Rumours and fact

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.

Cabinet predictions

It looks like everyone and their dog are making cabinet predictions these days as the buzz in Ottawa is that Stephen Harper is about to shuffle his front bench. Based on a few conversations that I’ve had over the past couple of days, I’m confident enough to make a couple of predictions.

No cabinet minister will be shuffled out. When cabinet is shuffled this week, I predict that no current cabinet minister will wake up the next morning and find themselves without a driver and a ministerial portfolio. Every cabinet minister will remain a cabinet minister, but a few might find that they have different responsibilities. As an election is looming and as Harper is coordinating this news event, shuffling somebody out would give the media and the opposition an excuse to latch onto the negative speculation (why did XXXXX lose their job? etc). Underwhelming ministers in certain portfolios will be shifted to other ministerial posts instead of losing their jobs. Competent ministers will find themselves promoted to new portfolios. I also expect the shift to be on a scale from light to lightly-moderate. Since this will be an event to showcase talent, the Prime Minister will not cast a negative light onto anyone in his government.

Another good reason for the former prediction is that Harper has one of the smallest cabinets in recent history. Back in January, a few observers noted that the new Conservative Prime Minister scaled back his cabinet to just under 30 ministers. This brings me to my second prediction: cabinet will grow. It will grow by at least 2 ministers and likely by 3-5.. The Prime Minister will want to showcase talent and promote MPs from key ridings. Watch for cabinet to grow primarily from Quebec, and perhaps Ontario to a lesser degree. Cabinet will not see any new members from Alberta.