Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Raitt Shuffled to the Bottom of the Deck

Well, maybe not quite the bottom. I'm pretty sure her predecessor's job as 'Minister of Hockey Rinks' is considered a lesser role, but it's pretty close.

After all, what do you think Stephen Harper cares more about: workers... or oil?

Cabinet shuffle will see Raitt demoted, Ambrose get second shot

One of Stephen Harper’s youngest ministers is getting demoted in a cabinet shuffle Tuesday as Lisa Raitt will suffer the effects of a 2009 scandal where she was taped badmouthing colleagues.

Ms. Raitt, 41, is losing her job as Canada’s natural resources minister in a cabinet overhaul that’s bigger than the “tweak” initially signalled by Harper government aides. Ms. Raitt is expected to take on the junior Labour portfolio.

... Labour Minister Rona Ambrose, who was previously demoted for what was perceived as a weak performance in the Environment portfolio during Mr. Harper’s first mandate, was expected to receive a promotion, possibly to the Public Works portfolio vacated by Mr. Paradis.

Mr. Paradis appeared set to replace Ms. Raitt at Natural Resources, sources said.

... Ms. Raitt’s demotion suggests that although Mr. Harper defended her last year after an embarrassing controversy, he did not forget.

With the government under attack for the extended shutdown of Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.’s Chalk River – which cut the supply of medical isotopes needed for tests and treatment to Canada and much of the world – her aide left a damaging tape on the desk of a reporter in which Ms. Raitt criticized a cabinet colleague, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, and then left confidential documents at the offices of CTV News.

Mr. Harper is now set to switch Ms. Raitt to a relatively minor post.

(P.S. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure Stephen Harper values hockey rinks more than he values workers. Never mind then...)