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Jason Kenney’s cabinet shuffle, obviously important


As is common of the gentleman, Jason Kenney’s cupboard shuffle June 21, when clearly needed, was delivered in a slippery fashion.

Leastways, the common cheerful assertion alerting the media that a major impending announcement was in the offing appeared in no one’s e mail inbox right before the minimalist news release asserting the shuffle to “fill vacancies still left by departing ministers” arrived unheralded on the federal government website, circa 4 p.m.

With Kenney formally on the way out and the race to exchange him less than way, that there was a shuffle was barely a shock. 

For illustration, absolutely everyone realized appointing a short term finance minister to switch Travis Toews, the clear United Conservative Bash (UCP) caucus and get together institution favourite to exchange Kenney, was not the correct solution for a province transitioning once once more from bust to increase many thanks to spiking petroleum charges. 

Even so, some Albertans could have imagined they ought to have had a likelihood to ponder and explore the decision of Governing administration Household Chief Jason Nixon as president of Treasury Board and minister of finance ahead of the put up was produced lasting. That would have been in-line with seem techniques for cupboard making of the political variety. 

For all we know, the now-previous natural environment minister is eminently competent for what is in all probability in the current circumstances the most vital portfolio in the cabinet. 

Nonetheless, it would have been good to have experienced an option to ask a few questions about the controversy encompassing Nixon’s two-year gig as president of the Athabasca College students’ association just in advance of the 2015 provincial election.

“In 2015, his university student union voted to expel him from the group for allegedly getting an Govt Director wage whilst not doing work for 6 months, interfering with the scholar newspaper, elevating executive salaries devoid of student session, and other bylaw violations,” suggests Nixon’s Wikipedia biography, the “controversies” segment of which runs to far more than 1,600 words, citing college student publications from the era. 

“Minutes from the group’s April 21 assembly show voting customers unanimously accepted pulling $16,913 from a surplus funds account and introducing it to their govt wages,” a Huffington Publish tale, element of which remains on-line, stated at the time.

An report in an Athabasca scholar newspaper, political blogger Dave Cournoyer reported in Might 2015, “described Mr. Nixon as being ‘the optimum compensated Pupil Govt in Alberta.’”

Now, possessing been the editor of a university student newspaper myself many yrs ago, I can assure audience that these kinds of publications are neither authoritative nor essentially even trustworthy.

But as Lord Chief Justice Hewart famously observed in 1924, it “is of elementary great importance that justice ought to not only be completed, but really should manifestly and definitely be found to be carried out.”

Nevertheless, which is not the way Premier Kenney does points, and we Albertans are left to deal with an announcement manufactured “at the strike of trash o’clock,” as CBC journalist Jason Markusoff place it late yesterday in a scathing commentary on the shuffle.

“Departing premiers before Kenney, like Ralph Klein and Ed Stelmach, taken care of identical shuffles with additional of the transparency and accountability that cupboard reorganizations usually get,” Markusoff observed, correctly.

In addition to Nixon, Calgary-Glenmore MLA Whitney Issik replaces him as surroundings minister. She was shuffled into cabinet not fairly a 12 months in the past as associate minister of position of females – changing Leela Aheer, now a prospect for Kenney’s occupation, who had just been kicked out of cabinet by the premier for criticizing his mid-pandemic Sky Palace patio social gathering. 

Jackie Armstrong Homeniuk, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville, turns into associate minister of standing of gals.

Matt Jones, MLA for Calgary-South East, results in being children’s expert services minister, changing leadership candidate Rebecca Schulz.

Calgary-Foothills MLA Prasad Panda switches from the infrastructure portfolio to transportation, changing another management prospect, Rajan Sawhney. Mr. Panda, in switch, is changed at infrastructure by Calgary-Currie MLA Nicholas Milliken.

Brad Rutherford, MLA for Leduc-Beaumont and deputy federal government whip was named main government whip and minister without having portfolio, which will allow him to be termed “the Honourable” for the rest of his life without actually having to do a lot additional do the job. 

In addition, the shuffle concerned some non-ministerial changes:

Grande Prairie MLA Tracy Allard, kicked out of cabinet just after an unauthorized a mid-pandemic winter season holiday in January 2021, and Camrose MLA Jackie Charming become customers of Treasury Board. 

Justice Minister Shandro gets chair of the Neighborhood and People Cabinet Policy Committee when Training Minister Adriana LaGrange joins the Priorities Implementation Cabinet Committee. As typical viewers of this web site will know, neither have been stellar performers in cupboard.

Kenney may well have concluded the appointments will enhance the flagging fortunes of some of the beneficiaries in impending election battles with the Opposition NDP. 

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