Will A Cabinet Shuffle Make Things Better or Worse?

There have been rumors swirling in Ottawa that Stephen Harper is planning for a Cabinet shuffle soon after the House of Commons rises for the summer. If the rumors prove true, it could be very interesting to see who lands where in the year old majority government. Several Ministers have had problems on their files, spending scandals and stupid mistakes, but Stephen Harper doesn’t like to be told what to do. Every time the opposition demands a minister resign, Harper seems to dig in his heels with his defense of them. The question is, how much can Canadians handle from these ministers?

A short review of who has been not so great:

Christian Paradis

Currently the Minister of Industry and formerly the Minister of Public Works, Paradis has been found in violation of the conflict-of-interest rules by the House Ethics Commissioner, Mary Dawson, in one investigation over his helped friend and former colleague Rahim Jaffer. He has been accused of ethics violations in at least three other cases, including one case where he is accused of moving an employment insurance center out of an opposition riding and into his own, in a building owned by his father’s business partner.

Tony Clement

Currently the President of the Treasury Board and thus in charge of the government’s spending and the cuts currently being made in the Conservatives new budget. Clement’s riding was set to host the G8 summit in 2009. As a result, over $40 million was spent sprucing the place up. In the end, the summit was moved to Toronto (which turned out really well). The G8 Legacy Infrastructure Fund, which totaled $45.7 million, was spent on various projects in the Parry Sound–Muskoka riding. It was meant for “essential facilities” for the summit – that’s what the House of Commons approved it for – but was spent on such things as expansions to a community center and a gazebo an hour away from what was to be the meeting site. The opposition New Democrats have released many documents that they say prove Clement himself was involved in picking the project to be funded. Clement said he only made recommendations – all of which happened to be accepted.

Peter MacKay

The Minister of Defense, who loves a good photo op, has been making different claims about Canada’s purchase of the F-35 fighter jets and why the numbers got so confused. He also has a habit of using military equipment to get him where he needs to go. MacKay and his Associate Minister Julian Fantino have not been doing a very good job of stemming the tide of opposition attacks and they tend to contradict themselves and each other.

Bev Oda

Bev Oda is the International Development Minister, in charge of making sure Canada’s foreign aid money gets to those countries that need it most. Sadly, while the minister takes limos everywhere she needs to be and spends money on five star hotels, funding from the Canadian International Development Agency is being cut. She was also the center of an embarrassing case of an altered memo. This Prime Minister does not like being embarrassed.

Vic Toews

The Minister of Public Safety declared that any opposition member who opposed the (now essentially dead) internet surveillance bill was on the side of child pornographers. This declaration resulted in the so-called Vikileaks attacks, attention from Anonymous and calls for his resignation – another unwanted embarrassment for the Prime Minister.

John Duncan

The Aboriginal Affairs Minister mishandled the Attawapiskat file and created a huge headache for the Harper government. When the people on the Attawapiskat reserve were begging for appropriate housing with a cold winter on its way, Duncan chose to blame the Chief for misspending funding and appointed a third party manager, starting a nasty argument without doing anything to fix the problem. Whether or not the Chief was to blame for things that were not being fixed, innocent children were still getting set to freeze and voting Canadians could see where the priorities should lie.

The other big question is who could replace them? In Harper’s 166 member caucus, there are only a few MPs that he trusts to form his Cabinet. He also has to keep regional interests in mind.

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Photo Credit: 416Style

15 comments

Magdalena J.
Alice L.about a year ago

Thank you!

TJ D.
TJ D.4 years ago

@ Steve R. i'll tell you exactly how he was elected, never once in his campaigning did he mention that he was going to gut environmental laws, increase the OAS from 65 to 67, or change our EI system so that it will be harder for the everyday worker to recieve these benefits that we have payed for our entire employment career. but now that he has his false majority (and i say false because only roughly 25% of eligible voters voted conservative) he thinks that he can just ram through whatever legislation that helps out his corporate/big oil buddies without a care in the world to what it might mean for the rest of the 99%.

I definitely don't agree with all that Obama has done during his time as president (especially the signing into law of the NDAA) but your country is much better off with him in charge then it would be with Mitt RMoney. If your country was smart you would all be backing Ron Paul as he seems to be the only candidate out there who actually appears to the have the general publics best interests at heart.

TJ D.
TJ D.4 years ago

@ Steve R. i'll tell you exactly how he was elected, never once in his campaigning did he mention that he was going to gut environmental laws, increase the OAS from 65 to 67, or change our EI system so that it will be harder for the everyday worker to recieve these benefits that we have payed for our entire employment career. but now that he has his false majority (and i say false because only roughly 25% of eligible voters voted conservative) he thinks that he can just ram through whatever legislation that helps out his corporate/big oil buddies without a care in the world to what it might mean for the rest of the 99%.

I definitely don't agree with all that Obama has done during his time as president (especially the signing into law of the NDAA) but your country is much better off with him in charge then it would be with Mitt RMoney. If your country was smart you would all be backing Ron Paul as he seems to be the only candidate out there who actually appears to the have the general publics best interests at heart.

Troy G.
Troy Grant4 years ago

Shuffling cabinets but keeping the same system and expecting different results fits the definition of insanity.

Steve R.
Steve R.4 years ago

It amazes me that liberals have this idea that governments are not good for the people that elected them, because LIBERALS SAY SO!

But when governments are REALLY bad - like the Obama administration, liberals will support them.

Of course, even the liberal support for our big spender is waning fast.

As for Canada - if everything Harper does is "against Canadian and human interests" (Dorothy N), please explain HOW and WHY he was elected?

Yes Sue M - you and most liberals would be quite happy with a "minority government". Not sure how that would "provide the proper checks and balances" - it didn't really work out very well in Zimbabwe and South Africa and most other former British colonies, now did it?

Michael O.
Michael O.4 years ago

All the ministers listed here are quite noteworthy for their incompetence and should have done the right thing by resigning from their cabinet posts after various scandals hit.

That being said, a cabinet shuffle is pretty much irrelvant. Individual cabinet minsters have absolutely no say in how the government is run. All decisions are made in Fearless Leader Harper's office. All the other Conservative MPs are just yes men who do what they're told like good little soldiers...

Vicky Pitchford
Vicky P.4 years ago

I really don't think it would make things different, Harper would still be in charge and that is the problem atm

Aimee A.
Aimee A.4 years ago

Thanks for posting!

Bob P.
Bob P.4 years ago

surprised Haper has not shut down Parliment fired all MP's from all Parties and run the country on his own this would make him the happy little dictator he aspires to be

Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.