Politics - Federal

John Baird Replaces Rona Ambrose as Environment Minister

By Ryan McGreal
Published January 04, 2007

Canada.com reports that Prime Minister Stephen Harper is moving Rona Ambrose out of the Environment portfolio and replacing her with John Baird. Ambrose is taking over Intergovernmental Affairs.

Laird - the Harper loyalist, former cabinet minister in the Ontario PC governments of Mike Harris and Ernie Eves, and federal Minister who made a billion dollars in ideological cuts to 66 federal programs even as the government announced a $13 billion surplus - is an unlikely champion for environmentalism in a party that is so deeply beholden to the Alberta oil industry.

It seems Ambrose was moved out not because she didn't do enough to protect the environment but because her inane comments have made her a visible flashpoint for the gulf between the government's too little, too late climate change policy and what most Canadians actually want.

This government has had plenty of opportunities to demonstrate that it takes climate change seriously. Instead, it has played politics with the Liberals' equally shameful record of inaction, proposed lame greenhouse gas reduction targets that don't take effect until 2020, and exempted the biggest offenders - the Tar Sands industry.

Even with an election coming sooner or later, it's hard to believe this cabinet shuffle is anything other than a distraction from bidness as usual.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By meltdown (anonymous) | Posted January 05, 2007 at 01:03:40

Her comments were often inane. (I think her 1st t.v. appearance - Rick Mercer's show gave us all an inkling that she was out of her depth.)
But if the policy is inane, how can she do any better than comment on what she has to work with?

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