The winner of the award for Canada’s non event of the year goes to Stephen Harper’s cabinet shuffle. It was hugely oversold as the biggest shake-up since they became “Canada’s new government” seven and a half years ago.
The guys who sign all the big cheques – and they’re all guys – didn’t even have to change offices with someone down the hall.
Also, have you noticed that almost none of the really important jobs are held by MPs from the prairies? In Manitoba, Vic Toews who was Minister of Public Safety, cleaned out his office and left Ottawa, and almost no one noticed. Candice Bergen, who used to be Candice Hoeppner before she and Mr. Hoeppner split, was appointed Minister of State for Social Development. Since she was first elected in 2008, Candace has given new meaning to the term low profile, but perhaps she will surprise us.
Shelly Glover is a former Winnipeg cop who is now the Heritage Minister. That includes the dear old CBC, so she might make some waves there.
In Saskatchewan, the heavy lifting continues to be done by Gerry Ritz, the minister of Agriculture. Back in the middle of the 20th century, Agriculture was a huge portfolio for western Canada. It was held by important players like Jimmy Gardner and Alvin Hamilton.
As recently as the early 1980’s it was a significant platform for Hazen Argue, and he was a Senator.
When Harper’s big shuffle was announced, the name Gerry Ritz was not even mentioned aside from local coverage in Saskatchewan. He succeeded in dismantling the Canadian Wheat Board, and now it’s like he’s not even there.
If Manitoba and Saskatchewan are to be noticed at all when parliament resumes in the fall, it likely won’t have much to do with the cabinet ministers who will be at the table.
I’m Roger Currie