Following weeks of speculation Environment Minister Rona Ambrose has been repurposed to Intergovernmental Affairs, seemingly a casualty of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s first cabinet shuffle.
“These changes represent a strengthening of our ministerial team,” Harper said in a statement.
Phone calls to Ambrose spokesperson Bob Klager and his assistant Louise Martineau requesting comment found that they had been transferred to an unknown destination.
According to their Web site the mandate of Intergovernmental Affairs (part of the Privy Council Office) encompasses policy and communications in federal-provincial-territorial relations. It is also focused on helping the government to more effectively address the needs of citizens.
The new portfolio appears on its face more suited to Ambrose’s background and expertise. She previously held the post of Senior Intergovernmental Affairs Officer with the International and Intergovernmental Affairs Department of the Government of Alberta.
Ambrose was sworn in Thursday at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
In addition she becomes Minister of Western Economic Diversification and Queen’s Privy Council for Canada.
Ambrose replaces Peter Van Loan who is now Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister for Democratic Reform. Ambrose’s replacement is John Baird, former president of the Treasury Board Secretariat.