It looks like that cabinet shuffle is happening today, and The Canadian Press has a preview – Lisa Raitt is being demoted to Labour, while Rona Ambrose gets to return to the spotlight and head over to Public Works. (Christian Paradis moves from Public Works to Natural Resources). Also, Stockwell Day moves to Treasury Board, Vic Toews to Public Safety, and Peter Van Loan to International Trade. There are a few other shuffles in there, but we don’t have all the names yet. Nevertheless, isn’t a bit like shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic? A useless gesture, because this really is a government of one who treats his cabinet as a focus group rather than the people running the government departments.
While not busy reshuffling his cabinet, Harper has been busy setting up photo-ops, like one for an “economic round table” yesterday morning. Really? The PMO also sent out a number of photos of the Prime Minister on the phone with all kinds of important people. Because he’s really busy saving Haiti and the economy, don’t you know?
(Other things Harper does during his time off? Entertaining Jann Arden, apparently.)
Remember the “In and Out” scandal? Well, there was a Federal Court decision that gave the Conservatives a narrow, technical victory on two claims yesterday. The Conservatives are claiming total victory, but Liberal Marlene Jennings reminds Canadians that the ruling specifically says that it’s not ruling on the legality of the “in and out” scheme – just this particular technical issue. So we can expect to hear more of this still to come.
Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff finished off his cross-country campus tour in Ottawa yesterday (accounts here and here, plus a liveblog), and he did, quite rightly, point out that you’ll never see Stephen Harper at an event where he can take unscripted questions from an audience. Proof in point – at his stop at UBC, Greenpeace protesters started up on the stage. But I was amazed at the way that he engaged with them, and gave them actual answers that perhaps they didn’t want to hear, but he gave them the reasons why. It was refreshing to say the least. Certainly worth watching.
And finally, Senator Elaine McCoy (who is made of awesome), suggests “Steve for Seborga” – and it’s one of the cleverest things I’ve seen in ages. (h/t to Aaron Wherry).