By Aaron Wherry - Friday, July 6, 2012 - 0 Comments
Lee Berthiaume tries to figure out why Peter MacKay is still the Defence Minister.
Whether Harper decided to leave MacKay untouched because of his importance to the party, his ties to the Atlantic region, because he’d done a good job or to prove a point is a matter of sharp debate. What is not is MacKay’s record for emerging unscathed when the consensus among pundits and experts seems to be his time has come.
“None of this has been an easy ride for Peter MacKay,” said author Bob Plamondon, who has written several books about the Conservative Party. “But it’s a testament to his resilience that he’s been able to take these hits.”
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 5:20 PM - 0 Comments
PM Harper tells Rutherford no Cabinet shuffle until midterm; I guess no limo for me anytime soon!! Lol.
Meanwhile, Global has obtained Bev Oda’s limo invoices.
The invoices requested under Access to Information were released on Wednesday, a day after Oda retired from politics and more than a week after the department told Global News no such records exist. The department later backtracked and promised to hand over all records of Oda’s limo and car rental expenses since August 2007.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, July 5, 2012 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Speaking with AM770 in Calgary today—about halfway through the 10am slot here—the Prime Minister added prorogation to the list of things that likely won’t be happening before Parliament returns in the fall.
To be honest, I thought about doing that, but some time ago I made a decision that I probably wouldn’t do it. I didn’t see any reason to do it right now. We’ve still got a number of pieces of legislation we do want to pass. And I think what I’m more likely to do, Dave, is probably in mid-term, we’ll probably have a new session mid-term, when we’ll take a look at how everybody’s performing and make some major changes at that point. But I think between now and then, let’s keep everybody focused on the job we got elected to do and the tasks I gave them to do last year.
He included a cabinet shuffle in that mid-term reset. That would seemingly put the government on schedule for a prorogation and cabinet shuffle in the summer of 2013.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 5:17 PM - 0 Comments
Per the announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Julian Fantino moves to International Cooperation to replace Bev Oda and Bernard Valcourt becomes the associate minister of defence, replacing Mr. Fantino at that spot.
And per this tweet from the Prime Minister’s director of communications, that’s it.
So much for all that cabinet speculation.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, July 4, 2012 at 9:00 AM - 0 Comments
First, courtesy of Joanna Smith, the airing of grievances.
While she is credited with bringing more muscular oversight and focus to the department that doles out foreign aid money to help the world’s most vulnerable populations, she also ran roughshod over young Conservative aides and bureaucrats, one former government official said. She berated civil servants in meetings in full view of their peers, pressured political staff to delay or obscure the mandatory publication of her ministerial expenses and regularly smoked cigarettes in her office, in violation of provincial laws, the former official added. “She just ignored all the rules. Ignored everything. Fire hazards. Nothing. Just smoking away. Her staff would go off the deep end.”
John Ivison finds similar complaints, but praises her larger accomplishments.
“It is an inglorious end to an inglorious career, announced on a website in the middle of summer,” said one of her former staff members. Ms. Oda had one of the highest staff turnovers of any minister and people who have worked with her said she could be obnoxious and rude. Yet no one denies she could also be effective. Working with a like-minded CIDA president in Margaret Biggs, Ms. Oda deconstructed the agency and sought to break the stranglehold of the non-governmental organizations, who had long dictated where Canada’s aid was spent.
CP recalls the first gaffe.
She entered politics by wresting the suburban Toronto riding of Durham from the Liberals in 2004 and was rewarded with increased pluralities in subsequent elections. She found herself appointed to Harper’s first cabinet in 2006 and quickly landed in her first controversy: the newly appointed heritage minister allowed a broadcasting executive to organize and advertise a fundraiser, even though she now oversaw policies that affected the industry. Only after the media and the NDP raised the apparent conflict of interest did Oda pull out of the event and the cheques were returned to donors. The gaffe happened at the same time as the Conservatives were pushing through the Federal Accountability Act.
The Globe says Ms. Oda was told she would be removed from the international development portfolio. Postmedia considers the coming cabinet shuffle. And Susan Delacourt considers how ministers are dispensed with.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at 12:32 PM - 0 Comments
Today, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda announced that she advised the Prime Minister two weeks ago that she will be stepping down as the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Durham effective on July 31, 2012.
