Yellow Snow has made some very reasonable cabinet shuffle predictions. I specifically agree that Stan Struthers would be a good fit in Ag and Nancy Allan in edumacation.
I’d also like to amend my slightly less specific predictions by suggesting Steve Ashton would make a good energy and mines minister, with added responsibility for Manitoba Hydro. I should have thought of that last weekend, but someone smarter than me mentioned the idea to me recently.
The power company was split off from Jim Rondeau’s current portfolio and handed to former finance minister Greg Selinger. I always wondered whether that made sense. Energy, and in particular the climate change office, are totally intertwined with Hydro, policy-wise. There’s a fair bit of tension there, too.
Hydro also needs someone with a bit of heft to oversee it – someone with the force of personality to deliver a few voice-of-doom phone calls to 360 Portage Avenue. That’s not Rondeau’s forte.
It might be Ashton’s, though. Despite his outsider status, even his opponents say he’s always had a good grasp of his portfolios and his word carries weight at the cabinet table.
Plus, he knows the North, where all the dams are and he can raise a little hell at Hydro when need be.
The feeling is that Doer protected Hydro a lot, shying away from demanding more action and accountability from what’s a fairly slow-moving and insular company. Selinger could be different, and the first test of that might be who he names to watchdog the power company.