10.21.2015 03:00 PM

I don’t “dish.” I “spew.”

P.S. Elizabeth May: if you had wanted to be a Liberal Minister of the Environment, you should have run as, you know, a Liberal.

Here’s Charles’ story:

Will Elizabeth May be the next federal Minister of the Environment? Not too likely – even though a growing enthusiastic, populist movement has been championing the idea.

Three petitions are circulating, calling on Justin Trudeau to make the Green Party leader the minister. Trudeau, however, has no need to look outside his own caucus – which is packed with potential candidates – for the position.

“I just don’t see that, however capable she is,” said Warren Kinsella, a former advisor to former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien. “If you reach outside the circle of people who are elected as Liberals to somebody who is their opponent, you could have some of these folks pretty mad at you.”

As qualified as May is for the job – and the former director of the Sierra Club of Canada and a long-time champion of the environment is very qualified – so are many of the newly elected Liberals. In fact, it’s almost an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the number of people who could step up to the position.


  1. SG says:

    Since Trudeau wants to bring in tens (hundreds?) of thousands of unvetted, unscreened, unskilled, likely illiterate young male “refugees” from Syria to add to Canada’s multiculti paradise, perhaps he should make Elizabeth May immigration minister? Given her love for Omar Khadr, I think she is perfectly qualified to be the one to open the floodgates.

    • Elsie Marley says:

      And maybe Trudeau can reinstate the missing Canada Food Agency inspectors (tragic casualties of Canada’s recent ten year “Age of Endarkenment”) to ensure that the grapes some insist on sucking aren’t quite so sour and that the copious quantities of crow being served up all over the nation is federally inspected & safe to eat.

    • smelter rat says:

      Go spew your nonsense on Ezra’s site, peckerhead.

      • Justin says:

        Ahhh, smelter rat. It’s good to see you still have your head firmly placed up your ass as usual.

      • SG says:

        It seems we have another Liberal who doesn’t even know his own leader’s policies and statements!

        • fan590 says:

          It’s only been a couple of days.

          Hopefully you’ll be feeling better about the MASSIVE TRUDEAU VICTORY in a few days, months or years.

          • SG says:

            I know Liberals don’t “do” math (Justin’s pa couldn’t count to 10 using all his fingers; Paul Martin at least knew enough math to figure out how much to shift onto the provinces), but the Liberal majority of 2015 is exactly the same as the Conservative majority of 2011. 54% of the seats with roughly 39.5% of the vote. Neither is or was particularly massive. I guess electoral reform is now off the table? Or will you be whining about it again in 2018 when, in all likelihood, Ontario balances out again and elects a Conservative government provincially, with the traditional ~40% of the vote?

        • Bluegreenblogger says:

          You seem to be a mite disappointed. Well you know, racism and bigotry is a pretty hard sell in Canada. You are selling, but we ain`t buying.

    • godot10 says:

      There are going to a lot of disappointed and grumpy old white men in the Liberal caucus on Nov 4. Goodale is safe because he is the only Liberal from Saskatchewan. But John McKay, John McCallum, Marc Garneau, Mark Holland…etc. etc. etc.

      The 12 or 13 male slots go fast (if the Cabinet is 25 plus Trudeau) Alberta(no choice but a man and Alberta will feel shortchanged with less than two ministers). Saskatchewan(Goodale) NewBrunswick(LeBlanc), NovaScotia(Bryson)…and one is down to 7 or 8 (or 9 if Trudeau’s first gesture to Alberta is one finger…err one member of Cabinet).

      There are going to be a lot of disappointed and grumpy MP’s from the GTA in the Liberal caucus on Nov 4.

      i.e. The old bourough of Toronto has Chrystia Freeland, Bob Mourneau, and Adam Vaughn, probably all believing that they are going to be in Cabinet…but if the Cabinet is limited to 25 and gender and regionally balanced and diverse, than really only one of them can be in Cabinet.

      i.e. Ditto Ottawa, with David McGuinty, Andrew Leslie, and Catherine McKenna…probably only 1.

    • Terence Quinn says:

      Many of those refugees are well educated people who actually have money to support themselves and make a living here. You team lost because of bonehead stuff that you continue to propagate.

  2. Russ says:

    I absolutely agree – May has no place inside a Liberal cabinet. She chose to run as a Green knowing full well what that entailed. The Liberal caucus has a lot of well qualified people for this and every cabinet post. If it was my choice, it would be Joyce Murray for Environment Minister. But it’s not, it is Justin Trudeau’s and I’m confident he will make the right choice.