First elected in 2004, Beverley Oda was named as the official opposition critic for Canadian Heritage. In 2006, she was named as the Minister for Canadian Heritage in the newly elected Conservative government. She was then named as the Minister for International Cooperation in 2007. Minister Oda is the longest serving Minister responsible for CIDA, the Canadian government‘s agency responsible for its international aid and development efforts.
“For over eight years, it has been an honor and privilege to have served the constituents in Clarington, Scugog and Uxbridge. As the Minister for International Cooperation, I have had the opportunity to witness the hardships of the worlds most vulnerable peoples and have witnessed the great compassion of Canadians for those in need,“ said Bev Oda. “I am grateful for the support of my staff and colleagues in the House of Commons and Senate. I wish to express my appreciation to the Prime Minister and his Cabinet for their outstanding leadership.“
Archived coverage of Ms. Oda’s eventful time in cabinet is here.
The Prime Minister has released a statement in response. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, June 22, 2012 at 1:33 PM - 0 Comments
The only thing more fun than a cabinet shuffle is speculating about a cabinet shuffle. The Star, Huffington Post, CBC and Postmedia have your first guesses, including mentions of Peter MacKay, Bev Oda, Julian Fantino, Christian Paradis, John Duncan, Peter Kent, Vic Toews, Maxime Bernier, Denis Lebel, Rob Nicholson, Jason Kenney, James Moore, John Baird, Chris Alexander, Michelle Rempel, Candice Hoeppner, Kellie Leitch, James Rajotte and Greg Rickford.
That leaves just 144 Conservatives (excluding the Prime Minister) left to be speculated about between now and whenever Mr. Harper goes to Rideau. Actually, 145 if you include the stuffed dog that participated in last week’s C-38 vote marathon.
By Aaron Wherry - Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 11:31 AM - 3 Comments
Tonda MacCharles profiles the new Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
The remarkable journey of Innu leader Peter Penashue—the first First Nations person to achieve a full-fledged position at the federal cabinet table—began with sobriety. As a young man, Penashue battled twin demons common in his native Labrador Naskapi Indian community. Sexually abused as a youth by a priest from Ontario, he drank too much, and despaired that things would ever change.
At 26, Penashue woke up “really hung-over” and alone on his son’s sixth birthday. He had a moment of clarity. Nothing would change for his family unless he did. The father of four set out to do just that.
By Erica Alini - Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 5:31 PM - 11 Comments
Maxime Bernier notes his cabinet appointment.
Small businesses, including those in Canada’s tourism sector, are the backbone of our economy. Entrepreneurship and economic development are topics that I have felt passionately about for a very long time. My native region, the Beauce, is often described as the kingdom of small businesses. I am thus very happy to play a role in our new government with the goal of maintaining the best environment possible so that Canada’s small businesses continue to prosper.
It should be noted that as a minister, I am like all my colleagues bound by cabinet solidarity and my public declarations must reflect the government’s positions. I therefore have less scope than I had as a simple MP to express my ideas and take public stands on various topics, as I did these past few years. The content of this blog will thus be a bit different from now on.
By macleans.ca - Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM - 15 Comments
Few notable changes include Baird at foreign affairs, Clement to Treasury Board
Stephen Harper pulled back the curtain on a new, slightly larger cabinet on Tuesday. Among the most notable changes are John Baird taking over for the departed Lawrence Cannon as foreign affairs minister and Tony Clement’s shift to the Treasury Board. Quebec MP Maxime Bernier is back in cabinet after a long exile and was named minister of state for small business. Small changes aside, Harper’s cabinet looks mostly like the old one: Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is staying put, as are Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, Human Resources Minister Diane Finley, International Co-operation Minister Bev Oda, Agricultural Minister Gerry Ritz, Environment Minister Peter Kent, Labour Minister Lisa Raitt and Heritage Minister James Moore. In all, membership in cabinet grew by one to 39, tying it with Brian Mulroney’s as the largest in Canadian history.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, May 18, 2011 at 10:43 AM - 65 Comments
Welcome to live coverage of this morning’s cabinet shuffle, wherein we find out which backbenchers we have to pretend to take more seriously for the next little while.
There’s been a steady stream of Conservatives arriving at Rideau Hall and the Prime Minister is due shortly. So far we seem only to know for sure that John Baird will be the next Foreign Affairs Minister. Presumably he will be counted on to bluster away opposition criticism of the government’s international endeavours, charm foreign officials and periodically convene breathless news conferences to report the latest breathtaking developments in our make-believe war with Russia. Presumably he’ll do fine. His image problem notwithstanding.
