Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So when did Environment become an 'arduous' ministry?

OK, everyone knows Stephen Harper is shuffling cabinet on Thursday. Ooooooh.

The main impetus is to deal with the hulking wreck of a situation which is his fave woman cabinet minister, fellow Albertan Rona Ambrose -- and to position himself for a federal election which could come anytime after the budget later this winter (or after the Bloc's resolution on Afghanistan, if you believe them).

It is highly annoying, however, to read all the shuffle speculation pieces and read how we should feel badly that Ambrose had such a hard time of it. Really? When in living memory has there ever been an "embattled" environment minister before.

Ever? At any previous point in Canadian history? Don't think so.

Sure the environment we'd say is the most important long-term issue (though increasingly short-term) facing the planet, let alone the country. But, if you're at all doing your job, it should be the ministry of good news. Defend the Earth here. Hand out grants there.

And, if things go badly, you can somewhat truthfully say that the responsibility is everyone's, not just the government's -- and people pretty much have to nod in agreement. Or if there's ever a big environmental incident, there's usually a big corporation at fault you can blame and levy big fines and send people to jail.

"She's such a loyalist that she let the PMO micromanage her office," is the line from "Tory insiders" about what went wrong.

Even with an agenda driven by the Alberta oil patch (read: subsidiaries of American oil companies), she botched her portfolio so badly in so short a time, she wasn't doing anyone any good -- except critics of the Harper's anti-Kyoto/climate-change-denial agenda on the environment.

How about some truth from the Parliament Gallery, as in "she's incompetent and should be out on her ear"?

We won't hold our breath for that one.


Farewell Curtis, it was an abrupt announcement of your departure from blogland. It will be a poorer place for it.

Welcome back, Hack.