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More losers than winners

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely
Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

It's said that picking winners and losers is a mug's game. Well, this mug thinks there were more losers than winners in last week's cabinet shuffle.

Premier Stephen McNeil kept his old cabinet intact, except for those who had lost their seats in the election. But only one retained his old responsibilities intact.
On the surface, it would appear that Karen Casey is the big winner in the shuffle. She takes over the finance portfolio and assumes the title of Deputy Premier. In addition she retains the chair of Treasury Board.
This clearly signals the McNeil government plans to continue its hard line against government union workers. They are the clear losers in the whole deal.
The only bright side for the unions is the appointment of Attorney General Mark Furey as the minister responsible for Labour Relations. As he noted in his comments following the swearing-in ceremony, Furey has some experience defusing tense situations as a former police officer. It's experience I expect will come in handy when dealing with the NSGEU and other unions.
Other winners in the shuffle appear to be Zach Churchill, a relatively young MLA who takes on the contentious education portfolio, and newcomer Derek Mombourquette who gets the prestigious Municipal Affairs post. The appointment of another newcomer, Ian Rankin as minister of the Environment, is a win for him as well.
Former health minister Leo Glavine looks like the big loser in the shuffle as he is demoted to Communities, Culture, and Heritage which has been a rather minor portfolio in recent governments.
For the most part, the other changes can be seen as more lateral changes than either major promotions or demotions.
It's pretty much the same old faces just sitting in different places.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister and past president of the Springhill and Area Chamber of Commerce.

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