10:45am. Our Andrew Coyne is already deeply disappointed with all of this. Follow his Twitter feed this morning to watch his head explode repeatedly.
10:52am. The Prime Minister has now arrived. The swearing in is to commence in about 20 minutes.
11:04am. CTV reports a 39-member ministry, which equals an all-time high mark. Welcome to the new era of smaller government.
By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 3:23 PM - 25 Comments
In his first news conference as a minister of state, Ted Menzies is asked to explain why the ministry is so much larger than it was when the current government first took office and proceeds to offer a number of words in response. For the sake of saving readers some time, I’ll bold the words that seem most relevant to the question.
Well, first of all, I’m honored to be part of this cabinet. Many of us have played a role, a pivotal role, many parliamentary secretaries that don’t have a seat at the cabinet table. We are in some very unique and challenging times right now and the more shoulders behind the wheel that we have, I think, will help us. There has been some many – many challenges we faced. We feel that we have done a good job. We need to stay the course and keep moving towards what Canadians have asked us to do and that is get back to balanced budgets and whether, you know, the numbers at the cabinet table — we have seen more historically in the past. I don’t think that is as big an issue as the quality that we have there, the strength in this cabinet that are working in unison, as recognized by some of the papers in the U.S. just in the last couple of days. Canada is the envy at getting our fiscal house in order, encouraging new businesses to invest. That is the important thing. We are talking about jobs here today. The more we can do to encourage jobs in Canada, I think the better off we will all be.
Our Andrew Coyne notes that Mackenzie King made it through his challenging times with a ministry of 17. More recently, when Mr. Harper became Prime Minister he named a 27-member ministry (with 26 parliamentary secretaries). He now has a 38-member ministry (with 25 parliamentary secretaries).
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 5:08 PM - 20 Comments
The Liberals and NDP are both taking issue with the size of Mr. Harper’s cabinet and ministry (though previously two separate things, Mr. Harper doesn’t make any distinction). As noted below, it is once more one of the largest in this nation’s history—including the Prime Minister, the government House leader, the leader of the government in the Senate, 24 ministers and 11 ministers of state.
When Mr. Harper unveiled a ministry of 32 in February 2006, he said “the structure is designed to promote accountable, efficient and effective government—more focus and purpose; less process and cost.”
In an interview with the Toronto Star at the time, Derek Burney, chief of Mr. Harper’s transition team, projected the reduction from Paul Martin’s set-up—cabinet of 33, ministry of 39—would save between $15 and $20-million per year. The Star’s report after the jump. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 2:39 PM - 25 Comments
Peter Kent goes from Minister of State for Foreign Affairs to Minister of Environment. Diane Ablonczy goes from Minister of State for Seniors to Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. Julian Fantino becomes Minister of State for Seniors. Ted Menzies goes from parliamentary secretary for finance to Minister of State for Finance.
With the promotion of Mr. Menzies and the addition of Mr. Fantino, the ministry and the cabinet will once again number 38—one short, on both counts, of the historical high mark.
Official news release after the jump. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 4, 2011 at 1:58 PM - 11 Comments
Julian Fantino has just arrived at Rideau Hall for today’s cabinet shuffle. At last report he had no idea what was going on.
“I actually don’t know,” he told QMI Agency. “I know there is an announcement but what it is has not been shared with me so far.”
He was followed soon thereafter by Ted Menzies, who was followed soon thereafter by Diane Ablonczy. The primary question now, assuming he is bound for cabinet, is which historical moment or achievement should Mr. Fantino invoke to explain the significance of this day? After the jump, a quick poll. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Friday, August 6, 2010 at 10:37 AM - 0 Comments
We interrupt this vacation to note that the Prime Minister is on television explaining that Parliament depends on the “maturity and wisdom” of its members.
So John Baird fills Jay Hill’s spot as government house leader, Chuck Strahl fills Baird’s spot at Transport and John Duncan fills Strahl’s spot at Indian Affairs.
