I expected Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s cabinet reshuffle to trim down government and bring Canada to par with other democracies. But Harper increased the ministries from 38 to 39, making the Conservative cabinet the second largest in Canadian history, and largest in the democratic world.
Harper’s bloated cabinet is much larger than the US’ 15 “cabinet” posts and 7 “cabinet-level” posts. At most, Canada needs only 23 cabinet posts.
The Ministry of National Defence could accommodate both the Ministry of Veterans Affairs and the Associate Ministry of National Defence. The Ministry of Public Safety would do well as a division of the Ministry of Justice.
And then there the ministries of “National Revenue”and “State (Finance)”. Don’t they belong with the Ministry of Finance? The Ministries of Fisheries and Oceans, and Ministry of Natural Resources could merge. The Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food could absorb both the Ministry of State (Agriculture) and Ministry for the Canadian Wheat Board.
As important as preserving Canadian heritage is, the Ministry of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages belongs with Jason Kenney’s Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.
Why do we need a Ministry of State for Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs) when we have the powerful Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry for the Asia-Pacific Gateway belongs within the Ministry of International Trade. And robust Ministry of “Federal Economic Development” could easily accommodate most, if not all, of these six related ministries:
- Ministry of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
- Ministry for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
- Ministry of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
- Ministry of State (Western Economic Diversification)
- Ministry of State (Science and Technology) (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario)
- Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)
And what the heck does the Minister of State (Democratic Reform) do?