Ottawa ON – Not much happened in Ottawa today. The most important news for residents of this city focused on the traffic jams. Oh yes, there was a cabinet shuffle as well, but you would be excused if you missed it. Essentially Harper did a bit of tinkering around the edges, but it appears any major overhaul will have to wait until after the next election or the summer break.
Peter Kent will be the main story as he moves to the Environment portfolio. This will be a big step up for him. It remains to be seen if he has the toughness to deal with the gang in PMO and get some new environmental issues moved forward. With PMO pushing from one side and special interest groups pulling from the other, Kent will be in for a most interesting and challenging year.
Hopefully he will be able to move environmental issues forward and take some of this Albatross off of the government’s neck. Without bowing down to the disciples of climate change, there is still a lot that can be done. A more progressive agenda is needed if the party is to soften its image and attract younger voters, women and urban voters.
Ted Menzies is a welcome addition to cabinet. He has been a steady performer and he is someone who always knows his files and rarely slips up on even the tiniest details. His promotion is long overdue and while it is in a Minister of State for Finance role, it will be a good introduction to cabinet life for him.
Diane Ablonczy gets to do some traveling now as the new Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. While seen as a lateral move, it should give her a well-deserved higher profile. Ablonczy has always been a solid team player and despite being put in the penalty box for a grant that some in the party opposed, she deserves not only the higher profile but also the increased responsibilities that come with her new portfolio.
Julian Fantino also got the call and he becomes the Minister of State for Seniors. This was expected from the time he first announced he would run for the Conservatives. It is a good position to learn the ropes plus being in cabinet carries a bit of prestige and it will help him keep Vaughan in the next election. I expect after a suitable time in the junior minister role he will eventually be moved up.
There were no changes to the list of Quebec ministers which is not a surprise as who do you replace them with, its pretty slim pickings in that province.
All in all, not too exciting today.