Vancouver will get cabinet ministers in a Liberal-NDP coalition government

Vancouver, Burnaby, and New Westminster did not elect a Conservative MP in the October 14 federal election, so it's no surprise that there isn't a federal cabinet minister from the Burrard Peninsula.

But it gets worse than that. Prime Minister Stephen Harper also overlooked his two North Shore MPs, former banker Andrew Saxton and constitutional lawyer John Weston. The two MPs who represent Richmond, John Cummins and Alice Wong, also didn't make the cut.

This means that there are no cabinet ministers in  this region's  two-zone transit area, which includes Vancouver, the North Shore, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Richmond. That's  more than a million residents in Vancouver and its closest suburbs who lack cabinet representation.

The only Metro Vancouver MP in Harper's cabinet is James Moore, who represents Port Moody-Westwood-Coquitlam.

Vancouver and its closest suburbs got  shortchanged by Harper  when you compare it to the Chretien years, when Vancouver  often had three cabinet ministers and  Richmond had one cabinet minister.

But this situation could change dramatically if the Liberals and NDP form a coalition government, which could come as soon as December 8 if the Conservative government falls on a confidence motion.

As her party's house leader, Vancouver East NDP MP Libby Davies would be a sure bet for a cabinet post. Vancouver South MP Ujjal Dosanjh and Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray, a staunch Stephane Dion loyalist,  also have shots at  cabinet if the Harper government falls.

Other possibilities include Burnaby-New Westminster NDP MP Peter Julian or Burnaby-Douglas NDP MP Bill Siksay. Both are among the most talented NDP members of parliament.

New Westminster-Coquitlam NDP MP Dawn Black, her party's defence critic,  might  also have a chance, though it's hard to imagine that the Liberals would give up the defence portfolio. The Burnaby-New Westminster corridor won't get three ministers and probably won't even get two, so I'll place my bet on Siksay, though  Julian and Black are strong contenders.

Vancouver Centre Liberal MP Hedy Fry also has a chance of making cabinet, given her 15-year history in parliament.

That adds up to seven potential cabinet ministers in an area that currently has no representation within Harper's executive council.




common tater

Nov 29, 2008 at 3:02pm

Toronto and Montreal are also currently completely not represented by the governing party. Nationally 62% of voters cast their vote for someone other than the conservatives. Our current election system doesn't create a result that expresses the will of the people. Until our antiquated electoral system gets fixed, a coalition government that statistically received the majority of support in the election, would move us much closer to representing the true will of the electorate. Currently 38% of voters got their wish in the federal election, under this new coalition 55% of voters would get there wish, but the 7% that voted Green get squat either way.