New Brunswick: 2
British Columbia: 5
Nova Scotia: 1
Prince Edward Island: 1
Newfoundland and Labrador: 0
New Brunswick: 2
British Columbia: 5
Nova Scotia: 1
Prince Edward Island: 1
Newfoundland and Labrador: 0
9:52AM: Rob Nicholson, Gail Shea, Leona Aglukkaq, Peter Kent and Peter van Loan, Chuck Strahl show up to Rideau Hall
9:52AM: And Christian Paradis, Jim Prentice. CTV has speculated Prentice to environment.
9:54AM: John Baird has arrived.
9:55AM: Some MPs showing up in Blue Line cabs, some in airport cabs, some in their own cars.
9:55AM: Rona Ambrose shows up. Rumour is she’ll move to HRSDC.
10:00AM: Lynne Yelich is at Rideau Hall and Stockwell Day
10:01AM: James Moore arrives
10:03AM: Rahim Jaffer has shown up. Probably to support his newlywed wife Helena Guergis.
10:06AM: Jim Flaherty arrives with wife Christine Elliot.
10:08AM: The Prime Minister’s motorcade makes its way up to Rideau Hall.
10:16AM: Rumour is that Jason Kenney is moving to Citizenship and Immigration. You heard it here first.
10:25AM: Cabinet embargo about to end. Should have the list up soon.
10:31AM: Other MPs at Rideau Hall: Bev Oda, Peter MacKay, Keith Ashfield, Gary Lunn, Chuck Strahl, Gordon O’Conner, Tony Clement, Gerry Ritz, Stephen Fletcher, and Lawrence Cannon.
10:40AM: Here we go. Here comes cabinet into the hall.
10:44AM: Nicholson stays in Justice, no surprise there.
10:45AM: Greg Thompson at Veterans Affairs, Chuck Strahl at INAC, Vic Toews at Treasury Board
10:48AM: Bev Oda at CIDA, Flaherty at Finance, Gerry Ritz at Agriculture
10:50AM: Jean-Pierre Blackburn to Revenue. Aglukkaq to Health. Finley to HRSRC.
10:55AM: Raitt to NRCan, Day to International Trade and Asia-Pacific Gateway.
10:55AM: Ambrose to Labour.
10:58AM: Prentice to environment. The could be to negotiate new regs with the provinces when it comes to GHG emissions. Alberta will need to sit down with the federal government soon to finalize the new regulations for the oil and gas sector.
11:00AM: Baird goes to Transport/Infrastructure.
11:01AM: Cannon goes to Foreign Affairs.
11:02AM: Tony Clement goes to Industry.
11:05AM: Josee Verner to intergovernmental affairs.
11:05AM: Jay Hill to House Leader.
11:05AM: PVL to Public Safety.
11:07AM: Jason Kenney to Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
11:08AM: Christian Paradis to Public Works.
11:09AM: James Moore to Heritage and Official Languages.
11:14AM: Gail Shea to Fisheries.
11:16AM: Gary Lunn to Sport.
11:17AM: Gordon O’Connor to Government Whip.
11:18AM: Helena Guergis to Status of Women.
11:19AM: Diane Ablonczy stays at Small Business.
11:20AM: Rob Merrifield to Minister of State (Transport).
11:22AM: Lynne Yelich to Western Economic Diversification.
11:24AM: Steven Fletcher to Democratic Reform.
11:27AM: Gary Goodyear to Minister of State for Science and Technology. Goodyear will work closely with Minister of Industry Tony Clement.
11:29AM: Denis Lebel to economic development for Quebec. Lebel will be the cash man for Quebec and this will help him electorally.
11:31AM: Keith Ashfield to ACOA.
11:32AM: Peter Kent to Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas).
After new ministers are sworn in at Rideau Hall they’ll be immediately driven off to Parliament Hill for the first meeting of the new cabinet in Centre Block in room 323-S.
An initiation ceremony, a rare viewing of the Hidden Agenda, and an extensive discussion of Canada’s current and projected economic footing are expected.
