After two years of a majority government, Prime Minister Stephen Harper revived his Cabinet last month, making some major changes by bringing in new ministers – including younger MPs in their 30s and 40s, and bringing in more women.
“I think this is a good mixture of some young and promising talent we have in our caucus and some experienced hands,” Harper said following the swearing in ceremony.
With the newly shuffled Cabinet, eight new ministers moved from the back bench into ministerial positions – four of those being women which brought the number of women in Harper’s cabinet to 12. Shelly Glover was appointed Minister for Canadian Heritage, Kellie Leitch became Minister of Labour and Status of Women, Michelle Rempel is the new Minister for Western Diversification and Candice Bergen the Minister of State for Social Development.
Peter Mackay and Rob Nicholson swapped positions, moving Nicholson into the Defense department. Mackay is now the minister of Justice and Attorney General. James Moore, MP for Port Moody—Westwood—Port Coquitlam, was promoted to Minister of Industry. He takes over for Christian Paradise who was demoted to Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francophonie.
Leona Aglukkaq became the Minister of Environment, leaving Peter Kent without a ministerial post. Many Canadians were not happy with Kent after Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol reduces international greenhouse emissions. Rona Ambrose took over Aglukkaq’s old post as Health Minister.
Vic Toews resigned from his position ahead of the shuffle as Minister for Public Safety as well as MP; he was replaced by Steve Blaney, former Veterans Affairs Minister. B.C. MP for Delta-Richmond East, Kerry-Lynne Findlay, was given a big promotion, she went from Associate Minister of National Defence to the Minister of National Revenue. There are now five cabinet posts occupied by B.C. MPs.
Some of Harper’s ministers were not shuffled: John Baird remains the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jim Flaherty as the Finance Minister, Tony Clement stays as President of the Treasury Board and Joe Oliver as the Minister of Natural Resources.
The aim was to have younger and more gender-balanced spokespersons for the Canadian government. Stephen Harper also announced his new Cabinet via Twitter, showcasing himself as a social media savvy leader like Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi, who has made frequent use of his social media.
Jason Kenney, 45 Appointed: 2008
Riding: Calgary Southeast, Alberta
Now: The Minister of Employment and Social Development, formerly known as Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
The new department will reflect the government’s focus on job creation and determination to improve how skills training is delivered. Two junior minister will report to Kenney: Candice Bergen, the minister of state for social development, and Alice Wong, the minister of state for seniors. As minister of labour, Kellie Leitch, will also work with Kenney as some of her new responsibilities will overlap with employment and social development.
Former: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Jim Flaherty, 63 Appointed: 2006
Riding: Whitby-Oshawa, Ontario
Staying put as Finance Minister
John Baird, 44 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Ottawa West-Nepean, Ontario
Staying put as Foreign Affairs Minister
Peter MacKay, 47 Appointed: 2007
Riding: Central Nova, Nova Scotia
Now: Minister of Justice and Attorney General
MacKay was shuffled out of the Department of National Defence. Although the F-35 problem is now with Public Works to get sorted out, the thinking is the department could use a fresh start.
Former: Minister of National Defence
James Moore, 37 Appointed: 2008
Riding: Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, BC
Now: Minister of Industry
Moore is seen by some as long overdue for promotion. He’s a very effective communicator but some wonder whether the minister, who harbours leadership ambitions, is as capable of implementing an agenda.
Former: Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
Shelly Glover, 46 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Saint Boniface, Manitoba
Now: Minister of Heritage
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance
Diane Finley, 55 Appointed: 2008
Riding: Haldimand-Norfolk, Ontario
Now: Minister of Public Works
Former: Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development
Diane Finley recently suffered the loss of her husband Sen. Doug Finley, the man credited with bringing the Conservatives to power. Although the communications around one of her key files, temporary foreign workers, was messed up, she stayed put in a cabinet position. She is generally considered to be a competent and good minister.
Candice Bergen, 48 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Portage-Lisgar, Manitoba
Now: Minister of State (Social Development)
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety
Candice Bergen was an effective communicator promoting her bill to scrap the long-gun registry.
Kellie Leitch, 42 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Simcoe-Grey, Ontario
Now: Minister of Labour and Status of Women
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour
Kellie Leitch is considered an extremely hard worker, very ambitious, good with stakeholders, and a huge asset.
Leona Aglukkaq, 46 Appointed: 2008/11/12
Riding: Nunavut, Nunavut
New: Minister of the Environment
Former: Minister of Health, Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister for the Arctic
Rona Ambrose, 44 Appointed: 2010
Riding: Edmonton-Spruce Grove, Alberta
Now: Minister of Health
Former: Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister for Status of Women
Chris Alexander, 44 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Ajax-Pickering, Ontario
Now: Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence
Michelle Rempel, 33 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Calgary Centre-North, Alberta
Now: Minister of State for Western Diversification
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment
Considered a shameless self-promoter, Michelle Rempel is considered an effective communicator and hard worker.
Julian Fantino, 70 Appointed: 2012
Riding: Vaughan, Ontario
Now: Minister of Veteran Affairs
Former: Minister of International Cooperation
Rob Nicholson, 61 Appointed: 2007
Riding: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Now: Minister of Defence
Former: Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Gail Shea, 54 Appointed: 2011 and 2013
Riding: Egmont, Prince Edward Island
Now: Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Former: Minister of National Revenue and Minister for the Atlantic
Steven Blaney, 48 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Lévis–Bellechasse, Quebec
Now: Public Safety Minister
Former: Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister for La Francophonie
Kevin Sorenson, 54 Appointed: 2000
Riding: Crowfoot, Alberta
Now: Minister of State for Finance
Former: Opposition critic to the Solicitor General, and of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Pierre Poilievre, 34 Appointed: 2013
Riding: Nepean-Carleton, Ontario
Now: Minister of State for Democratic Reform
Former: Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities and for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
Greg Rickford, 46 Appointed: 2008
Riding: Kenora, Ontario
Now: Minister of State for Science and Technology
Former: Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
Lisa Raitt, 45 Appointed: 2010
Riding: Halton, Ontario
Now: Minister of Transport
Former: Minister of Labour
Kerry-Lynne Findlay, 58 Appointed: 2013
Riding: Delta-Richmond East, British Columbia
Now: Minister of National Revenue
Former: Associate Minister of National Defence
Peter Van Loan, 50 Appointed: 2011
Riding: York-Simcoe, Ontario
Staying put as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
Tony Clement, 52 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ontario
Staying put as President of the Treasury Board and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
John Duncan, 64 Appointed: 2008
Riding: Vancouver Island North
Now: Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
Former: Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development
In February 2013, John Duncan resigned from his cabinet position as Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development after improperly advocating to a tax court on behalf of a constituent in June 2011.
Christian Paradis, 39 Appointed: 2011
Riding: Mégantic-L’Érable, Quebec
Now: Minister of International Development
Former: Minister of Industry and Minister of State (Agriculture)
Denis Lebal, 50 Appointed: 2011/12/13
Riding: Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec
Now: President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs, and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
Former: Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Robert Moore, 39 Appointed: 2004
Riding: Fundy-Royal, New Brunswick
Now: Minister of State and Regional Minister for New Brunswick. and Newfoundland and Labrador
Former: Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)