Martin cabinet

Prime Minister Paul Martin announced his cabinet yesterday. His ministers were sworn-in at Rideau Hall.

Here is a list of the liberal cabinet ministers and their responsibilities:

Paul Martin: Prime Minister
Jack Austin: Leader of the Government in the Senate
Stephane Dion: Environment
Ralph Goodale: Finance
Anne McLellan: Deputy prime minister, public safety and emergency preparedness
Lucienne Robillard: Intergovernmental Affairs
Pierre Pettigrew: Foreign Affairs
Jim Peterson: International Trade
Ujjal Dosanjh: Health
Andy Mitchell: Agriculture
Joe Volpe: Human Resources
Claudette Bradshaw: Human Resources (minister of state)
John McCallum: Revenue
Stephen Owen: Western Economic Diversification, Sport
Bill Graham: Defence
Reg Alcock: Treasury Board
Geoff Regan: Fisheries and Oceans
Tony Valeri: House Leader
Jean Lapierre: Transport
John Godfrey: Communities and Infrastructure.
Irwin Cotler: Justice, Attorney General
David Emerson: Industry
Joe Fontana: Labour
Judy Sgro: Immigration
John Efford: Natural Resources
Liza Frulla: Heritage
Scott Brison: Public Works.
Ken Dryden: Social Development
Tony Ianno: Families and Caregivers
Andy Scott: Indian Affairs
Joe Comuzzi: Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario)
Albina Guarnieri: Veterans Affairs
Joseph McGuire: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Mauril Belanger: Deputy Leader of the Government in the House
Carolyn Bennett: Minister of State (Public Health)
Aileen Carroll: International Co-operation
Raymond Chan: Multiculturalism
Jacques Saada: Francophonie, Quebec Economic Development

Every time I look at a new Liberal cabinet, I swear that there must be about half of the liberal caucus sitting in the “front row”. There really are too many cabinet posts and many have been handed out either as a political reward or for the purpose of mending Liberal fences.

One might also find it ironic to see Scott Brison in cabinet. Not because he’s a turncoat Tory, but because he now represents the very ministry he so viciously railed against as an opposition MP.

The re-emergence of Reg Alcock is also puzzling. His declaration that the sponsorship scandal was a fraction of its actual size was a significant Liberal gaffe before the election. The civil service was also shook-up by Mr. Alcock, and by doing so, he suspended a problem rather than fixing it. The bureaucracy may not end up functioning as well as Mr. Martin may require in his minority government reality. But there he stays… Reg Alcock is the minister responsible for the Treasury Board.

The appointment of Ujjal Dosanjh to the Health portfolio moves Martin’s policy in this department to the left. Is this a pre-campaign measure to stake a clear difference on healthcare from the Conservatives?

Also, what’s Jean Lapierre doing in cabinet? Didn’t this separatist lose Quebec for the Liberals? Is he really going to help the Liberals break through in that province the next time around?

Hockey Star Ken Dryden also makes the starting line in his rookie year. Dryden is another example of how Martin is crafting a campaign cabinet.

I guess we’ll see how this one goes…