Harper names 2nd largest cabinet in Canadian history

Can someone please explain to me now that Harper has his much sought after majority, why 39 ministers were needed thus equalling Paul Martin and 1 less than Brian Mulroney for the largest cabinet ever?

While you are at it, define what these new “associate ministers'” roles are for besides creating bloat and blatant regional pacification.

Conservatives justified a lot of things while being in a minority and I’ll await the excuses for this from the party faithful that use to say they were for smaller government.

Corrected: I had Mulroney at 39 cabinet ministers when he actually had 40

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27 Responses to “Harper names 2nd largest cabinet in Canadian history”

  1. Al R Says:

    Only 1 Minister was added despite a vast increase in talent pool and regional representation. If it hadn’t been for Harper slimming the Cabinet to 27 when he got elected, it would have probably grown far beyond its current size by now as it is hard to just drop Ministers to make room for new talent. Hopefully after next election there’s some retirements, defeats and a more limited pool of new blood that will allow some shrinkage.

    Also only one Associate Minister and that one existed under King, St. Laurent, Pearson, Mulroney and Martin as well.

  2. Alain Says:

    Conservatives are supposed to stand for small government, less government meddling and a whole lot less spending, and now we get this. It does not mesh well with eliminating the deficit.

    It isn’t the topic but I have to also say how appalled I am with how they are including everything except the kitchen sink in their “tough on crime” bill. I am all for being tough on real crime, but this bill includes more assaults on personal freedom and is unacceptable.

  3. The Trusty Tory Says:

    Oh man. Who cares. I’m not meaning to be insulting – you know I love your blog, but really? It’s because he has a majority government and can’t represent every area he wants to with 14 ministers.

    • BC Blue Says:

      Alice Wong, Tim Uppal, Ed Fast Bal Gosal… who again are these ministers? Chris Alexander… left out.

      • Al R Says:

        Bev Oda, Jim Flaherty, ~8 Toronto MPs, ~10 Peel Region MPs

        I believe that explains why Chris Alexander didn’t get a spot.

        That said why Bal Gosal > anyone else in Peel?

      • J Says:

        I can say that Ed Fast deserves to be in Cabinet. He is a good performer. The other three are for mostly for ethnic representation, and I have mixed feelings about it. I’m also not sure about Bal Gosal… he’s newly elected and nothing in his resume stands out to me as shoe-in Cabinet material right now.

  4. Mary T Says:

    We can afford a larger cabinet, from the savings in not having to fund the Bloc as a party. lol.
    Wonder if CIDA officials are shaking in their offices waiting for other cuts by Bev Oda. 7 million will go a long way to reducing the deficit. I hope she has better control over the staff this time and no one will tamper with her documents.
    Wonder what the guy feels like that started the whole thing with his FOI request.
    Wonder what ambassadorship or other position is waiting for Cannon.
    Next attempted scandal, the AG’s report that will be presented by who, as Fraser is done before June 2nd.

  5. Daryl Says:

    Someone will have to explain how a guy like Tim Uppal gets into cabinet. His experience is that of a small business owner and a “residential mortgage manager”. Why not Mike Lake who beat Uppal in a clean contest for the very ethnic Mill Woods riding. Why not James Rajotte who has been a strong MP for many years in Edmonton-Leduc. This is obviously not a need for regional representation. This looks more like an effort to get a turban into the cabinet pictures. Why is this guy in cabinet?

    • peterj Says:

      You had the answer. The turban. Must have the turban in the picture. Political correctness demands it.

  6. The Trusty Tory Says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a majority government. Do you know how long it’s taken to get this far?

    If Stephen Harper has to stack the Senate in order to pass Senate reform and all of his other legislation without being held up – then that’s what he has to do. We have a Constitution to go by.

    If Stephen Harper appoints someone to cabinet, I’m sure he has a pretty legitimate reason. He’s not an idiot. He is far from dumb. Maybe the guy is popular locally and that ensures the seat will be held. Remember, some of these areas have been Liberal for decades. The guy in Ignatieff’s riding is a cabinet minister. I’m sure it’s to keep the seat in Tory hands. I’m not at all concerned about it whatsoever.

  7. The Trusty Tory Says:

    By the way, I like Rona Ambrose. Just sayin’.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    When in opposition, Harper bitterly complained about Liberal “big government” and especially about the size of Paul Martin’s cabinet. The media was wondering what happened to Harper’s principles. That’s fair game n’est pas?

  9. Will Says:

    I’m not a CPC supporter but kudos to the author for telling it like it is.

    Quebec 5MP’s…4 ministers

    Alberta 27MP’s….4 ministers.

    And this is smaller government?

