University of Calgary

Prime Minister Harper makes changes to federal portfolios

UToday HomeJuly 17, 2013

Calgary Southeast MP Minister Jason Kenney, now minister of Employment and Social Development, speaks to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa. Photo courtesy Government of CanadaCalgary Southeast MP Minister Jason Kenney, now minister of Employment and Social Development, speaks to the Economic Club of Canada in Ottawa. Photo courtesy Government of CanadaOn Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced a number of changes to the federal cabinet. The Prime Minister retains some key performers in their current roles, including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Treasury Board President Tony Clement, and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Other senior ministers found themselves in new roles: Jason Kenney, MP for Calgary Southeast, assumes the Employment and Social Development portfolio, and James Moore from B.C. assumes the Industry portfolio. Cabinet newcomer Greg Rickford from Ontario takes over the key portfolio of minister of state for Science and Technology, a critical role for post-secondary education, research and innovation.

The province of Alberta has significant representation at the cabinet table with six appointments, including the prime minister. Although Kenney will move out of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, he assumes another critical role as minister of Employment and Social Development (Human Resource and Skills Development Canada). His new role will see him focus on employment and the labour market. Already, Minister Kenney has spoken about the need to align the job skills of Canadians with the many employment opportunities that exist. Kenney will remain as regional minister for Southern Alberta.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper serves pancakes with Calgary Centre-North MP Michelle Rempel at Northgate Mall in Calgary in July 2012. Photo courtesy Herman Cheung, Government of CanadaPrime Minister Stephen Harper serves pancakes with Calgary Centre-North MP Michelle Rempel at Northgate Mall in Calgary in July 2012. Photo courtesy Herman Cheung, Government of CanadaWith the pending retirements of former Alberta ministers Diane Ablonczy and Ted Menzies, the prime minister elevated two other Alberta MPs to their first cabinet positions. Calgary Centre-North MP Michelle Rempel will become minister of state for Western Economic Diversification. This portfolio will allow her to continue pursuing her interests in the fields of science, research, and technology commercialization. MP Kevin Sorenson, representing the Crowfoot riding to the south and east of Calgary, will become minister of state for Finance. Rona Ambrose (Health) and Tim Uppal (Multiculturalism) are the other two Alberta representatives named to cabinet.

The University of Calgary is proud to recognize two alumni in the federal Cabinet. In addition to Prime Minister Stephen Harper (BA ’85, MA ’91), Nepean-Carlton MP Pierre Poilievre (BA ’08) was appointed to cabinet for the first time as minister of state for Democratic Reform.

When Parliament reconvenes on Sept. 16, a Speech from the Throne is expected. The speech will allow the prime minister to further define his agenda and priorities for the final two years of this mandate. After what will likely be a lively six weeks of parliamentary activity, Conservative MPs will gather in Calgary to hold their convention on Oct. 31, which was postponed due to the floods in southern Alberta.

 

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