It’s a preemptive strike of sorts.
Environment Minister Peter Kent knows he’ll be a backbencher after PM Stephen Harper’s much-anticipated cabinet reshuffle. That much the Conservative MP for Thornhill, Ontario, confirmed in a message published on Facebook on Friday.
“If, in the fullness of time and the eventual shuffle, I do find myself a backbench Parliamentarian, I will enthusiastically embrace what will be, for me, exciting new challenges,” Kent wrote.
Kent, a former broadcaster, was first elected to the House of Commons in 2008. He’s the fifth member of the Conservative cabinet to jump ship ahead of the reshuffle.
I do pity Kent. In the last two years, he did everything possible to please his dictatorial boss, and the Conservatives’ corporate masters.
As I blogged earlier, Harper’s Canada is reminiscent of Orwell’s nightmarish “1984″ world. Kent was at the forefront of the Conservatives’ increasing use of doublespeak and Joseph Goebbels-style propaganda to stifle democratic debate on the issues of our time, including the Alberta tar sands, the environment and climate change.
This is also evident in Kent’s Facebook message. He tries to create the illusion that he’s also voluntarily making way for young blood on the Conservatives frontline. He says, ”Our Conservative caucus has an abundance of talented MPs and it is only appropriate that other, younger men and women should take a turn in cabinet.”
In April, 2012, Kent bizarrely accused environmental groups of “money laundering” during an episode of the CBC Radio’s The House program. He was responding to Canadians’ legitimate concern that the Conservatives were trying to silence these groups.
Kent also played a decisive role in the Harper Government’s muzzling of scientists, according to these documents.
Here’s the full text of Kent’s message:
It has been an honour, since 2008, to proudly represent the GTA constituency of Thornhill in the House of Commons. Prime Minister Harper amplified that honour when he appointed me to his Cabinet, first as the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas) and, since January 2011, as Minister of the Environment.
Given increasing speculation regarding the coming Cabinet shuffle, statements from a number of esteemed colleagues that they will not run in the 2015 election and should not be considered for cabinet, and, in response to concerns expressed by Thornhill constituents, I wish to clarify a number of issues.
Whatever the outcome of the impending changes to Cabinet, I firmly intend to stand for re-election in 2015.
While it has been a great honour to have served in cabinet, political service does not begin or end in that revered body.
Our Conservative caucus has an abundance of talented MPs and it is only appropriate that other, younger men and women should take a turn in cabinet. I will fully support the PM’s eventual decisions.
If, in the fullness of time and the eventual shuffle, I do find myself a backbench Parliamentarian, I will enthusiastically embrace what will be, for me, exciting new challenges.
Although still officially hypothetical, I would be able to better devote myself to my Thornhill constituents, to their issues, and to the issues of the Greater Toronto Area.
Most important among those issues; growing the economy, helping job creation, protecting our environment, AND, working to ensure the re-election of a strong, stable, majority Conservative government.