Halton Hills and North Halton newspapers
Editorial: A mixed bag
Independent & Free Press (Georgetown, ON), 8 Feb 2006, p. 6

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With his appointments to cabinet Monday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper let it be known he won't be a shrinking violet while living in 24 Sussex Drive. His choices could be dubbed the good, the bad and the ugly. The Good: Harper opted for a smaller cabinet and strove to get representation from across the country even though he had no members from B.C., Quebec, or Toronto to pick from. Facing such limitations he managed to get a good mix, involving the few experienced members he had to choose from and bringing in some youthful exuberance. Included in that latter group was Wellington-Halton Hills MP Michael Chong who was handed the portfolios of intergovernmental affairs and sport. With the Turin Olympics on the horizon and Vancouver to host the 2010 Games Chong could find himself a busy man. We don't doubt he is up to the challenge. The Bad: Harper stunned many, and perhaps rankled even more, with the surprise inclusion of a Liberal defector. Naming Liberal floor-crosser David Emerson trade minister only two weeks after he vigorously campaigned against the Tories and warned voters that a Harper government would bring massive cuts to crucial government programs, smacks of the lack of accountability Harper accused the Liberals of often and loudly. The Ugly: Installing Tory organizer Michael Fortier in the Senate so he can act as public works minister-- the very ministry that spawned the sponsorship scandal-- smacks of cronyism-- the very thing Harper rightfully lambasted the Liberals for. The very fact Fortier was unelected is reason enough for him not to be part of Harper's cabinet. His appointment is a slap in the face to voters, as is Emerson's defection two weeks after the election.

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8 Feb 2006
Personal Name(s):
Harper, Stephen ; Fortier, Michael ; Chong, Michael ; Emerson, David
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Turin Olympics
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Editorial: A mixed bag