Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Harper's "New" Cabinet

Just in case you didn't know:

Stephen Harper - Prime Minister

Jim Flaherty - Finance
John Baird - Foreign Affairs
Tony Clement - Treasury Board
Peter MacKay - Defense
Rob Nicholson - Justice
Jason Kenney - Immigration
James Moore - Canadian Heritage
Leona Aglukkaq - Health
Peter Kent - Environment
Lisa Raitt - Labour
Christian Paradis - Agriculture
Keith Ashfield - Fisheries and Oceans
Gail Shea - Revenue
Maxime Bernier - Small Business
Vic Toews - Public Safety
Rona Ambrose - Public Works and Gov't Services; Status of Women
Bev Oda - International Co-operation
Peter Penashue - Intergovernmental Affairs
Dénis Lebel - Transport
Ed Fast - International Trade
Joe Oliver - Natural Resources

Some thoughts: first, Harper clearly doesn't give a shit about the whole Bev Oda scandal, keeping her in the same role and as a convenient patsy, nor does he care about the Status of Women file, letting Ambrose keep it as her pet hobby.

The cabinet itself is very Ontario-centric, especially as you get into the higher-ups, with Flaherty, Clement, Baird, and Nicholson all holding the major roles in Harper's cabinet, specifically his high-priority roles that deal with spending, crime, and Canada's image abroad. In that grouping, MacKay and Toews are really the only ones who aren't from Ontario.

And then Joe Oliver, who beat down Joe Volpe in Eglinton-Lawrence, comes into cabinet, giving Toronto some representation. What's sad to see though is the fact that Harper decided not to give any Peel region representation, despite some relatively strong faces in Parm Gill and Stella Ambler. I think this is a bad decision on Harper's part right off the bat; Peel went for the Conservatives in a big way, giving them 9 seats in total, all but a couple with large margins; Toronto's inner-city ridings were a lot closer than any of the Peel ridings. Maybe there's merit in the idea of shoring up support in the city, but not giving due where it's due in Peel isn't very nice. Even Halton has Raitt to wave around.

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