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      No, I disagree. Joyce should have an important role (due to the symbolism) in Democratic Reform. the Liberal Party has to address this issue now, so either embrace and organise the crap out of the half million or so Canadians who will climb on that bandwagon. If the Liberals can steer us into a single transferable vote, they will have back to back majorities at a minimum.

  3. The Doctor says:

    There seems to be some prog-lefty fantasy out there (including on facebook) that what we elected on Monday was some sort of consensus prog-lefty quasi-coalition government. What we elected was a Liberal majority government under our Westminster system of government. And if I were someone like Joyce Murray, I’d be pretty pissed at getting passed over for the job to Lizzie, after years of faithful service to the LPC. Lizzie should focus on trying to remain halfway sober at the next Press Gallery dinner.

  4. Sean says:

    …actually, that is precisely the sort of foolishness I would expect from JT.

    Oh yeah… hands up if you don’t think JT’s team is even allowing him to make any of these decisions.

  5. dean sherratt says:

    I’m afraid that the call to make May the Environment Minister displays the foolishness of the new and trendy tri-partisanship of voters who think the Liberals, NDP and Greens are really one happy family distinguished from the evil Conservatives. First, the Liberals are going to draw on every member of their Caucus to fill the Cabinet. What would you do if you were say one of the “34” and bypassed by someone not even of your own party? Second, May is very much a loner in the sense that she does and says what she wants. She has no one in the Green Party who will correct her in any way. I think she would be a Minister unaccustomed to caucus discipline and quite capable of brown packets if she didn’t get her way.

    • KBab says:

      “brown packets”?

      • Cory says:

        Agreed, from many of the comments I’ve read and heard a lot of these new voters that JT drew in have no idea how our political system actually works and expects that everything they’ve ever wanted, legal pot, soaring economy, end of oil, solar panels everywhere, no more war, big increases to social programs, etc, is just a couple months away.

        Gonna be a lot of disappointed people.

      • dean sherratt says:

        I’m sorry…perhaps I have the expression wrong…I intended “brown paper packets” with no return address as an expression for leaks.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Plus, she’s a horrible person, and just generally a nutcase.

      (But you aren’t allowed to say so, evidently.)

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      Yeah, I have worked with Elizabeth May, and you have described how she behaves to a tee. I would not feed her anything confidential. The way she gets her way just would not fly, then you are stuck trying to dump her from Cabinet without a $hit storm. She is brilliant, but she is not a leader. She is a tyrant.

  6. doconnor says:

    One advantage of making her Environment Minister is that she could no longer publicly criticize the government.

    After the last election there was talk that the NDP should give her a seat on the Environment committee, but even that it highly unlikely.

    • Vancouverois says:

      Yeah, right. Do you really think that being a Minister would keep her from saying whatever she wants? Don’t think so.

      • doconnor says:

        Because of her respect for our parliamentary traditions, she would likely turn down the opportunity to become a minister so she could continue to say what she wants.

  7. Luke says:

    I actually like the idea, in terms of giving the Green leader a break after lots of arguably unfair treatment by the media (debate exclusion, most notably). I like it symbolically, in that it would signal a clear and decisive shift form the Conservatives approach to the environment file, while also acknowledging disenchanted Green voters. May is also a very impressive person, in my view — has a thorough knowledge and a clear vision that, while I disagree with parts of it, are at the very least well intentioned and well informed.

    However, indeed I would be one very unimpressed Joyce Murray if I didn’t get this post in favour of an opponent. She is my MP, and I would expect to see her in cabinet. There are a great many Liberal MPs to choose from too.

    Such offers aren’t totally unprecedented though, right? Didn’t Trudeau 1.0 offer Broadbent a cabinet position of some kind?

    • Tim Sullivan says:

      David Emerson crossed the floor from the Liberals to the Conservatives to sit in Harper’s cabinet.

      • Reality.Bites says:

        While I never would have voted for May, the people who did voted for her primarily because she was leader of the Green Party. It would be a betrayal, just like Emerson’s move was.

        In any event, this discussion is pointless. It’s a silly idea and there’s nothing to indicate Mr. Trudeau is giving it the slightest consideration. It makes as much sense as inviting Stephen Harper into cabinet.

  8. A, Voter says:

    Why not appoint David Suzuki as environment minister and have a Liberal in a safe seat resign to let him enter the House of Commons? I think I’ll start a petition.

