Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Did you really want a one person mermaid float in Vancouver's annual gay parade as a cabinet minister?

Heddy Fry

B C rookies earn top Defence and Justice Cabinet spots

Stephanie Levits/The Canadian Press
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
BC's rookie MPs turned-cabinet ministers, Jody Wilson-Raybould and Harjit Sajjan.

A retired general and a former top Toronto cop were among the star Liberal MPs shut out of his maiden cabinet, along with several veteran MPs.

At the same time, relative political rookies now find themselves commanding some of the top political posts, including the government's signature infrastructure plan, National Defence and Justice.

Trudeau called his cabinet a grouping that looks like Canada.

"We have an awful lot of work to do in the coming weeks, months and years,'' he said.

"But I know that Canadians expect of us to come together and put forward a team that is going to be able to deliver on the change, on the ambitious plan for this country that the Liberal party ran on and that's exactly what we're going to deliver.''

Veteran BC MPs passed over

Retired lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie was considered a shoo-in for a cabinet spot when he announced he was running for the Liberals, but was left out of the mix, as was former Toronto police chief Bill Blair.

Longtime MPs, including Joyce Murray and former cabinet minister Hedy Fry were also kept out.

The two were the lone Liberal MPs in British Columbia following the 2011 election, but after the party's unexpected success in that province last month, three newly elected parliamentarians now have seats on the front bench.

They are retired lieutenant-colonel Harjit Sajjan, appointed as defence minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has been given the Justice portfolio and Carla Qualtrough, now responsible for sports and persons with disabilities.

Murray placed second in the leadership contest that ultimately crowned Trudeau as head of the party, but another former leadership contender, Marc Garneau, was given a spot in cabinet and will oversee Transport.

Former Liberal leader Stephane Dion was handed the plum position of foreign affairs minister.

Alberta breakthrough nod

Mark Holland, among several Liberals defeated in the 2011 election but re-elected last month, was one of Trudeau's organizers for his leadership bid but didn't get a cabinet nod.

Regional dynamics - there are more than three dozen Liberals from around the Toronto area, including Holland - are partly to blame. Another key Toronto Liberal, Adam Vaughan, also didn't make the cut.

In addition to the Liberals' success in B.C., they also made a symbolic breakthrough in Alberta. Of their four Alberta MPs, two have made it into cabinet.

Amarjeet Sohi from Edmonton is now infrastructure minister, while Kent Hehr has been given the veterans' file and has also been named associate minister of defence.

Read more: Politics, Federal Politics,

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