Dear right honourable prime minister: why is there still no Outaouais M. P. in your federal cabinet?
There has been no federal cabinet minister from the Outaouais since May 2nd, 2011, when the Honourable Lawrence Cannon served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, while the Conservative Party Member of Parliament for the Pontiac riding in the cabinet of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper.
The last Liberal cabinet minister from the Outaouais was the Honourable Marcel Massé who served as the President of the Treasury Board and the Minister responsible for Infrastructure from 1996 until resigning in 1999, while Liberal M. P. for the Hull-Aylmer riding in the cabinet of the Right Honourable Jean Chrétien.
At the provincial level, the Québec Liberal Party, of course, had two ministers in the cabinet of Premier Philippe Couillard. Stéphanie Vallée, Member of the National Assembly of Québec for Gatineau, had been the Minister of Justice of Québec and the Minister responsible for the Outaouais region. André Fortin, M. N. A. for Pontiac, had been the Minister of Transport, Sustainable Mobility, and Transport Electrification.
On October 18th, Premier François Legault appointed Mathieu Lacombe as Minister of Families and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region. Mathieu Lacombe was elected as Coalition Avenir Québec M. N. A. for the Papineau riding in the October 1st general election.
Steven “Steve” MacKinnon has been the Liberal M. P. for the Gatineau riding since the October 19th, 2015 federal general election. Steve MacKinnon defeated Françoise Boivin, the New Democratic Party incumbent M. P. He serves as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. As Parliamentary Secretary, he also serves as a non-voting member on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Standing Committee on Government Operations and Estimates.
William “Will” Amos has been the Liberal M. P. for the Pontiac riding since the 2015 election. He defeated NDP incumbent M. P. Mathieu Ravignat. Will Amos serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Indigenous and Northern Affairs and the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, as well as on its Subcommittee on Agenda and Procedure.
Greg Fergus has been the Liberal M. P. for the Hull-Aylmer riding since the 2015 election. He defeated NDP incumbent M. P. Nycole Turmel. Greg Fergus serves as a member of the Standing Committee on Finance.
We are aware that the City of Ottawa is over-represented in your cabinet, but that should not disadvantage the City of Gatineau and/or the rest of the Outaouais. As you are well aware, the issues on the contrasting sides of the provincial border differ in many ways.
As the countdown continues to the next federal general election, scheduled for Monday, October 21st, 2019, the possibility of numerous cabinet shuffles – both major and minor – present the opportunities for you to correct the inequity of under-representation from the Outaouais in your federal cabinet.
You should remember the Ontario general election of June 7th, the New Brunswick general election of September 24th, and the Québec general election of October 1st. All three clearly demonstrated that the electorates were in moods for change and for definite political shifts to the right.
You would not want the electors in the Outaouais to start thinking aloud about whether or not their Prime Minister believes that none of his political party’s three Members of Parliament are “ministrable”. If that, in fact, is the reason for there being no cabinet minister from the Outaouais, perhaps it is time for your political party to start organizing riding association conventions in the Outaouais to find new party candidates that are “ministrable” in your view.
The failure to name one of the Liberal incumbent M. P.s or to find new candidates that you regard as “ministrable”, may have electors looking for candidates from the other political parties to support, so as to have another political formation responsible for naming the ministers in the federal cabinet after October 21st, 2019. The Outaouais region deserves to have a federal cabinet minister. There is no doubt about that!