In 1969, then-Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau described opposition MPs as “just no one” 50 meters from Parliament Hill.
In the decades since, with power increasingly centralized in the prime minister’s office by the liberal and conservative administrations, that cynical description has come to apply to government parliamentarians as well, and to all but a handful of senior cabinet ministers. .
Such was the case with the 39-member cabinet after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s elections, unveiled on Tuesday.
In our opinion, it basically amounts to shuffling the loungers on the Titanic.
The key appointment – Chrystia Freeland continuing as deputy prime minister, finance minister and heir apparent to Trudeau – does not indicate any change in the big spending, big debt and state government of Trudeau’s nanny.
The biggest winner was the relatively unknown Quebec MP Mélanie Joly, whom Trudeau elevated from the junior job in economic development and official languages to foreign relations, replacing Marc Garneau, who was removed from cabinet.
Steven Guilbeault becomes a classic example of failing in politics.
Incompetent as a heritage minister by explaining Trudeau’s draconian bills to censor social media, Trudeau elevated him to minister of environment and climate change.
That sends an alarming message to Canada’s oil and gas sector, presumably so that Trudeau can showcase Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace activist, as his latest green energy guru at the UN climate summit next week in Glasgow, Scotland.
Harjit Sajjan, who was unable as Defense Minister to deal with multiple sexual misconduct scandals in the military, was transferred to the darkest and least controversial post in International development.
Anita Anand, who as procurement minister was responsible for Canada’s initially slow launch of the vaccine, though that was primarily Trudeau’s fault due to his strange and failed idea of China developing a COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians, becomes defense minister.
She is only the second woman to hold the portfolio in Canadian history, the first being Kim Campbell.
Carolyn Bennett lost in the musical chair game at the two government ministries responsible for the controversial Indian affairs archive, sent to a new minor portfolio in healthcare.
Marc Miller takes up his old job as Minister of Crown-Indian Relations, while former Health Minister Patty Hajdu moves to Miller’s former position as Minister of Indian Services.