    Hope Larry Smith can survive on that salary in the senate.

  10. fh Says:

    well IMHO I agree with Prime Ministers reasoning that he needs to hear from all regions of Canada and the Conservatives need to build on the majority they have
    In order to get senate reform we need to start now
    this is the 21 first century after all
    keep your cool

  11. fh Says:

    my comment not found
    IMHO
    in my humble opinion I agree with the decisions made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper
    he wants to hear from all Canadians and work at increasing his majority in the next election
    I like his forward looking approach rather than always looking back
    history teaches us about mistakes to avoid as well as about things that work well
    we are living in a very different world situation than ever before
    give the government a chance to set some agenda and plans for Canada’s future

  12. james Says:

    Having actually worked with government as a contractor for more than a decade I can tell you the size of the cabinet is not a huge issue. Cabinet shuffles also have little impact on the actual largess and operations of a ministry or department. There’s new deputy ministers and directors put in place and this section’s now headed by this guy and whatever but in terms of budget and expenditure nothing changes.

    Trust me once the money leaves your pocket and is sent to the government it is pretty much flushed down the toilet.

    • BC Blue Says:

      I agree with you that the added cabinet is a drop in the bucket compared. It’s much more about the message that it sends and the disregard of the principles of smaller government and stopping regional pandering etc.

    • Kwil Says:

      As a contractor with the government, one would hope you’d do other things with our money than flush it down the toilet.

      But thanks for your contribution to good governance.

  13. Liz J Says:

    I’m miffed he didn’t give Chris Alexander anything as well, I also wish he had appointed only Bernier from Quebec. I’m tired of pandering to Quebec, giving them representation that far outweighs what they deserve. After rejecting his government, voting instead for the NDP, didn’t even know who the candidates running for the NDP were in some cases it makes no sense beyond the usual pandering.

  14. The Trusty Tory Says:

    Chris Alexander is a rookie. Perhaps he wants to see how he handles Parliament first. I watched a debate on CTV between Alexander and Holland and Chris Alexander tends to get tense when the media is on him. Perfectly normal – but he has to smooth his edges first.

  15. Joe Says:

    Just like to say that the size of the cabinet is not indicative of the size of the government. I would prefer to see 50 ministers all with the mandate of eliminating every bit of waste and overlap in their department than one “minister of everything” who is so busy he can’t see the growth in government.

  16. ohboy Says:

    Liz
    Its interesting to note the degrees of “rage” that are emenating throughout the Conservative blogsphere: re. the PM’s decisions/direction as to senate appointments, cabinet ministers etc.
    This is most likely due to the involvement of the core conservative base as we have ‘gone thru’ the process of watching this party grow from its earliest regional Reform days to its inception as a majority national party.

    Just as people of the conservative fold question PM Harper’s various moves…some with joy,some with consternation and some with outright rage…its all a question of perspective.
    We own the child…we have done the heavy lifting and we are engaged in its outcome as a platform that best expresses our beliefs.
    However we do not own the country, nor can we afford to ignore the many other hopes, aspirations and fears of those who did not believe enough in the CPC vision…for whatever reason.
    I’m sure that Preston Manning felt most deflated and perhaps betrayed when he lost the leadership of his ‘baby’ in 2000…only to be taken over by someone who saw at the least a different vision ; and that in turn to repeat itself again when Stockwell Day succumbed to the disention and takeover by Stephen Harper.
    We could also of course acknowledge David Orchard’s feelings of betrayal by Peter MacKay over the absorbtion of the PC Party into the CPC in 2003.

    What all this shows is that in politics as in life nothing totally goes as planned.That is because nothing is ever static (thankfully) and the other side’s opinion/influence within any given events acts as a modifier in the final equation/result

    I think we just have to accept this and put our trust in Mr Harper’s judgement as to why he does what he does and allow ourselves to sit back and critically evaluate the process, while at the same time not undermining that process.

    So called disgruntled MPs and ‘headline jockies’ are on the whole disingenuous… they are either lining themseves up for optics…a political advantage… or just to earn a living .
    We as the electorated have placed our trust in Mr Harper’s abilities and if in the end he should fail us , we DO have the option of placing our vote elsewhere.
    However it is far too early on our part to display disatisfaction or to attempt to run our own end game around this new gov’t.

    It hasn’t even sat yet.

  17. ohboy Says:

    You’re quite right Dean…on second reading the Orchard/MacKay comparison was perhaps a vagrant thought that got lost in the writing.
    Having reread the post on a larger screen format shows this.
    These older eyes sometimes have a problem picking up on what is not pertinent when viewing the little composition box.
    A nice preview screen before post is always most welcome.

    cheers SC


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