No interest in cabinet tinkering: PM 0
Prime Minister Stephen Harper. (File Photo)
Cabinet ministers targeted by critics for fumbling their files are being given a second chance - at least until the middle of this Conservative majority mandate.
In a radio interview with Calgary talk show host Dave Rutherford Thursday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he has no interest in constantly tinkering with his cabinet and prefers to keep his current stable of ministers focused on the job at hand.
"We'll probably have a new session mid-term when we'll take a look at how everybody's performing and make some major changes at that point," he said.
Harper gave two ministers new jobs Wednesday to fill the hole in his cabinet left by Bev Oda, who is retiring at the end of the month.
Julian Fantino is taking over her international co-operation portfolio. Bernard Valcourt takes over from Fantino as associate minister of national defence while holding onto his job as minister of state for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and La Francophonie.
And while Defence Minister Peter Mackay and Public Safety Minister Vic Toews have both been lightning rods for criticism for their handling of the F-35 fighter jet file and the lawful access legislation respectively, Harper hinted they're sticking around.
He cited both re-equipping the military and the law-and-order agenda as important initiatives still on the government's agenda.
Many of Harper's minister's have held their portfolios for at least four years, including Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
Queen's University political science Prof. Ned Franks said Thursday that it takes time for a minister to learn and master their files, and it's good to see some continuity on the federal political scene after a successive series of minority governments.
"I'm happy to see them being kept in longer," he said.