Cullen responds to Conservative Cabinet shuffle

OTTAWA –Nathan Cullen welcomed the arrival of new ministers to key portfolios today, including the promotion of Michelle Rempel as Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, an important source of federal funding for Skeena—Bulkley Valley. He also welcomed the shuffle of Gail Shea to Fisheries and Oceans, and Jason Kenney to Employment and Social Development (formerly Human Resources and Skills Development).

“I send congratulations to my colleagues,” said Cullen, “and I’m looking forward to working with them on the issues that affect the people of Skeena—Bulkley Valley.”

But he also offered some skepticism.

“Is this a real shift in direction for this government, or does it amount to shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic?” asked Cullen.

“We’ve seen some ministers depart and others change seats.

“But remember, Tony Clement, who lost track of $3.1 billion in security spending, is still President of the Treasury Board. Gerry Ritz presided over the biggest meat recall in Canadian history, and is still the minster responsible for food safety.

“Joe Oliver, who has demonized ordinary citizens and battered public faith in government with his confrontational approach to Northern Gateway, is still the Minister of Natural Resources.”

Cullen emphasized that power is still disproportionately centralized in the Prime Minister’s Office, and that Stephen Harper’s government is clearly on its last legs.

“While this government continues to cut pensions, EI and services for Canadians, they could have at least tightened their own belts, but instead, today, Stephen Harper appoints the largest Cabinet in Canadian history."

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Contact:  Hugh Pouliot, (613) 993-8662, nathan.cullen.a1@parl.gc.ca