View From the Hill by Keith Beardsley – Trudeau Gov’t Does a Mini Shuffle 011419

A busy day in politics as Trudeau does a mini shuffle. Some moves were surprising, some not so much.

Kicking O’Regan out of Veterans Affairs was simply a survival move, IE save Trudeau’s buddy and put him somewhere else and hope he doesn’t screw up there as well. Personally, I think he will be just as bad in his new portfolio at Indigenous Affairs. The real question is why put a screw-up in charge of a very sensitive department?

Philpott was moved from Indigenous Affairs where she seemed to be doing quite well. One can understand the need to have a good minister at Treasury Board, but a person of her caliber could have been used elsewhere. It seems like a bit of overkill unless the PMO gang need a very capable minister in that role to handle anticipated damage and fall out from the Vice Admiral Norman court case which will be coming up right around the time of the next election. I think he should have put Philpott in the environment portfolio- one that needs a minister who can actually get things done and one of the most important portfolios if not the most important one for the Liberals in the next election.

Hard to say why he moved the Justice Minister (Wilson-Raybould) to Veterans Affairs, but at least she can’t do worse there than O’Regan and her move allows a pretty competent Parliamentary Secretary (Lametti) to move up to the Justice portfolio.

Bernadette Jordan goes to a new portfolio – Rural Economic Development. Really, this sounds like one created to impress rural ridings leading up to the next election. In the past most of these economic development portfolios were an excuse to provide representation from some provinces and an excuse to hand out cheques with lots of media fanfare- something the Liberals will need this year.

Another day on the Hill and another cabinet shuffle is over. History will judge if Butts and Trudeau got it right.

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