'Tis the Season to Shuffle
So I'll be sure to update this post with links to some solid post-shuffle analysis from people who know what they're talking about.
As for my take, a large scale shuffle was definitely needed. Let's be honest, McGuinty has lost some big guns, and his 2009 was about as good as Tiger Woods'. This move lets Dalton recalibrate and refocus. Moreover, there's been some talk of a new throne speech when Queen's Park resumes sitting, although with proroguing on the "not hot" list for 2010, that may not be in the cards.
Beyond that, I won't comment much on the individual moves. Brad Duguid is the big winner, taking over Energy (making him the point man on the Green Energy Act's implementation) - everyone I know in the know speaks highly of him and the work he did in Aboriginal Affairs. Eric Hoskins is an excellent choice for Citizenship and Immigration. There's also been some speculation that one of the combo ministries could be split to let Glen Murray in after the by election, which would be a welcome addition.
But while Alberta's shuffle was designed to signal a new (rightward) shift, I don't really get the sense this one was designed to send a big message to the electorate. Rather, this was about McGuinty putting in place the team he wants selling his government in the lead-up to the 2011 provincial election.