Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Michael Ignatieff Recalibrates

The Liberals released their new critic lineup for the fall. Among the highlights:

-Ralph Goodale becomes Deputy Leader. Some will see this as a slight to Rae who had been the de facto Number 2, but I think it's a welcome move - Goodale is experienced, competent, respected, and it sends the right message to the West.

-Guess who's back, back again...'Cause we need a little controversy, 'Cause it feels so empty without Denis. Yes, Denis Coderre is back after his one year time out. He gets Natural Resources, squaring him up against fellow Quebecer Christian Paradis.

-David McGuinty becomes House Leader. So it's up to David McGuinty and John Baird to make parliament work. Shall I cue up the election speculation or do you want to?

-In the "demotion" file, Carolyn Bennett gets knocked down from Health to Democratic Renewal (which is actually a good fit for her). Rodger Cuzner is out as whip - perhaps in response to this spring's "we look like fools" debacle.

-Scott Brison is back as the Finance Critic, taking over from John McCallum. It seems like the Liberals keep swapping between the two of them for that portfolio. While McCallum certainly has the credentials for the job, Brison's the better salesman and that's what the job is really all about when you're in opposition.

-Ujjal Dosanjh gets health - he's the former Health Minister so this is a good fit.

-Gerard Kennedy moves to the environment. Martha Hall Findlay to International Trade. Marlene Jennings to Justice. Dominic LeBlanc takes over in Defence, a sign the Liberals may try to make hay out of the fighter jet purchase.

-Justin Trudeau replaces Bevilacqua in immigration. Given Justin's riding and leadership ambitions, he'll certainly be pleased.

-Pablo Rodriguez stays in. Ruby Dhalla is still nowhere to be found.

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