– Prime Minister Stephen Harper
– Flaherty to stay in Finance (confirmed by numerous people in the department)
– Baird moving (confirmed)
– Clement moving
– Guergis moving (family has flown in, and hair appointment booked early AM tomorrow apparently)
– Bernier not in cabinet
– Aglukkaq in cabinet
– Prentice staying in Industry (no indication of a move from bureaucrats or political staffers up until midnight)
– Lunn moving (family has flown in)
– Verner moving
– MacKay stays in defence
– a good number of Secretaries of State named
– Cannon in foreign affairs (heard this from a high level source on Tuesday night)
– Kenney at CIC
– Nicholson stays in Justice
– Strahl stays at INAC
– Clement in trade
– Baird in transport
– Verner to intergovernmental affairs
– Ambrose to HRSDC
– Shea or Duncan in Fisheries
– Raitt in cabinet
– James Moore promoted
Wildly and so irresponsibly speculative:
– Raitt to get NRCan (doubtful)
– Liberal crosses the floor and enters cabinet (sourced at a high level, but I don’t see it happening. Yet, a number of Liberals staffers have been confirming they’ve heard the same rumour for days)
– Rob Moore in cabinet
Tomorrow, Prime Minister Stephen Harper will name his new cabinet at Rideau Hall at 10:30am. There is a lot of speculation flowing out there and from this, I’ve been able to discern a few facts.
First, the easy facts: cabinet will be larger and have more women. Stephen Harper was returned to 24 Sussex on October 14th with an increased minority. Among the new seats gained by the Tories include a number of well-qualified women.
Second, Jim Flaherty stays in finance. In a time of global economic uncertainty, and after an election fought on stability in these times, changing the minister of finance could be seen as a bad signal to the world.
A few speculated that Helena Guergis may be retiring to the backbench. However, Guergis has told her junior ministerial staff that they’ll be employed in her office for at least the short-term future. I’ve also heard that Guergis is moving portfolios. Josee Verner is also moving portfolios.
Environment minister John Baird will also be moving portfolios now that green leader of the opposition Stephane Dion is stepping down. Baird was the go-to guy for acting as a shield for the government on tricky portfolios. He’ll move on to new responsibilities in cabinet.
As of Friday night, when most cabinet hopefuls had received their calls from the PM invited them to serve in the new cabinet, Maxime Bernier was left waiting. A few speculated that he’d return to cabinet, however, it seems that he’ll have some more time in the penalty box.
The newly minted Member of Parliament from Nunavut Leona Aglukkaq will serve in the next cabinet. Stephen Harper personally recruited the former territorial minister and has made northern sovereignty a defining issue of his Prime Ministership. Aglukkaq would be the first female Inuit to serve in federal cabinet. It is expected that she’ll become responsible for the new opportunities agency for the north.
Speculative news that I’m hearing is that Trade will be shifted from Foreign Affairs to Industry and that the Minister of Industry would also assume duties for this portfolio. Or, alternatively, trade will be under Industry bur will have a separate minister. The last election saw the defeat of Harper’s trade minister and a failure to re-offer by his foreign affairs minister.
On foreign affairs, I’m hearing that Lawrence Cannon will herd the cats at DFAIT. A french-speaking and centrist Conservative, Cannon may be Harper’s choice to head that portfolio.
In departmental news, I’m hearing that Transport and Infrastructure will be broken into two. Rookie MP Lisa Raitt may be a perfect fit for a reduced transport portfolio, while a Toronto area minister such as Peter Kent may fit the bill to shower the region with infrastructure development money. UPDATE: A bureaucrat that has seen the briefing books for Transport’s next minister says that infrastructure is still part of Transport’s mandate.
Will there be another Liberal defection to cabinet? I’m hearing yes and that it’ll be from Quebec (I’d categorize this as speculative even though my high level source seemed to be certain). After the last election Vancouver MP David Emerson jumped from the Liberal ranks to sit as a Conservative cabinet minister. With a Liberal party in ruin, we may just see one or more defections tomorrow.
UPDATE: Tony Clement is now confirmed as moving from the Ministry of Health.
UPDATE: Jim Prentice is expected to stay at Industry.
UPDATE: I’m hearing that Verner is going to intergovernmental affairs.
UPDATE: Late breaking speculative gossip: Ambrose to HRSDC?
UPDATE: Hill from Whip to House Leader?
I just received this email from PMO:
June 24, 2008
Public event for Prime Minister Stephen Harper for Wednesday, June 25th is:
11:00 a.m. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper will attend a swearing-in ceremony of new Members of the Ministerial team.
1 Sussex Drive
What can we learn from this?
New cabinet ministers. Backbenchers/PSs/SecStates (more than one) getting promoted. That’s how I read the email.
