Harper cabinet shuffle: 8 new ministers named

Harper cabinet shuffle: 8 new ministers named

Southern Ontario will carry more clout than ever before in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government after a cabinet shuffle that put Conservatives from the region in charge of most economic portfolios as well as the key posts of defence and transport. With the Conservatives’ political fortunes in Quebec at a low ebb, Harper appears to be turning to Ontario to try to lay the groundwork for another majority mandate in 2015, led once again by the old Mike Harris gang from Queen’s Park — Jim Flaherty at finance, John Baird at foreign affairs and Tony Clement in charge of budget-cutting at Treasury Board. As well, the cabinet shuffle brought a major vote of confidence in Chris Alexander, the rookie member of parliament for Ajax—Pickering, who was promoted to the much-coveted  Citizenship and Immigration.y

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“It’s a huge honour,” Alexander said as he emerged from Rideau Hall after the ceremony. “This is a field on which Canada depends for its economic prosperity and we have to get it right.”

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