Canada's environment minister may be replaced

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Canadians will see a new change in the federal cabinet early next month. Prime Minister Stephen Harper is expected to shuffle his cabinet in the new year.

It is speculated that Indian affairs minister Jim Prentice will be replacing Environmental Minister Rona Ambrose. Peter Van Loan, who is Intergovernmental Affairs minister, is expected to replace Prentice as Indian affairs minister. Ambrose is also expected to replace Van Loan as Intergovernmental Affairs minister.

Ambrose struggled to sell the Clean Air Act and Tory insiders said it did not meet heightened expectations.

The PM promises to have a fresh focus on the environment in the expected spring 2007 federal election. When asked about his plans for Prentice he said he wasn't prepared to speak on the issue yet.

"The impression I got was that she didn't do her homework. But I have to offset that by saying it doesn't matter if you've done your homework if someone switches the books first thing the next morning," said a senior government source. "At the last minute, they gave her new stuff or didn't give her information. It's not entirely her fault by any means."

Prentice denied rumors saying that Ambrose will be replaced.

"You guys all want to speculate. Go ahead and speculate. You didn't get it from me," he said. "As you know there are rumours on every street corner in Ottawa, that's part of the charm of the place."