Harper says new cabinet shows 'stability'

Harper says new cabinet shows

Maxime Bernier, left, is sworn-
in as minister of state for small
business and tourism
OTTAWA — Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's new cabinet
includes nine new faces, a pair
of snubs and several big
promotions, particularly among
the Conservatives' small
Quebec contingent.
The government revealed
Wednesday morning at a
ceremony at Rideau Hall that
the cabinet will comprise 38
ministers, including 26 with full
portfolios, a new associate
minister of defence, 11
ministers of state and just 10
Harper told reporters his new
cabinet represents every region
of the country and is a good
mix of experience and new
"The new cabinet is an example
of stability and continuity," he
"Any hockey coach can tell you
that for a team to continue to
win it must have a nucleus of
veterans and then gradually
add in new talent."
Among the Quebecers, Christian
Paradis will become Canada's
new industry minister, while
Denis Lebel is being promoted
to transport minister. Stephen
Blaney will be the new veterans
affairs minister.
Former minister of state for
transport Rob Merrifield and
ex-minister of state for small
business and tourism Rob
Moore were both dropped from
Meanwhile, in an expected but
nonetheless major
appointment, John Baird was
named the new minister of
foreign affairs.
Tony Clement will run Treasury
Board, while Jim Flaherty
remains at finance, and will
deliver the government's next
Peter Kent stays on as
environment minister and John
Duncan will remain in charge of
Indian and Northern Affairs,
however his department has
been rebranded as Aboriginal
Affairs and Northern
Bev Oda, to the suprise of
some, will remain the minister
for the Canadian International
Development Agency. Oda ran
into controversy for altering a
funding document for a non-
government organization
during her recent tenure.
Rob Nicholson retains his
portfolio as justice minister.
Peter MacKay will remain in the
defence portfolio as Canada
faces key decisions about its
military mission in Libya, while
Julian Fantino was named
associate minister of national
Peter Van Loan, known for his
combative style, was moved
from international trade and
will become government House
Vic Toews will stay on as public
safety minister, while Leona
Aglukkaq will continue in her
role as health minister as the
government begins
negotiations with the provinces
on a new health accord.
Jason Kenney will stay on as
citizenship and immigration
minister, Lisa Raitt retains the
labour portfolio, while Gordon
O'Connor keeps his job as the
government whip.
Also hanging on to their posts
were Diane Finley, who is the
human resources and skills
development minister, and
Rona Ambrose, who will stick
with the public works and
status of women file.
Gail Shea swapped portfolios
with Keith Ashfield. She is now
Canada's revenue minister,
while Ashfield will take on
fisheries and oceans.
The cabinet also includes:
- Quebec's Maxime Bernier, who
was turfed from his foreign
affairs post in 2007 in the wake
of a scandal involving his then-
girlfriend, Julie Couillard. He
marks a comeback of sorts,
being named minister of state
for small business and tourism.
- Ed Fast, the MP for
Abbotsford, B.C., takes over at
international trade;
- Joe Oliver, who represents the
Toronto riding of Eglinton-
Lawrence, will tend to the
natural resources portfolio;
- Peter Penashue, from
Labrador, will handle
intergovernmental affairs;
- New Brunswick's Bernard
Valcourt was given
responsibility for the Atlantic
Canada Opportunities Agency
and the francophonie;
- Tim Uppal from Edmonton-
Sherwood Park, becomes the
new man in charge of
democratic reform;
- Alice Wong from Richmond,
B.C., was named minister for
state for seniors;
- Ontario's Bal Gosal became
minister of state for sport;
- Marjory LeBreton, leader of
the government in the Senate;
- Gerry Ritz, minister of
agriculture and agri-food;
- James Moore, minister of
Canadian heritage and official
- Diane Ablonczy, minister of
state of foreign affairs;
- Lynne Yelich, minister of state
(Western Economic
- Steven Fletcher, minister of
state (Transport);
- Gary Goodyear, minister of
State (Science and Technology);
- Ted Menzies, minister of State
Harper said the economy will
remain his government's top
priority, but that it will be
"hard at work" on all the
priorities outlined over the
course of the election,
including supporting seniors,
protecting health care and
fighting crime.
Harper said coming up with the
final roster for the cabinet was
no easy task.
"There are promising new MPs
and many veterans deserving a
promotion," he said. "I'm
confident that the team that
was just sworn in by his
Excellency the Governor General
is the right group of men and
women to keep Canada moving
forward toward greater
prosperity. It has strong
representation from all regions
and it will hit the ground
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Harper says new cabinet shows 'stability'

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