As Transport Minister John Baird not only handled questions on the federal stimulus program, he took the Prime Minister’s questions when Mr. Harper was absent from QP and defended other ministers (Helena Guergis, par exemple) when the questions became too incessantly uncomfortable. Continue…
By Aaron Wherry - Monday, March 15, 2010 at 12:38 PM - 58 Comments
Anonymous senior Conservatives are apparently agitating for Helena Guergis to be swiftly dispatched to the furthest reaches of the government backbenches. Make of this what you will.
Keep in mind that, if memory serves, no minister in the Harper government has been outright fired or banished. Michael Chong resigned as minister of intergovernmental affairs in opposition to the Quebecois motion. Maxime Bernier resigned after misplacing his briefs. Various ministers perceived to be underperforming (Gordon O’Connor, Rona Ambrose, Lisa Raitt) have been moved to less-prominent portfolios, but only in the context of a cabinet shuffle. No one, if I recall correctly, has ever been outright and unambiguously fired.
By macleans.ca - Friday, January 22, 2010 at 5:55 PM - 0 Comments
This week’s newsmakers
Britain’s royal family doesn’t travel lightly, but not always by choice. Just look at the swag Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, the duchess of Cornwall, collected on their recent Canadian tour. The list of books, jams, and teapots, recently catalogued on the Prince of Wales’s website, tops out at more than 100 items. It includes his and hers BlackBerries from the premier of Ontario and a bottle of “Victoria gin” from the mayor of Victoria. Meanwhile, Prince William, who visits Australia this week, was asked to help recover the missing skull of Aboriginal warrior Pemulwuy, who was shot dead in 1802 and whose head was sent to England in a glass jar. Elder Michael Mundine says the prince will appreciate the importance of the request because he “has his mother’s heart.”
The manly art of cabinetry
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s larger-than-expected cabinet shuffle Tuesday didn’t advance the thin ranks of women. Lisa Raitt (she of the “sexy” isotope shortage) is bumped from the natural resources portfolio to labour. Rona Ambrose leaves low-profile labour for the giant public works department. Diane Ablonczy becomes minister of state for seniors, going from the equally obscure small business and tourism. Marjory LeBreton remains government leader in the Senate. Expect Harper to give her a Tory majority there to push through his agenda.
Yup, still crazy
Mehmet Ali Agca, 52, the man who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, emerged from a Turkish prison Monday and checked into a five-star hotel. In typical bizarre fashion he called himself the “Christ eternal,” proclaimed the coming “end of the world,” and angled for a huge book deal to tell his story. Agca has never revealed why he tried to kill the pope, or if he was acting alone.
Putting the hate in Haiti
U.S. President Barack Obama’s rapid response to the earthquake in Haiti won praise from former president George W. Bush, but it isn’t playing well with America’s extreme right. Radio host Rush Limbaugh said Obama is using the crisis to “burnish” his image “in both the light-skinned and dark-skinned black community in this country.” He also advised against donating to the Red Cross relief fund through a link on the White House website, claiming donors could end up on Obama’s mailing list. Meantime, evangelist and former nominee for the Republican presidential ticket, Pat Robertson, said Haiti suffers because its people made an 18th-century pact with the devil to free themselves from French rule. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs labelled both comments “stupid.”
Fore, and after
Golfer John Daly is a shadow of his former self. The hard-living 44-year-old has lost 116 lb., about the poundage of some women playing the LPGA circuit. Daly credits lap-band surgery, an implanted balloon that constricts the stomach. The results are so striking no one recognized him as he tried to enter a recent party after a pro-am event in Honolulu, where he was serving as host. “If I weighed 300 lb. and had four chins, I’d have no problem getting in,” he said. Fans can share Daly’s attempt to get his life and his game on track. His comeback is the subject of a reality show, Being John Daly, premiering on the Golf Channel in March.
It was an assignment to cover an Elvis convention that hooked Delta, B.C., photographer Brian Howell on the wacky world of celebrity impersonators. From there, the frequent Maclean’s contributor travelled North America searching out faux Mick Jaggers, Johnny Depps, Marilyn Monroes and a southern-fried Colonel Sanders. His exploration of celebrity obsession resulted in a photo book, Fame Us, and now a portrait exhibition at Vancouver’s Windsor Gallery. One who escaped his notice is Annette Edwards. The 57-year-old British great-grandmother spent $16,000 on surgeries to replicate the look of slinky Jessica from the animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. “I just think she’s a very sexy cartoon,” she said.
Guess who’s a big soccer fan?
