Cabinet shuffle pre-shuffle information

There’s been a lot of speculation in Ottawa this week about the imminent cabinet shuffle as a number of ministers have announced their retirement from federal politics. Here’s what we know.

Shuffle date:
We’re hearing that the shuffle is now scheduled for tomorrow (Monday)

Who is out:
Confirmed retirements: Toews (Public Safety), Ablonczy (DFATD, Consular affairs), Menzies (Associate minister of finance), Ashfield (Fisheries, ACOA)

Likely retirements: Kent (Environment), Ritz (Agriculture), O’Connor (Whip)

With O’Connor retiring, we’ve independently confirmed that Pierre Poilievre is getting the promotion and will sit as the other National Capital Region minister in cabinet with John Baird.

I’ve also heard that MacKay will be shuffled in a one-for-one swap where his legal skills will be of use (likely Justice). This was a shuffle certainty a while ago but this might have changed since.

With Ashfield out, Rob Moore is his likely (but unconfirmed) replacement.

Nobody expects Jim Flaherty to be shuffled out of Finance as his intention is to balance the budget by the next election.

We’re told the Prime Minister had fireside chats with members of his cabinet and from caucus to discuss their future plans. Older ministers who are retiring have been asked to step aside for new blood. Older ministers who have not indicated an intention to retire may have been asked to do the same (Kent). The only exception to this might be Flaherty and Oliver (both are in critically important political files at key junction points — Flaherty and budget balance and Oliver on the KXL decision).

One of my sources on the cabinet shuffle told me to expect a lot of new faces in cabinet.

Shelly Glover has been spotted in Ottawa today. She is a Manitoba MP who many observers speculate will be occupying a chair at Prime Minister Harper’s cabinet table.

I will update this post as I learn more.

Secret ballot Private Member’s Bill tabled in the House of Commons

CPC MP Blaine Calkins:

“Well thank you Speaker. I’m honoured to rise today to introduce my private member’s bill. As you correctly stated it, it is an Act to amend the Canada Labour Code, the Parliamentary Employment and Staff Relations Act and the Public Service Labour Relations Act. This bill Mr. Speaker provides necessary amendments to the certification and decertification of a bargaining agent by way of a mandatory secret ballot vote based on a majority. Mr. Speaker for far too long, the federal legislation has lagged behind that of our provincial counterparts and workers deserve the right to have a secret ballot vote to decide who represents them at the bargaining table.”

The National Citizens Coalition welcomes this legislation. It’s long overdue. Card check opens up votes to intimidation by union organizers. This legislation will protect the rights of workers to support or resist union initiatives without the risk of social alienation or physical intimidation.

Let’s end partisan ten-percenters that are taxpayer-funded

The Conservatives have been making news lately for their attack ads on Justin Trudeau claiming that the new leader of the Liberal Party of Canada is “just in over his head”. So ends another week in politics; parties have run contrast ads on their candidates since before television was invented.

But where we should draw the line is on taxpayer-funded mailings known as ten-percenters. Parties are free to fundraise to fund their advertising, however, the abuse of taxpayer-supported MP-constituent communications repurposed as partisan attacks or plaudits should be stopped.

We at the National Citizens Coalition support Conservative backbenchers who have spoken out against the practice and are calling on other MPs to support their colleagues.

This tweet was retweeted by Liberals including Justin’s brain, Gerald Butts. However, they may only support pushback against the Conservatives instead of being truly against the issue itself.

In response to inquiries about whether or not the Conservative caucus would send out the highly partisan “just in over his head” ten-percenters, the Prime Minister shrugged suggesting all other parties do it.

So, it seems we’re not going anywhere on the issue. Here, the Prime Minister isn’t showing leadership against the practice and the Liberals are only trying to get an earned media bump from disparaging their opponent.

Here are some other examples of partisan ten-percenters sent out at the taxpayer’s expense,