11.02.2015 07:57 AM


There are only a couple of days left until Justin Trudeau’s cabinet is sworn in – and there still has yet to be a leak about who will be in it.

At the federal level, I can’t recall something that happening in a long, long time. And it reflects well on the Prime Minister-to-be, his staff, and the people who will be serving at the cabinet table.  It shows discipline.

When I speak to a reporter – as seen in this Hill Times story from this morning – I use my name.  I don’t like leaks, so much, because they tend to suggest (a) the reporter is being used (b) the reader/viewer is being manipulated and (c) the leaker is being allowed to advance their own agenda, with impunity.

Most often, leakers leak because:

  • they want to be seen as a big shot
  • they have an axe to grind
  • they are stupid and reckless

During the lead-up to Election 42, Justin Trudeau was seen by some as lacking verbal discipline.  In the lead-up to his swearing in as Prime Minister, he – and those around him – has been extraordinarily disciplined.

Will something leak between now and Wednesday? Maybe.  But so far, so good.



  1. ABB says:

    Any would-be cabinet hopefuls who attempt to spew forth insider commentary in at attempt to influence the choices would be complete fools.

    Another point of view: Who does Justin owe for this victory? Seems to me that no one in caucus or party holds any trump cards on him. He owes nothing to anyone. So he is in total command. And they all know it.

    I am also eager to see how the new “Centre” compares to the old “Centre”. That place has the same DNA no matter what party controls the keys.

    • Lance says:

      He owes nothing to anyone.

      LOL Yeah. You go ahead and keep telling yourself that.

      • Scotian says:

        He owes far less than any prior incoming PM that I can think of. So I turn your comment around and ask, who exactly does Trudeau owe beyond those closest to him like Butts? Most leaders that make it this far have incurred some fairly strong debts to various industry leaders, corporate sponsors, unions groups, that sort of thing, usually from their backing during leadership campaign(s) to get there. Trudeau though basically ran himself as himself (this is where his name was an asset, he didn’t have to get it out there nor need the resources to do so with, which is part of what I am talking about here) under a new system of funding and fundraising and has far less of this sort of baggage than usual from what I can see. He also after becoming leader for some time afterwards was derided by most so called serious people as completely out of his depth and therefore was not cultivated as much by the movers and shakers. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t likely some debt/strings somewhere, but they are nowhere near as large nor obvious than that of any prior leader of either PCPC/CPC and Lib that made it to the PM’s seat.

        So, it would be interesting to see what strings and debts you see Trudeau owing that he must start paying off with his cabinet selection and his first term in government. I’m not being flip nor snide here, I really would be interested to see what kind of list you could generate.

        • The Doctor says:

          Within the party, no, I agree with you. Where JT has huge debts owing are to all of those people he made all of those gold-plated promises to while campaigning. The First Nations file, that’s a doozie. All 94 recommendations of the TRC? What do you think JT’s score will be out of 94? Then there’s the Kelowna Accord — wasn’t that supposed to be 6-7 billion back when Dithers was PM? So what’ll that be in today’s dollars? Then there’s that inquiry he promised — the last royal commission on Aboriginal People cost approximately $55 million, if I recall correctly, in decades-old dollars, so perhaps another $100 million there? Ka-ching indeed. Then there are the others. . .

          • Scotian says:

            Yet those aren’t the promises to be paid off that were under discussion here, that is a change of definition you just used there. What Lance and I are talking about is the favours owed to leaders in their pursuit of power to those that aided them in their getting to that top spot, it has been a fact of life in politics since forever. Trudeau in this respect is something I find highly atypical in this regard, and apparently you must as well, because you could only go after him for his election promises, which is of course what any elected head of government is SUPPOSED to be paying off in exchange for votes. Not the same thing at all. The question that was being asked was to which powerful figures/institutions in the Canadian power structure be they economic, social, media, union, what-have-you does Justin Trudeau owe for aiding him in his becoming Lib leader and now PM who are now expecting the return on their “investment” in him, and on that front there seem to be very few and hardly visible strings, unlike any other incoming PM I can think of going back to at least Joe Clark.

            Care to try again The Doctor?

          • The Doctor says:

            Scotian – apparently you failed to read, or comprehend, the first sentence of my post.

  2. Maps Onburt says:

    I hope PM Elect Trudeau Jr is getting advice NOT to put former Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair in charge of Public Safety and retired Lt. General Andrew Leslie in charge of defence. While seemingly obvious, this is a horrible idea as the rank and file will chaff at having a more “junior” politician in charge of the portfolio who will then be seen to be meddling in the tactical (which is supposed to be left to the bureaucrats). This has proven out with retired Brig General O’Connor under the Conservatives so they learned their lesson and weren’t dumb enough to put retired OPP Chief of Police Fantino on Public Safety. If they are wise, they’ll swap roles and let them advise the real Minister’s in charge of the portfolio. Leslie is not popular with the troops after his report calling for almost ridiculous cuts in places that would hamstring our Navy and the rest of the forces. While Blair was also head of the Association of Chiefs of Police, the RCMP is a different animal and then you have the new weapon carrying CBSA officers as well. It’ll be interesting to see if he listens to experience or not.

