Justin Trudeau has his Angels.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau certainly has his angels. We are talking the kind of angels that Charlie had in the old television series about Charlie’s Angels. Those were flesh and blood actors who supposedly made a living solving problems. While the fictional problems often involved murder and mayhem, Justin Trudeau’s angels are just supposed to make him look good. After all, it is 2016!

While we might never know exactly why Justin’s friend MP Dominic LeBlanc wanted out of the House Leader’s role in the Commons, there was an angel ready to step in. Neophyte Minister Bardish Chagger is now House Leader as well as retaining her role as minister of small business and tourism.

While the tradition is to give the house leadership role to a highly experienced minister, Justin broke the chain on this one.

And frankly, we thought Chantal Hébert of the Toronto Star was being a bit sexist when she wrote that Ms. Chagger would not find the job much of a challenge. Hébert thinks that the major opposition parties are too involved in their leadership problems to make things difficult for the new Liberal leader of the government in the House of Commons .

They will though and it will probably involve three of Justin Trudeau’s angels. It will include Ms. Chagger, as well as Environment Minister Catherine Mckenna and Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef.

Without an acceptable work-around solution to the prime minister’s careless promise of ending first-past-the-post voting before the next election, both Monsef and Chagger are going to find themselves thrown to the wolves. There does not appear to be a way the special house committee can come to a compromise on change. And without MPs who loved the intricacies such as late parliamentarians Winnipeg’s Stanley Knowles or Windsor’s Herb Grey to help, there is little hope.

This is not to say that there are no solutions but the committee has to stop wasting time with academics trying to sell their own voting system model. It would be a novelty but they need to start looking at the problem from the voters’ point of view.

An even deeper concern are the problems facing Canada’s environment minister. After the splash she made at the environment meeting in Paris as Canada’s flag bearer for environmentalism, we have had only pictures and platitudes from McKenna. There are many who now expect her to speak up. Leaving carbon pricing as a revenue solution for the provinces is not one of her options. And there are too many liberals and environmentalists waiting for answers on tar sands exploitation and pipelines to carry that land-locked tar sands production to the oceans.

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Copyright 2016 © Peter Lowry

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