Stephen Harper shuffles his cabinet: includes eight newcomers, four new women

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

Prime Minister Stephen Harper took to Twitter — yes, Twitter — on Monday morning to announce his new federal cabinet. It wasn't the complete overhaul that some were expecting, but the shuffle Harper announced was pretty significant.

Eighteen ministers shifted portfolios, and eight MPs made the jump from the backbenches into the prime minister's inner circle.

Harper left the finance ministries intact: Jim Flaherty remains in the Finance portfolio while Tony Clement remains as President of the Treasury Board. Other senior ministers to stay put include Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird and Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver.

The biggest promotions go to B.C. MP James Moore and Alberta MP Rona Ambrose. Moore goes from Canadian Heritage to Industry while Ambrose is now Canada's Health Minister.

[ Related: Can a cabinet shuffle help the Conservatives change the channel on the Senate scandals? ]

The eight newcomers to cabinet include four women. Kellie Leitch and Shelly Glover lead that list — they now serve as Minister of Labour and the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages respectively.

Harper said that the new cabinet will focus on "creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity in all regions of the country."

"These changes to the Ministry feature both younger Members of Parliament ready for new opportunities, and steady hands that will continue to deliver strong leadership in key portfolios. In particular, I am proud to welcome four new strong and capable women to the Cabinet table," he said in a statement.

"In addition to the economy, our Government will continue to keep our streets and communities safe, celebrate our history, and promote Canada’s interests on the world stage. This new Ministry will work hard on behalf of all Canadians."

The highly anticipated shuffle is widely viewed as the government's re-set heading into the 2015 election amid slumping poll numbers and the surging popularity of Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. A new frontbench, with younger MPs and more women, is also expected to help the government 'change the channel' — at least temporarily — from the ongoing Senate controversies.

Stephen Taylor of the National Citizens Coalition calls it "an election-facing cabinet."

"The Prime Minister says that this cabinet represents ‘generational change’. A fresh-faced cabinet at the midpoint of the Prime Minister’s mandate presents an opportunity to pivot away from recent troubles in the Prime Minister's Office and Senate," Taylor told Yahoo! Canada News in an email exchange.

"Yet, the cabinet now has 39 members and is far too big; much of the cabinet is for show rather than for state administration."

In a statement released shortly after the announcement, Trudeau released a statement suggesting that, despite the cabinet shuffle, it will be the status quo on Parliament Hill.

"Today’s Cabinet shuffle will not provide Canadians with the real change they want to see. It is clear that the only Minister who has any power in this government is the Prime Minister. Today’s shuffle does not change that," he said in the statement.

"Canadians elected Members of Parliament to represent their views in Ottawa, but under the Harper Conservatives, they have had Ottawa’s views imposed on them."

[ More Canadian Politics: Annoyed Canadians swamp Prime Minister’s Office with emails about Senate expense scandal ]

Here is the complete list of the new Cabinet:

Ministers who keep their same posts:

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development: Bernard Valcourt

Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario: Tony Clement

Minister of Foreign Affairs: John Baird

Minister of Finance: Jim Flaherty

Minister of Natural Resources: Joe Oliver

Leader of the government in the House of Commons: Peter Van Loan

President of the Treasury Board: Tony Clement

Minister of International Trade: Ed Fast

Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food: Gerry Ritz

Minister of State - Small Business and Tourism/Agriculture: Maxime Bernier

Minister of State - Seniors: Alice Wong

Minister of State - Sport: Bal Gosal

Ministers who shifted to new portfolios:

Minister of National Defence: Rob Nicholson (formerly Minister of Justice)

Minister of Justice and Attorney General: Peter MacKay (formerly Minister of National Defence)

Minister of Public Works and Government Services: Diane Finley (formerly Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development)

Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness: Steven Blaney (formerly Minister of Veterans Affairs)

Minister of Employment and Social Development: Jason Kenney (formerly Minister of Citizenship and Immigration)

Minister of Industry: James Moore (formerly Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages)

Minister of International Development and Minister for La Francaphonie: Christian Paradis (formerly Minister of Industry)

Minister of Transport: Lisa Raitt (formerly Minister of Labour)

Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs: Denis Lebel (formerly Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities)

Minister of National Revenue: Kerry-Lynne Findlay (formerly Associate Minister of National Defence)

Minister of the Environment/Minister of CanNor/Minister for the Arctic Council: Leona Aglukkaq (formerly Minister of Health)

Minister of Health: Rona Ambrose (formerly Minister of Public Works/Minister of Status of Women)

Minister of Veteran Affairs: Julian Fantino (formerly Minister of International Cooperation)

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans: Gail Shea (formerly Minister of National Revenue)

Minister of State - Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario: Gary Goodyear (Formerly Minister of State - Science and Technology)

Minister of State - Chief government whip: John Duncan (formerly Minister of Aboriginal affairs until Feb. 2013)

Minister of State - Foreign Affairs and Consular Services: Lynne Yelich (formerly Minister of State - Western Diversification)

Minister of State - Multiculturalism: Tim Uppal (formerly Minister of State - Democratic Reform)

New Ministers:

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration: Chris Alexander

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages: Shelly Glover

Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification): Michelle Rempel

Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women: Kellie Leitch

Minister of State - Finance: Kevin Sorenson

Minister of State - Science & Technology: Greg Rickford

Minister of State - Social Development: Candace Bergen

Minister of State - Democratic Reform : Pierre Poilievre

Minister of State - ACOA: Rob Moore (Note: Rob Moore was a Minister of State from 2010 to 2011)

(Photo courtesy of the Canadian Press)

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