anything special or interesting in the Cabinet shuffle. So Justin Trudeau come out to say that “the only minister with any power in this cabinet is the Prime Minister. Today’s shuffle does nothing to change that.”
A list of all ministers in Stephen Harper 2013 Cabinet:
The Right Honourable Stephen Joseph Harper, Prime Minister
The Honourable Bernard Val court, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson, Minister of National Defence
The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health
The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services
The Honourable John Baird, Minister of Foreign Affairs
The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board
The Honourable James Michael Flaherty, Minister of Finance
The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
The Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of Employment and Social Development
The Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
The Honourable Christian Paradis , Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie
The Honourable James Moore, Minister of Industry
The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of the Environment, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic Council
The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport
The Honourable Gail Shea ,Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs
The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
The Honourable Edward Fast, Minister of International Trade
The Honourable Joe Oliver, Minister of Natural Resources
The Honourable Kerry-Lynne D. Findlay, Minister of National Revenue
The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
The Honourable Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
The Honourable Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women
The Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism, and Agriculture)
The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State (Foreign Affairs and Consular)
The Honourable Gary Goodyear , Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)
The Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
The Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State (Multiculturalism)
The Honourable Alice Wong, Minister of State (Seniors)
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
The Honourable Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)
The Honourable Pierre Poilievre, Minister of State (Democratic Reform)
The Honourable Candice Bergen, Minister of State (Social Development)
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State (Science and Technology, and Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification)