Thursday, January 04, 2007

Jack Layton joins Harper cabinet

Actually, no he didn't. Just kidding. There were no surprises of Emersonian or Fortierian proportions in the swearing-in of Stephen Harper's new cabinet this morning at Rideau Hall.

I'll leave a listing and evaluation of all the moves and new faces to others, and just share some random observations.

*Well, a year later and it still sucks to be James Moore, doesn't it? Still no cabinet or even sub-cabinet job for the hard-working, talented and popular Vancouver area MP, not even as a thanks for a year of carrying the unelected, unaccountable Minister Fortier's water in the House.

*Alas, Vic Toews moves from justice to treasury board, which means I won't be able to make anymore snarky remarks about the justice minister being no stranger to the justice system. Booo!

*Clearly Harper is trying to make it clear Rona Ambrose's move isn't a demotion by giving her Intergovernmental Affairs, responsibility for Western Economic Diversification, and president of the Queen's Privy Council. Then again, Steve-O didn't exactly keep Michael Chong in the loop when he had that job.

*Speaking of Rona, here's a candidate for whopper spin of the year from Conservative spinner Tim Powers, on CPAC, speaking of Ambrose:

"She suffered from being too honest at times."

Yeah Tim, her big issue wasn't incompetence. It was her bureaucrats constantly having to correct the overly honest testimony she gave to the environment committee and her overly honest representations in QP.

*Jason Kenny as secretary of state for Multiculturalism and the Canadian Identity? Jason-Freakin-Kenny? Someone on the CPAC panel (can't tell who, the video was on Rideau Hall) quite loudly snickered when that one was announced. The media members of the panel found that one shocking; even Tim Powers walked a fine line, saying:

"You generally know where Jason stands, I think it's fair to say that."

We know where Jason stands on science fiction magazines, for example.

*The consensus seems to be Gerry Ritz as secretary of state for small business and a tourism is a reward for his great work for the Conservative Party. A reward that comes with a salary increase courtesy the Canadian taxpayer too.

*Overall this has to be characterized as a fairly major shuffle, with eight cabinet members changing responsibilities and five joining the junior cabinet as secretaries of state. It's a clear admission by Harper that he had to make changes to get his government back on track. It's also a cabinet that seems designed to govern for a while, which would seem to argue against an election in the near-turn. Of course, Harper has confounded the conventional wisdom many times before, so who the heck knows.

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Anonymous said...


I don't know where to put this since no one is talking about it - but I was wondering if you could do a piece about the CA-MRSA superbug the CBC has been talking about and encourage other bloggers to raise awareness as a civic duty (non-partisan). It is appropriate anyway since it is flu season and people are inside in cramped quarters at work and at home and more likely to be spreading bugs.

The medical community has talked to the CBC about this because they want people to improve their hand-washing and other cleanliness habits to prevent this bug from getting hold in the community. Google it, check CBC for more info.

I speak up as a person with a seriously compromised immune system. I have become very aware of the simple fact that handwashing, sanitizing doorknobs, telephones, workspaces, public washrooms is a public RESPONSIBILTY because even the counter at your local MacDonalds can be lethal to me and a source for flu germs for you and your family.

If the blogs could take this up (perhaps using the 'tag, you're it thing'and call for the public to take personal responsibilty for their own hygiene, to ask the boss for a tbsp of bleach in the dishwater in the staffroom and for antiseptic wipes for doorknobs and countertops, we could all enjoy better health and we may save the life of someone like me.

Thanks for considering it and taking my comment at least.

In closing, please WASH YOUR HANDS after reading this message, and when you go home tonite, take out your sports equipment and your child's gear and thoroughly clean them and make a pact with yourself to do so after every game or practice.


petroom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
wilson said...

The last conference Dion had, with the economy crowd if I remember correctly, was CLOSED TO THE MEDIA.

That's right, Dion muzzled the media, and hardly a peep was heard.

Anonymous said...

You forgot or didn't notice Jeff, Harper has given another (junior) cabinet position to an "unelected" person - Marjorie LaBrereton.

Why is this old gal getting so much kudos anyway? Patronage perhaps because she was "so loyal" to Mulroney? Hmmmm...

She worships Mulroney so much I have to wonder if it's a secret crush or something. She's also a kind of a gossip/backstabbing sort - I remember her talking to Mike Duffy about Belinda Stronach and could contain herself in putting the girl down.

I have to say I thought Rona looked relieved and almost giddy - I bet she's glad she's off that file.

James Moore is one of the "very" few in respect in Harper's government and I have to wonder why he's leaving him out - suspicious I'd say.

Jeff said...

Harper has given another (junior) cabinet position to an "unelected" person - Marjorie LaBrereton

She was already in the cabinet as government leader in the Senate, who is always a defacto cabinet member. They're not usually entrusted with responsibility for a major portfolio though. I don't see her getting the SS gig as a big deal.

Jeff said...

The last conference Dion had, with the economy crowd if I remember correctly, was CLOSED TO THE MEDIA.

Must be why I read so much press coverage of the event. And blog coverage too. Odd, that.

petroom said...

hehe, I just got my Dion kick for the day. He gave a lovely news conference. Glad that someone asked a question (Wells?) about the new Justice Minister.

I missed the first part of the new conference, but caught most of the questions... thanks CPAC for not putting it live online fast enough!