Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Doing the yearly Harper shuffle

Apparently that cabinet shuffle is in the offing today. We went through the cabinet shuffle exercise last January too. It's very difficult to get excited about these things since they seem to be yearly, in any event, and as we know, the PM is determinative of most decisions in this government anyway. It's mostly just routine pageantry at this point, old and tired is what this government is. Gone are the hurly-burly days of Maxime & Julie making their grand entrance at Rideau Hall.

But if we must indulge in some of the speculation...the rumour of James Moore going to Environment would make sense for one reason. The former radio talk show host has solid communication skills and this is key for the Harper government's approach to the environment since they don't really seem to be doing much other than spinning and managing the file.

It's going to be a challenge for Moore, however, if it does turn out to be his turn in Environment. See this item from yesterday, for example: "Harper's Pipeline Nightmare." The northern gateway pipeline that Enbridge seeks to run from Alberta to the B.C. port of Kitimat is highly controversial, with many questions outstanding and is before a federal panel. There is tremendous B.C. opposition to that pipeline. There also seem to be questionable process issues at the federal panel level about the Enbridge application if you read (and accept) the legal view presented by Kinder Morgan, who are opposing the Enbridge pipeline proposal. It seems to be quite the maelstrom of an issue and if it were indeed Moore who "wins" this job, that issue would be front and center for him as a federal environment minister from B.C. So, long story short, I'm not convinced this move will happen.

Otherwise, Mr. F is rumoured to be in line for a junior cabinet job too. That would be interesting, as we are learning. And...is today the day we learn Peter "Fly Emirates" MacKay's fate as well?

To be updated later today, if events warrant/anything remotely interesting happens.