  9. Kaiser Helmets 'n Motorbikes says:

    Trouble in green paradise already?

    Jesus Trudeau promised to calm the oceans and turn back the coming warming (never mind that snow last week…) JT also promised Olde Lizzie a bike in every car port, how can he refuse her simple request to safe the planet?

    • fan590 says:

      Keep mocking and underestimating JT.

      Yeah, keep it up…

      And enjoy him being PM for the next 12 years.

      • Justin says:

        Now, now fan. Don’t be arrogant. You’re acting like those so called “nasty” cons you were blubbering on about for the past four years.

  10. Mark says:

    I’d be surprised if she were interested, given the constraints that would go with it. What I would like to see is the Canadian delegation to the Paris climate conference include representatives from all parties, as used to be the case before Harper. Plus, there’s certainly no need to bring someone into the government if the goal is meaningful consultation and collaboration.

    • ottawacon says:

      It did not really include members from all parties in a full sense, but I agree. Prior to 2006, opposition MPs were allowed to attend and accredited, although had no meaningful role. After 2006, if they wished to attend the UNFCCC conference, they could not do so as government, and were forced to get NGO accreditation.

      May would be a terrible representative for Canada in Paris. Even with a firm political mandate, which is unclear at this point, Canada’s delegation is going to be faced with a massive challenge. We have done the ‘give away the farm for the lovely press release’ thing, complete with subsequent years of inaction. There is no time for that now. Canada needs to go, be part of constructing a deal in good faith, and then actually implement it.

  11. smelter rat says:

    The fact that thousands of people have signed this nonsense is proof we need to start teaching the parliamentary process in the school system. Give your heads a shake people.

  12. Tim says:

    That’s asking for trouble. On a portfolio like that you need loyalty. Not every environmental decision is going to agree with May’s convictions, and without her officially in the fold you’re asking her to embarrass the government at some point. I assume such an agreement would dissolve for any impending election, at which point she’ll have to talk dirt about her time with the Liberals. It would be a thankless gesture.

  13. gyor says:

    Elizabeth May deserves a reward for all her service to the Liberal Party given all her hard work undermining the NDP on the Liberal’s behalf.

    I remember the first debate where she constantly attacked Mulcair on behalf of Trudeau, while not questioning Trudeau even once on his policies. Her betrayal of her own party on Trudeau’s behalf surily deserves a reward, that’s how the Liberal Party works.

    Trudeau’s dad betrayed the CCF and got to be leader of the Liberals and then PM.

    • fan590 says:

      Dippers didn’t need any help blowing the election.

      They did a great job on their own.

      Now if only Sleepy Tom gets another chance. He deserves another shot. Keep him. He’ll do better next time.

    • Vancouverois says:

      She certainly has spent a lot of time campaigning for the Liberal party. I have to wonder how the actual Greens feel about that, though.

    • Bluegreenblogger says:

      I am no fan of EMay, but she sure as hell doesn`t owe the NDP any favours. She had every reason to go after the NDP. They were competing directly on Vancouver Island. The NDP never stops whining about their entitlement to a chunk of the electorate. It`s never about the NDP`s inability to win elections, it is always a dark conspiracy to `steal`their supporters.

  14. Ted H says:

    Lots of news today listing all of the potential cabinet ministers JT has to choose from. They certainly strike me as having more depth, more qualifications, more real experience and more wide spread interests than the bunch that warmed seats around Harper’s cabinet table.

  15. dean says:

    i’m pretty aghast at the media coverage the last few days. if one was to read it all in a bubble, they would have to conclude that people did not knowingly vote for JT and that the policies he espoused were hidden and not on full display. yes, he’s pulling the airstrikes. yes, he’s introducing new taxes. yes, he’s looking at the legalization of marijuana. anyone that is suddenly outraged by this should have to explain where they have been for a very long election campaign and why they have not been paying attention if this is so important to them .. and the journalists writing these articles should also be asked where they have been.

    we had at least three clear options put in front of us. we voted for one (seemingly overwhelmingly). it’s time to stop discounting what these votes meant and pretending that they were all a vote against something instead of a vote for something to discredit the liberal mandate.

    • The Doctor says:

      Dean, I hear you, that info was all out there and available. BUT what we had in this election was a classic “protest vote”/”throw the bums out” dynamic. Not unlike the recent Alberta election, except even more bitter and emphatic and very personalized. When that dynamic is at work, you inevitably have tons of voters who simply cast a negative/protest vote without having much of a clue as to what the platform is of the party they voted for. Then, inevitably, comes the morning after. “I voted for THAT?”