    • Mike says:

      It would behoove conservatives to show the new PM and stop calling him junior. Not only is it erroneous but it is extremely disrespectful.

      That’s if you want Canadians to buy into this whole notion of how you just need a change of tone.

      • Maps Onburt says:

        Mike, I believe I am giving him respect by calling him PM Elect Trudeau. I add the Jr to differentiate him from his Dad. I could have as easily called him Trudeau II but that’s usually reserved for a son with the same first name. No disrespect intended or given. As much as I believe he’s a lightweight , Canadians did elect him PM by the same rules,as he elected PM Harper and the job deserves respect.

  3. Michael Teper says:

    Got to say you’re right about this, Warren.

  4. Reality.Bites says:

    Bob Hepburn has written an arctice in the Star that certainly implies he has some information, without quite stating it outright. He does states some things as fact. Whether he’s right or not, of course I don’t know.


    • Warren says:

      Saw it. It’s identified as “opinion” by the Star. Until they print something identified as “news,” opinion remains opinion.

      • Matt says:

        Word this morning is all his selections have been made and those new cabinet ministers have been notified.

        Do some of those passed over go to the media over the next couple days? Time will tell.

        On a completely unrelated topic, Elections Canada has released the third quarter fundraising numbers:

        CPC $10,082,104.44

        NDP $9,141,935.75

        Libs $7,285,190.19

        I am actually surprised the Libs are in third.

        • Warren says:

          That’ll change.

          • Matt says:

            Sure, but up or down?

            More people donating to the Libs because they’re in power, or fewer people donating because Darth Harper has finally been defeated.

            NDP are going to fall for sure. They had something like 73,000 donors in Q3.

            For the CPC, it will all depend on who they pick as interim and permanent leader.

          • dean sherratt says:

            In these circumstances Canada Post often loses many, many cheques in the mail that were undoubtedly sent well before election day but are quickly replaced by very fresh ones so there are no hard feelings…

        • Reality.Bites says:

          There are lots of other perqs for people who don’t make it into cabinet at first. No matter how large a cabinet is, most government members will always be on the outside.

      • Reality.Bites says:

        Yes, it’s classified as opinion. But he definitely states some things as fact, like when the phone calls went out. I have no way of knowing if any of it is accurate, but he’s definitely stating some things flat out, and if they do turn out to be true then I’ll conclude it was more than good guesswork.

  5. dean sherratt says:

    Hepburn’s piece in the Sunday Toronto Star seemed well informed…numbers, likely names and Portfolios…

  6. Jack D says:

    And you likely won’t see a leak at all.

    I think Hepburn’s piece was pure conjecture and an over exaggeration of the term “source”. While his fantasy-draft cabinet projections were entertaining, they’re exactly that –projections. We’ve continuously echoed the same names for a week and all these names are ones that are most obvious to observers. They aren’t guarantees, but they are higher probabilities.

    The thing about leaks is that they always get traced back and if it becomes apparent that a certain MP blabbed to the media, they’ve effectively put a timer on their own career.

    Here’s the issue though, as a Liberal, I think the gender parity and smaller cabinet vows were utterly misguided. With a caucus so large, Trudeau had the flexibility to have a bloated cabinet with regional, gender, ethnic and professional representation without getting hazed for it. There really wasn’t even any hunger for a reformed cabinet so this whole effort seems to be unnecessary. What it will result in is a lot of insulted MPs who have either earned their bones and expect cabinet positions or got involved for the sole purpose of getting a cabinet position. It sort of inhibits the excitement and momentum going into the 42nd parliament.

  7. Mark says:

    Either way, Trudeau can only satisfy about one third of his caucus. 28 Ministers, 28 Parliamentary Secretaries, one Speaker, one Whip, and a few Committee chairs.

  8. Jean A Paterson says:

    My expectation is that Cabinet Ministers and parliamentary committees will have meaty roles as opposed to token roles as mouthpieces. Parliamentary committee chairs could be very important in guiding productivity and problem-solving. Their reports need to be made public whenever possible. Consultation is a huge promise and one that I hope will be kept.

  9. RogerX says:

    Somehow I just can’t imagine Justin determining who will be best for major ministries such as Finance, Justice and Defense. What does he know about these files; he’s only a lead actor on the big political stage reciting his scripted lines. Sorry, but I just don’t have confidence in an ex-grade school teacher and lowly opposition MP to understand the workings and management of the Canadian government and economy. But who knows what his advisers will dish up to him for his token approval.

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