Bev Oda's departure from Parliament

A statement from PM Harper reads as follows

“On behalf of the government, I would like to thank Bev Oda for her hard work and dedication in representing the constituents of Durham, and for her many accomplishments in the ministry. Bev advised me two weeks ago that she had made the decision to stand down as the Member of Parliament for Durham.

"Bev has made a significant contribution to her riding, her province and her country since her election to Parliament in 2004.

51'st State: It's US vs U.S. in the battle for Canadian Sovereignty

Gordon Duggan at Appropriation Art has published a comic (PDF) about Canadian Copyright revision. It is a classic battle of good vs. evil of comic proportions where the "Evil Emissaries of American Interests try to suppress the Fantastic Freedom of Expression Fighters".

The cast of characters is somehow familiar.

Evil Emissaries (Or just misinformed?): Harper, Bush, Prentice, Henderson, McTeague, Wilkins, Feinstein / Cronyn, Schwarzenegger, Glickman, Frith, Oda

Fantastic Freedom Fighters: Angus, Doctorow, Geist, Knopf, Murray, Page, McOrmond

Prime Minister Harper presents new Ministry

Prime Minister Harper presents new Ministry (See Press release). Changes include past Heritage Minister Bev Oda moving to Minister of International Cooperation, past Industry Minister Maxime Bernier moving to Minister of Foreign Affairs, with Honourable Josée Verner taking over Heritage and Honourable Jim Prentice taking over Industry.

G&M: PM faces tough choices replacing female ministers

The Globe and Mail has an interesting article by Campbell Clark speculating about the upcoming cabinet shuffle. The article talks about the female cabinet positions, and whether the PM will promote other women to replace Heritage Minister Bev Oda, viewed by many Tories as a weak communicator, and Revenue Minister, Carol Skelton, who has announced she will not run for re-election.

Will backbenchers Diane Ablonczy, Joy Smith or Lynne Yelich be brought into cabinet?

See also: G&M article by Val Ross.

Toronto Star: Oda's ouster would not be mourned

According to Martin Knelman of the Toronto Star, Bev Oda being shuffled out of Heritage would not be mourned by the arts community.

An interesting dynamic was mentioned.

Still, if Harper shuffles Oda, it won't be because she has disappointed the arts world. He may opt for the political advantage of a French-speaking heritage minister, knowing culture gets votes in Quebec.

With two Quebec by-elections underway, would this be the best time for a shuffle? Would the Conservative candidates, if they won, make good Ministers?

Heritage Minister Bev Oda expected to be shuffled? If not her, then who?

According to the CTV there is a cabinet shuffle, government being prorogued, and a new Throne Speech when parliament returns. It is all speculation, and it includes suggestions that Ms. Oda would be shuffled. We might as well join the speculation: who do you think would make a good Conservative Heritage Minister, and who do you think would make an extremely bad one?

Behind the Scenes of Canada's Movie Piracy Bill

Michael Geist's weekly Law Bytes column (Toronto Star, MG's website) uses documents obtained under the Access to Information Act to provide a behind the scenes look at Canada's new movie piracy bill. The documents reveal that the bill is based largely on draft legislation directly provided by the industry and that the Minister of Canadian Heritage was advised by department officials that there was little evidence that the proposal would prove more effective than current Canadian law.

Heritage boondoggle in the making says Angus

An article on the NDP website includes:

OTTAWA – New Democrats are asking the Heritage Minister to explain what appears to be a backdoor process to give Conservative MPs first dibs on a proposed summer arts program. Charlie Angus (Timmins-James Bay) has obtained a memorandum from the minister’s office that is inviting Conservative MPs to come forward with ideas on how to spend a $30 million program slated for summer festivals. No criteria, applications or timelines have been posted by the Heritage Department with regards to this multi-million dollar fund.

See also: CanWest News
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