      • dean says:

        I haven’t talked to anyone who voted for Trudeau with their eyes closed yet, Doc. Maybe I’m in an echo chamber (very possible) but so far he seems to have connected on at least one platform plank. O’Leary certainly didn’t vote for Trudeau. And if Couillard’s cabinet didn’t know what they were voting for.. says something..

        I’m also jaded as a result of the local NDP candidate’s continued “woe is me” communications. Another one out tonight.. with direct links to the previous communication.. I wouldn’t be surprised if we get something else on Friday.

        • Nicole says:

          I have been very unimpressed with the NDP losing candidate whining on social media following the election. I will give kudos to Olivia Chow though as she has been gracious about the loss. For people who aren’t tied to either Liberals or NDP, reading about the absolute bitter and unprofessional reactions of the NDP candidates certainly makes one think about supporting them in the future. If you are disappointed about losing, tell your friends in private. Doing it publicly and on social media is simply immature.

      • Vancouverois says:

        I don’t think it was as much “throw the bums out” as people here seem to think. I think at least half of it was “Oooo, JT is so young and handsome, and he’s talking about hopey-changey stuff, and he seems really nice! I’ll vote for HIM!”

  16. PJ says:

    As much as I like Elizabeth May…. PM Trudeau would have a fine choice in former Environment critic, Dr. Kirsty Duncan…….

  17. PJ says:

    I made the same point exactly on Facebook. A lot of Liberals from the grass roots to the leader did a lot of heavy lifting to get this party from a rump 3rd place to a strong majority government. To now pick a cabinet minister to someone outside the caucus, well that would be like giving Pierre Trudeau’s single finger salute to all of them.

    I could mention that Miss May had reneged on a handshake agreement with then Liberal leader Stephan Dion in which the Liberals agreed not to field a candidate in Central Nova when she was running in that riding, and Miss May was to tell Green voters to support the Liberal candidate in ridings where the Liberal had a better chance than the Green of winning.
    Mr. Dion honored his part of the deal, Miss May reneged on hers.

    And of course who can forget Miss May’s appearance at the Press Gallery Gala, where Lisa Riatt tried to stop her from embarrassing herself. That’s equivalent to getting drunk at the office Christmas party. Management may forgive but it never forgets and you never get promoted if you are lucky to keep your job.

    Justin Trudeau does not need this headache in his caucus, he is too shrewd a politician to make this rookie mistake.


    • The Doctor says:

      . . . and you didn’t even mention Loony Liz presenting that 9/11 Truther petition to Parliament. How can anyone take this woman seriously after that? It boggles the mind.

  18. Joe says:

    I for one fail to see how being the president of the Sierra Club and an activist qualifies anyone for anything more elegant than the cleaner of the elephant’s cage at the local zoo. As PM Harper found out putting a general as minister of DND doesn’t work and I believe putting an activist in charge of the department of the environment won’t work either.

  19. mf says:

    One could argue that the Liberals owe something to those who voted for them only to get rid of Harper. Lot of those would have otherwise voted green.

    • PJ says:

      If you voted Liberal, you get a Liberal Party platform. Certainly, Miss May can influence debate and discussion as a high profile MP.
      Of course if Green voters are unhappy with this comment, maybe they would prefer Mr.Harper’s Environmental policies over the incoming Liberal government’s policies.

  20. fan590 says:

    Liberals already have enough talent available to take this very important position.

    However, the Liberals take May seriously and will invite her to be an important voice in creating new policies for a better Canada. Join the big tent where all are welcome.

  21. Maps Onburt says:

    Even I don’t think Justin (er, PM Elect Trudeau Jr.) is stupid or silly enough to do that.

  22. SG says:

    Last time the Liberals were in power they had a worse record on fossil fuel emissions than George W. Bush.

    Justin has indicated support for pipelines so I don’t quite see how that meshes with a possible Environment Minister Elizabeth May.

    • Terence Quinn says:

      Pipelines over train deliveries or do we just bring horses and donkeys back? The outlandish lobbies against the pipelines is mostly funded by either Railway tycoons (Warren Buffet) or simply wild eyed greenies. A Trudeau government will be pragmatic and honest in its approach and that will win over many, but not all, sceptics.
      Leaving the oil in the ground is not an option for this Country.

