By Ryan McGreal
Published January 04, 2007
Canada.com reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is moving Rona Ambrose out of the Environment portfolio and replacing her with John Baird. Ambrose is taking over Intergovernmental Affairs.
Laird - the Harper loyalist, former cabinet minister in the Ontario PC governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, and federal Minister who made a billion dollars in ideological cuts to 66 federal programs even as the government announced a $13 billion surplus - is an unlikely champion for environmentalism in a party that is so deeply beholden to the Alberta oil industry.
It seems Ambrose was moved out not because she didn't do enough to protect the environment but because her inane comments have made her a visible flashpoint for the gulf between the government's too little, too late climate change policy and what most Canadians actually want.
This government has had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that it takes climate change seriously. Instead, it has played politics with the Liberals' equally shameful record of inaction, proposed lame greenhouse gas reduction targets that don't take effect until 2020, and exempted the biggest offenders - the Tar Sands industry.
Even with an election coming sooner or later, it's hard to believe this cabinet shuffle is anything other than a distraction from bidness as usual.