At 7pm this evening, the Prime Minister announced that he received an offer of resignation of Foreign Affairs minister Maxime Bernier this afternoon and accepted it. Bernier informed the Prime Minister that he had been careless in keeping classified documents secure while he was in a relationship with Julie Couillard. The Prime Minister has emphasized that the personal relationship of Mr. Bernier wasn’t the business of the state – or of the public.
Indeed, close relations of cabinet ministers including spouses, other romantic interests or family are neither cleared for such information (rated at Top Secret or even TS:SA), and they are not vetted by those that protect the government. Essentially, keeping of department and state secrets is the role of each and every minister and Bernier has admitted an inexcusable lapse in judgment regarding the security of classified information.
The Prime Minister is to board a Challenger jet within the hour for an extended multinational European trip and the settling of this business was urgent prior to his departure. Ms. Couilliard’s interview this evening with French-language network TVA would have heightened the opposition’s tone to fever pitch and it’s no secret that all three opposition parties were to focus on asking for Mr. Bernier’s resignation over the next week and up until Parliament rises for the summer break. In resolving this matter, the government gets somewhat of a reprieve from a scandal-obsessed opposition, still hungry despite recent setbacks in their narrative as the RCMP cited no evidence in the Cadman affair and the recent absolution of the Prime Minister’s outgoing chief Ian Brodie in the NAFTA-related leak which now seems to be refocused on the Canadian embassy and consulates in the US rather than upon PMO. By clearing the deck of the Bernier issue, the Prime Minister’s office will construct a narrative of promptly dealing with issues of substance and holding the line on fabrications from the opposition.
The opposition gets a trophy today in Bernier’s resignation. The context of failed fishing trips by the Liberals will be sadly neglected by the Press Gallery; the vicious mood among a number of scribes in this town is not that Cadman and Brodie were simply fish tales, but rather the ones that got away.
Today was a bad day for Conservatives, but it represents an opportunity for the government move forward on its agenda without this distraction.
UPDATE: Here is Maxime Bernier’s letter of resignation.
The Right Honourable Stephen Harper
Room 313-S, Centre Block
This is to inform you that I am resigning my post as Minister of Foreign Affairs, effective immediately.
I informed you late this afternoon that last night I became aware that I had left behind classified government documents at a private residence.
Prime Minister, the security breach that occurred was my fault and my fault alone and I take full responsibility for my actions.
I have asked the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to conduct a thorough review of the situation.
Thank you for the trust you have shown in me. I will do everything I can to serve the government well in my capacity as Member of Parliament.
The cabinet has been shuffled.
Solberg is at Rideau Hall to accompany his good friend Chuck Strahl. Monte will not be getting a new portfolio. He will remain in HRSDC.
Monte’s pal Strahl goes to Indian Affairs. A good upgrade especially as a BC minister.
MacKay goes to defense and keeps ACOA. The higher visibility should help the Tories regain some ground in Atlantic Canada.
O’Connor to revenue. As the most obvious prediction of a portfolio change, some thought O’Connor would go to Veterens Affairs. The former defense minister now goes to a largely administrative portfolio.
Oda to international cooperation. Oda replaces Josee Verner in this portfolio. Some say she was a poor communicator in Heritage, lacking the ability to speak French, she now takes over the CIDA portfolio.
Jim Prentice goes to Industry taking over for Maxime Bernier. Prentice is said to be the hardest working minister in Harper’s cabinet and will bring his work ethic to this new portfolio.
Maxime Bernier is tapped for foreign affairs. Such a move will have both the effect of raising Bernier’s portfolio and gives Quebec a minister in a more elite department. Further, as Quebec’s Van Doos soldiers are in Afghanistan, having a good communicator in this portfolio from the province.
Josee Verner to Canadian Heritage/Women/Languages. An Oda/Vernier swap. Vernier gets promoted and Oda demoted. Verner will be well positioned to celebrate Quebec City’s 400th anniversary.
Gerry Ritz to Agriculture/Wheat Board. A promotion for the Saskatchewan MP was pretty much assured when fellow Saskatchewan MP Skelton announced her retirement. Skelton being that province’s sole representation in cabinet, her resignation created an opening for a Saskatchewan MP. I’ve heard that Ritz will press forward on market choice and fight against the Wheat Board.
And, Diane Ablonczy finally gets her due as Secretary of State for Small Business and Tourism…
…which puts a wee blotch on my cabinet prediction! I predicted that no backbencher would be promoted to cabinet. Perhaps this was an 11th hour decision?