      • SG says:

        You don’t need to convince me. I wholeheartedly support the pipeline initiatives, particularly Energy East as it safeguards our energy needs while providing jobs here at home and particularly in a region of the country that needs them. To hell with Keystone – if the Democrats insist on being pricks, we need to find other routes.

  23. WDM says:

    First on the Cabinet. It could never happen, the media, the party and the Opposition would all go into fits, but I’d put as many 2011 Liberals in that Cabinet. The best thing in the world for the Andrew Leslie’s of the world would be a stint chairing the Veterans Affairs Committee for 2 years before going into Cabinet. I like him (and many of the other rookies) but they will be much better Ministers in 2017 with two years of learning the ropes in the HoC than they would be today.

    On May, not only would you face internal backlash, a Minister needs to be in lockstep with the government. May wouldn’t last a month as a Minister. She’d demand to vote against the TPP ratification and that would be it. If they want her to play a role, the Liberals can give up one of their seats on the Environment Committee and give it to her.

  24. Campbell says:

    I actually like the idea. Trudeau promised to “do politics differently”, and what better way to do politics differently than to not be afraid of party rivalries and appoint May to cabinet? If I were PM, I would require her to vote with the government, and would give her free reign over the portfolio. The Liberal caucus could be kept in check – after all, they ran on Trudeau’s promise of “doing politics differently”, Canada would gain a good minister, and the party’s agenda wouldn’t be threatened. Plus it helps the 50/50 gender split promise. How can he lose with this move?

    • aggo says:

      Pffff yeh yeh….Leaders have been promising to “do politics differently” for decades. If you think the LPC will be any less corrupt and hypocritical than the CPC you’re living in dreamland.

      And no, I don’t think it’s a good idea to have May as Environment minister.

  25. Marlowe Johnson says:


    nice job describing the thinking behind the selection process for the Environment file in this piece: http://www.nationalobserver.com/2015/10/21/news/warren-kinsella-dishes-who-will-be-trudeaus-minister-environment.

    Lots of good info there that the casual follower of politics might not have been aware of.

  26. Ronald O'Dowd says:


    Not on. She won’t cross to the Liberals — and even then, it’s still a bad idea.

  27. P Brenn says:

    to hell with her ..she’s a bit of a drinker …we got one in MCallum already

  28. crf says:

    David Mcguinty seems not to be a good choice at the moment either. Too much association with the environmental and energy policies of Dalton.

  29. DougM says:

    The media likes to give Elizabeth May and the Green Party more coverage than they deserve. This election the Green Party holds 1 seat in the house. No change over last election except with the increase from 308 to 338 seats that 1 seat now translates into even less percentage of the popular vote. The Bloc hold 10. Where is the talk to give anyone in the Bloc a seat at the table? Oh right, Elizabeth May is different because…

  30. P Brenn says:

    hey its politics ..not a love in …Canada does not need a one issue party ( Bloc or Green) …May will get her pension after two terms …she should run next time under a flag of different colour …. Environment is front and center now with Liberals…Green party need has left station (in an electric train bien sur)

  31. Joe says:

    Well if we are looking for experience/qualifications etc outside the party maybe Trudeau should ask Harper to be PM.

  32. MF says:

    I’m not convinced May would even want to be the Minister of the Environment. They can’t possibly live up to expectations with respect to the environment unless they just pay it lip service and people don’t pay attention to details (which is possible). Whatever they do, it certainly wouldn’t be enough for somebody like May. It would be much more difficult for her to criticize the action or inaction on the Environment file if she were the Minister.

  33. Ron says:

    Lincoln was right, people aren’t going to elect pricks forever.

    Harper was never a HOAG.

  34. Bluegreenblogger says:

    ROFL, I see you talked to Bennett at the Sierra club about EMay, well if you want to hear about what hubris and arrogance did to EMay, then the Sierra Club is where you are going to hear it. But you hit the nail of the head. You don’t earn a Cabinet Seat just because. It is par for the course, the elecotrate did not sweep her into power, so there must be an alternate route to power that doesn’t involve winning the support of the electorate. The Greens followed yet another incomprehensible campaign in 2015. They decided they were going to leapfrog into official party status by targeting 15 ridings. With single digit support in those ridings. With less than a $3 million campaign budget, and vanity TV ads to pay for. Started when the writ was dropped. Like that is how it`s done, you magically turn around a whole riding in a few weeks with a $50k budget. You do NOT want her around your cabinet table. Just sayin…..

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