Wednesday, June 01, 2011

The ever shrinking Liberal shadow

There's only so much you can read into the critic portfolios assigned to the third party in the house - especially when numbers dictate that everyone gets something. But the Liberal shadow cabinet deserves a bit of attention, if only because it marks Bob Rae's first significant public decision as interim leader.

Among the notables:

-Ralph Goodale is an obvious and deserving choice as Deputy Leader, given his experience and the need to grow the party west of Mississauga.

-In Rae's most notable and encouraging move, Stephane Dion winds up with intergovernmental affairs and democratic reform. True, these are not high profile posts in the Harper government (quick quiz: name the intergovernmental affairs minister), but between the NDP's murky position on the Clarity Act and the number of Premiers jumping into the Senate reform frenzy, this is an important role, and one Dion is perfectly suited for.

-On the leadership front, Dominic LeBlanc takes over from Rae as Foreign Affairs critic, while Justin Trudeau settles for sport, youth, and post-secondary education. Score one for Dom.

-Scott Brison is back in Finance, a critic role he is familiar with and performs well at.

-Hedy Fry and Geoff Regan get big promotions to Health Care and Industry.

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  • Penashue!

    #fail dan

    By Blogger Anthony, at 6:59 p.m.  

  • Um, I think you really only need a shadow cabinet in opposition. Why don't you guys start small and start shadowing the Green party?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:56 p.m.  

  • Who got demoted, and why?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:17 a.m.  

  • Everyone got demoted because they finished third. Enjo the wilderness.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:36 a.m.  

  • Peter Penashue, Intergovernmental Affairs, member of the Quebec Innu.

    Again, dismissing this guy is not the best way to shake off the Liberal "sense of entitlement" bugbear.

    Just like Ruth Ellen Brousseau, Penashue has an incredible life story.

    He was sexually abused by a priest at Residential School, and had a drinking problem in his 20's that resulted in jail time.

    Then he turned his life around, went to school, became a community leader of his people and negotiated some extremely high level agreements with Quebec and large multi-nationals.

    His entire community came to Ottawa to watch his swearing in as an MP. It was very touching to watch. This is what makes Canada great.

    Not knowing who he is doesn't reflect well on whitey.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:59 a.m.  

  • Anon - My point is not that the Tories have an incompetent intergov minister. The point is that Harper calls his own shots there, so the intergov minister is not a very prominent position.

    How many speeches or media hits have Van Loan, Ambrose, or Verneer gotten over the past 5 years. The only time the intergov minister has made news was when Chong was forced to resign because Harper went over his head on the nation resolution.

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:20 a.m.  

  • And stay tuned for my detailed analysis of the Green shadow cabinet, set to be announced tomorrow!

    By Blogger calgarygrit, at 9:21 a.m.  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Jordan, at 10:06 a.m.  

  • Anonymous, at 12:59 AM

    Peter Penashue is not a Quebec Innu, he is an Innu from Labrador and did nothing in the way of "significant agreements for Quebec", time to go back and check your facts.

    By Blogger Jordan, at 10:07 a.m.  

  • Penashue fought for years to shut down the base at Goose Bay. Looks like he might soon achieve that goal.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:56 a.m.  

  • His stance on Goose Bay has changed.

    By Blogger Jordan, at 1:49 p.m.  

  • Also changed: the Tory promises to Goose Bay from elections past.

    Not changed: DND's desire to downsize.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:00 p.m.  

  • Peter Penashue is not a Quebec Innu, he is an Innu from Labrador and did nothing in the way of "significant agreements for Quebec", time to go back and check your facts.

    Sorry, my mistake. I confused Labrador with Quebec.

    Common mistake: Quebeckers do it all the time :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:09 p.m.  

  • Putting Hedy Fry front and centre and in front of the cameras as Health Critic is not a wise move. I cannot think of one Liberal MP who is more disliked in Western Canada (outside of the 30-31% of downtown Vancouver voters who inexplicably keep voting for her). It surprises me that the Liberals would put a caucus member with so little credibility in such a high-profile position. Carolyn Bennett, Kirsty Duncan or David McGuinty would all have been better choices.

    On the other side of the ledger, Goodale as Deputy Leader, Garneau as House Leader, Brison as Finance Critic and Dion as Intergovernmental Affairs critics are all superb choices. Nobody, in my view, has more credibility on federal-provincial affairs, and specifically, dealing with Quebec separatism, than Stephane Dion. This could turn out to be a key appointment if the PQ wins the provincial election and all the quasi-Bloquistes in the NDP's new Quebec caucus start coming out of the woodwork.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:36 a.m.  

  • Good move with Dion. Bizarre (to put it very nicely) move with Fry - not sure what was going thru Rae's mind when he decided that.

    By Anonymous Jim R, at 12:31 p.m.  

  • Jim R....Rae knows fully well that white conservatives are the people that hate hedy fry the most, infact she demoralises them and reminds them that they don't have total control over the power structure in this country. She and Sukh Dhaliwal should have been always placed ahead of turn coat Dosanjh who was always interested in running his side show not the Liberal party. If rookies from Labrador, Nunavut or Brampton/Malton can get into Harper cabinet because they belong to important constituencies then Fry being a veteran with proven electoral success time and again needs to be respected and given proper representation. Besides, being a physician herself and a strong supporter of the need to improve public healthcare rather than privatize it, she is a perfect choice for the portfolio. In other words Liberals need to hang on to their core support by rewarding people who have consistently stood up for the party and have the support of their constituents. They need to stop apoligizing for being liberals.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:26 p.m.  

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