Marc Garneau is retiring from Parliament after almost 15 years. The Liberal MP marked his controlled descent onto terra firma in the House of Commons in 2008, elected as a Member of Parliament for the riding of Westmount–Ville-Marie (now Notre-Dame-de-Grace–Westmount) in Montreal. The former astronaut then slogged it out in opposition during Stephen Harper’s rise to a majority government in 2011 – until 2015 when the Liberals formed government under the leadership of Justin Trudeau.
The first Canadian in space launched his bid for the leadership of the Liberal Party of Canada against the low payload son of a former Prime Minister in 2012, but aborted when it became clear that Trudeau’s selection by Liberal members was following a single-stage-to-orbit trajectory.
In government, Garneau would go on to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Transport, but eventually found himself on the backbench in a push by the PM to renew the faces in cabinet and for superficial gender balance.
Garneau is a cautionary tale for anyone seeking office while relying on their resume to cement their success as a legislator. Though he had some success in cabinet, the navy captain had perhaps the most impressive credentials of any Parliamentarian, but was eventually jettisoned, with the Prime Minister favouring flash over sustained burn.
The Trudeau government’s style has been heavily focused on image in place of the substantive; it is a government concerned more about how their look will play on social media, rather than how their policy will find its foundation.
The former NASA shuttle mission specialist departs at a time when speculation is growing about the successor to Justin Trudeau.
The former private school teacher turned G7 leader is facing a new scandal in Parliament over the alleged interference of the Chinese Communist government during the 2019 and 2021 Canadian federal elections. Beijing is alleged to have agitated and put resources toward the election of a Canadian government led by Justin Trudeau.
During what may be an election year, it is also during this part of the Parliamentary calendar when those who have options outside of elected life start to seriously consider their escape trajectory. This is especially true for ageing governments whose re-election isn’t as likely today as it was yesterday.
Trudeau is more likely than Garneau to be smarting over the loss of his Tik Tok account – now banned from the devices of Parliamentarians as a security risk posed by China. Indeed, Garneau is certainly a man out of time. As the Prime Minister’s image wanes, we may all yearn for an era of renewed substance.
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.
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.
Here’s the latest leftwing click-bait from the Huffington Post on offer today,
Stephen Harper’s Wireless Petition Probably Just Trolling For Your Personal Data
Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants you to know he’s on your side in the epic battle of consumers against Big Telecom’s big wireless bills.
Or maybe it’s the Conservative Party trying to get your name and email address, so they can spam you with political ads.
Either way, a post appeared on Harper’s Facebook page Wednesday linking to a Conservative Party petition called “Standing Up For Wireless Consumers.”
The Facebook post urges people to “sign the petition if you believe Canadians will benefit from more choice and greater competition among wireless providers.”
Oh, is that so? Here’s Marc Garneau’s Liberal Party data-collection petition on Usage Based Billing. Huffington Post stories about the Liberal Party’s creepy data collection efforts? 0.
And here’s an NDP petition (data collection website) against extra fees on cellphone bills. Huffington Post cynicism about political outreach by the NDP? Non-existent.
I tried to find a Green Party petition on wireless usage, but my wifi signal gave out.
Here, Huffington Post writes about Avaaz’s data-collection website for collecting the email addresses of Sun News haters. As a cynical news story about the political process of issue identification and data collection? No! It was written as a news story about the critiques of Sun News.
There is a trend among Ottawa journalists to write about the political processes as if they were recently unearthed from some dank pit from behind Karl Rove’s creepy house (the one with the unhinged screen door that has the tear). These tried-and-true political tactics are repackaged to ignorant readers in an alarm-raising tone.
BREAKING NEWS! Did you know that Conservatives do GOTV?
BREAKING NEWS! Did you know that Conservatives keep a database of their supporters?
BREAKING NEWS! Did you know that Conservatives call people to identify their levels of support?
BREAKING NEWS! Conservatives use American-style robocalls!
BREAKING NEWS! Did you know that Conservatives use social advertising on segments to test messaging?
BREAKING NEWS! Did you know that Conservatives use petitions to do issue identification?
BREAKING NEWS! Any political party that hopes to win an election in the modern era will do all of the above.
BREAKING NEWS! Obama does it too? Well, nevermind then. He’s doing the best he can.