It’s been years since predominantly Muslim Egypt ﬁelded a World Cup-qualifying soccer team, and coach Hassan Shehata seeks the glory of a higher power. “Pious behaviour” is essential to selection on his team. “I strive to make sure that those who wear the Egypt jersey are on good terms with God,” says Shehata. Speaking of which, a near miracle played out on the cricket pitch in New Zealand. Canada earned its first ever World Cup cricket win Friday, defeating Zimbabwe at the under-19 World Cup. “This is the start of hopefully a great future for Canadian cricket,” said team captain Rustam Bhatti.
Heck of a yard sale
Disgraced Montreal money manager Earl Jones, 67, pleaded guilty Friday to defrauding his clients of $50 million over 30 years. Both defence and prosecution are recommending an 11-year sentence, although the 67-year-old will likely serve only a fraction of that behind bars. Jones’s clients face a lifetime of poverty. A charitable assistance fund is spending $5,000 a week in temporary assistance to help 50 seniors whose savings were wiped out. They may see a small share of their money after the sale of four properties previously held by the high-living Jones and his wife—and their contents. A long list of possessions from their Dorval condo, including golf clubs, a golf cart and a Rolex watch, are being auctioned off.
An offer she didn’t refuse
Jackie Collins, the 72-year-old British author of such steamy novels as Hollywood Wives, knows of what she writes. She told U.S. tabloid The Globe she had a fling with actor Marlon Brando when she was just 15. She was attending a Hollywood party with her older sister, actress Joan Collins, when Brando, then about 29, pitched his woo by proxy. “He sent someone over to say, ‘Marlon thinks you’re great-looking and have a great body and would like to meet you,’ ” Collins said. “We had a very brief but fabulous affair. He was at the height of his fame, and gorgeous.” Brando, who died in 2004, could have faced a Roman Polanski-style world of pain had the affair been made public.
Don’t ask me, I’m just the biographer
Rocker Ozzy Osbourne has released I Am Ozzy, his autobiography— or the bits he remembers. As he notes in his introduction: “Other people’s memories of the stuff in this book might not be the same as mine. I ain’t gonna argue with ’em. Over the past 40 years I’ve been loaded on booze, coke, acid, Quaaludes, glue, cough mixture, heroin, Rohypnol, Klonopin, Vicodin, and too many other heavy-duty substances to list in this footnote . . . I’m not the f–king Encyclopedia Britannica, put it that way. What you read here is what dribbled out of the jelly I call my brain when I asked it for my life story.”
Her father’s development of the Frisbee and hula hoop made Elena Marano a wealthy woman, but her ex-husband Peter Marano’s investment in the yo-yo market of London commercial real estate has cost her $8.4 million. Marano is appealing in a British court a settlement requiring her to pay her ex’s real estate losses. He already got an equal share of their $32 million in assets when the 20-year marriage ended in 2007. She claimed her ex’s property portfolio has since rebounded, in a case of “boom, bust and boom again.”
No head games
Just weeks ago Patrice Cormier was the plucky pride of Canada as captain of the national junior team. On Monday, the 19-year-old Rouyn-Noranda Huskies forward was suspended indeﬁnitely by the Quebec hockey league for nailing Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts with an elbow to the head. Tam lost teeth, and went into convulsions. It’s the second ugly head-shot in a week to earn a suspension. On Thursday Zach Kassian of the Windsor Spitfires concussed Matt Kennedy of the Barrie Colts.
Jack Benny goes back in the vault
It’s been almost 35 years since the death of comedian Jack Benny, but his international fan club carries on—or tries to. These days, it is spitting mad at CBS. The network had discovered 25 original Benny TV shows long thought lost. The fan club offered to pay to digitize the tapes, which date from the 1950s, and Benny’s family approved the release. But CBS announced it won’t release the prized shows from its archives; there are “issues” blocking their release. Benny received similar shoddy treatment when the network cancelled his show in 1964, says club president Laura Leff. “Sadly, 46 years later, CBS has repeated the sentiment by condemning these shows to permanent silence.” M
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:28 AM - 31 Comments
While most everyone else seems to be using that dreaded word to describe Lisa Raitt’s situation, here is the official line.
