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Nothing to see here

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper will unveil a new cabinet on Wednesday, his first as head of a majority government. Tory MPs and their supporters from coast to coast are on tenterhooks right now, waiting to see if they'll get a call from the backbenches up to the "show." Although nobody will know for sure until late tonight who's in and who's out, the smart money says the shuffle will produce precious little news here in Manitoba.

The Tories did increase their seat total by two with upsets in Winnipeg South Centre and Elmwood-Transcona. Even so, it appears unlikely at this point that the Keystone Province will get more ministers in this shuffle.

Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is exceedingly happy in his current job, is expected to stay put. Likewise for Minister of State Steven Fletcher, who is responsible for democratic reform. Other cabinet hopefuls (MPs Shelly Glover, Candice Hoeppner) don't appear to be part of Harper's master plan at this point. The prime minister has a gaggle of new MPs from the Greater Toronto Area looking for high-profile jobs, and Harper would like nothing more than to galvanize these seats with some appointments so that the Liberals can never again lay claim to be the landlords of Fortress Hogtown.

That's what the smart money is saying right now, although prime ministers do occasionally take pleasure making people like me wrong the morning after we've written something.

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