But, as I predicted, nobody lost their job and it was a significant shuffle. Cabinet did not grow in size. Also, as predicted, Day and Baird stay in their portfolios.
Further, Bernier was shuffled, but not to defense nor finance as some predicted.
So, is this Canada’s New New Government? What are your thoughts? Does this put a new face on the Conservative government? Cheers, Jeers? Did Harper make a good shuffle today? The Globe reported that Harper would be decreasing the size of cabinet in order to prepare for an election. However, the usual knowledge is that cabinet in fact grows prior to an election to promote seats and as many faces as possible.
The Prime Minister is likely to prorogue Parliament and go ahead with a throne speech this fall. This shuffle is also timed to give ministers enough time to process their MCs and move forward before the fall. The PM will also draw thoughts from his new ministers for the expected throne speech.
Ottawa is abuzz with cabinet speculation this week as the summer starts to wind down and there’s no election in sight. Between elections, I’m told, the parliamentary press gallery’s second favourite fix is speculating how the front bench of the government will change. Since the days are hot, and while filing stories about the arctic might cool some off it is still viewed as playing into the man’s hands, and since there are only so many grumble pieces that can be written, cabinet speculation will have to do.
I’ve been chatting with a few friends and sources about the topic and here’s what I’ve deciphered with a high level of confidence.
Ottawa staffers can breathe a bit of relief (just a bit though) because while Carol Skelton is retiring from politics, no other cabinet minister will be shuffled out of cabinet. There will be promotions and demotions within the cabinet structure, but no current cabinet minister will find themselves without a chauffeured car next week. Thus, contrary to some reports, Oda will remain in cabinet.
On the flipside, no back-bencher is to be promoted to cabinet this time around.
Therefore, besides Skelton, the cabinet will neither grow nor shrink.
The shuffle within cabinet itself will be substantial enough that it’ll make a few headlines. I previously speculated (but didn’t write) that a shuffle could be quite surgical and we’d see a trading of two or three portfolios without making other waves, but now I’m hearing that there will be more than a few ministers with new titles. The government might say that such a switch affords new experience to already very capable ministers. Most of us might acknowledge this while recognizing that some fine tuning is due.
Specifically, Maxime Bernier may be shuffled out of Industry (not entirely sure about this) but I can say with certainty that he will not be shuffled into defence or finance.
Security minister Stockwell Day will stay in his current portfolio as most Hill people (including press) have found him to be very capable in his current role.
John Baird is also staying in environment.
I can also say with a certain degree of confidence that there will be a throne speech this fall and that the government is not likely to be shocking the country’s system with a brand new set of priorities as there is a lot of the current agenda that still needs attention.
Yesterday, I reported at 1:30pm that no cabmin would lose their job and that cabinet would grow. Craig Oliver broke the news in the MSM about 8.5 hours later on CTV nightly newscast.
I’ve been tapping many contacts and will confidently predict that one of my minor predictions yesterday was actually wrong. Yesterday, I predicted that there wouldn’t be any growth from Alberta in cabinet.
Today, I can confidently predict that we will see Alberta get more representation in cabinet.
The Toronto Star is reporting that Wajid Khan is going to be appointed to cabinet this morning. My friends at CTV say that they won’t touch that speculation. Good for CTV, I’ve just heard that Wajid Khan will not be joining Harper’s cabinet this morning.
UPDATE 10:22am: Ontario MP Guergis in cabinet.
UPDATE 10:22am: Quebec MP Paradis in cabinet.
UPDATE 10:23am: Saskatchewan MP Ritz in cabinet.
UPDATE 10:26am: Jaffer arrived with Guergis. Speculation: Is Jaffer the the new Alberta representation?
UDPATE 10:30am: Confirmed by Ambrose. She’s out of the environment portfolio.
UPDATE: New jobs: Ambrose (intergovernmental affairs?), Baird (environment?), Solberg, Kenney (in cabinet), Toews (treasury board?), Finley, Van Loan, Jay Hill (in cabinet).
Official news: Nicholson goes to Justice and Attorney General, Lebreton gets Sec. of State (seniors), Solberg goes to Human Resources and Social Development, Toews goes to Treasury Board, Finley goes to Citizenship and Immigration, Ambrose goes to Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Privy Council, Van Loan goes to House Leader, Baird goes to Environment, Hill gets Sec. of State, Guergis gets Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Sport, Kenney gets Sec of State for Multiculturalism, Paradis gets Sec of State for Agriculture, Ritz gets Sec of State for Small Business and Tourism.