Harper said Raitt “has a great future, and I think this move will give her a little more varied experience in government.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 19, 2010 at 11:11 AM - 22 Comments
Conventional perception seems to have Stockwell Day, Christian Paradis and Rona Ambrose rising, Lisa Raitt and Peter Van Loan falling. Keith Ashfield gets a promotion to cabinet, Rob Moore gets to call himself a minister of state.
By Aaron Wherry - Saturday, January 16, 2010 at 2:20 PM - 44 Comments
The Veterans Affairs Minister announces his departure from cabinet and eventual departure from politics.
“I want to leave on my own terms and with a good record,” Thompson said as he sat is his small constituency office on Milltown Boulevard in St. Stephen. ”I’m one of the few members of Parliament who never had to take back a statement, who never had to apologize, and who never insulted individuals or groups in this country. I’ve always played by the rules that I believe elected politicians should play by, and I have been always very respectful of the political process.”
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 4:55 PM - 44 Comments
CP gets to the bottom of the day’s big news.
Insiders say cabinet heavyweights, including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty and Defence Minister Peter MacKay, will stay put and no newcomers will be added … In essence, the shuffle is expected to amount to a handful of ministers swapping portfolios.
By selley - Friday, October 31, 2008 at 2:35 PM - 7 Comments
Must-reads: …Christie Blatchford on the David Frost trial; Colby Cosh on what to do
Must-reads: Christie Blatchford on the David Frost trial; Colby Cosh on what to do with murderers; Richard Gwyn on the global economy; Dan Gardner on young jihadis; Lorne Gunter on Tasers; Susan Riley on the cabinet shuffle.
Brave new world?
With Stephen Harper’s cabinet successfully shuffled, it’s time to play cards.
The Globe and Mail‘s Jeffrey Simpson seems fairly pleased by Harper’s choices, calling Steven Fletcher’s promotion “heartwarming” and well-deserved, appreciating the redeployment of Peter Van Loan and John Baird to less partisan positions and suggesting if anyone can strengthen the Conservatives’ woeful climate change plan, it’s probably Jim Prentice. His one lament is that the cabinet “contains not a single multicultural Canadian, despite the impressive Conservative gains in some of those communities.” (This seems a tad unfair to Bev Oda, we have to say.)
The National Post‘s John Ivison likens the new dream team to “a Volvo—safe and reliable but not particularly sexy,” and designed to instil confidence in its owners (i.e., Canadians). He didn’t promote anyone “beyond their level of competence or experience,” in other words, and “prudence” was the guiding principle for the major portfolios that got shuffled. Ivison doesn’t quite buy the party spin on Prentice’s appointment, however—i.e., that “his reward for having done a good job in a difficult portfolio, is another difficult portfolio.” He’s “said to be unhappy with the move,” for one thing, and “reduce[ing] emissions without harming the energy industry” is less “difficult” than it is “impossible.” Ivison still believes Prentice’s leadership ambitions, or Harper’s perceptions thereof, played a role.
By selley - Tuesday, October 28, 2008 at 3:08 PM - 4 Comments
Must-reads: Don Macpherson on Mario Dumont; …Murray Campbell on how politicians shouldn’t deal with
Shuffling towards liberty
Who will be in Stephen Harper’s new cabinet? And will they be allowed to speak?
Sun Media’s Greg Weston believes it’s “safe to say that [PMO communications director Kory] Teneycke has achieved more for his boss through improved relations with the national press in three months than his predecessor did in three years,” and he suspects that newfound spirit of (more) openness will translate into Harper’s new cabinet as well. It’s not just that the PM is softening up, of course. Part of it, an unnamed insider tells Weston, is that his ministers simply have more experience. So those who “know how to conduct themselves and their office,” in the insider’s words, will have more wiggle room. Implicit in that statement, it seems to us, is that there will still be ministers who don’t know how to conduct themselves and their offices. We can’t wait to find out who they are.
The Calgary Herald‘s Don Martin says Jim Flaherty is a lock to stay at finance and wear the goat horns for what seems sure to be a significant deficit. Continuity is a good thing in troubled times, he argues, but it’s also just desserts, since Flaherty’s the one who “whittled down the inherited Liberal surplus to where he sits now on the film of a bursting fiscal bubble.” Harper himself “is notorious for calling the shots,” of course, so Flaherty may not be entirely to blame. But given his “quibble-worthy performance” overall—notably slagging off Ontario repeatedly, apparently just to satisfy a personal grudge—it’s difficult to muster much sympathy for the guy.