Statement By The Prime Minister Of Canada
August 06, 2021
Prime Minister Stephen Harper today made the following remarks on the changes to the Ministry:
“Good morning.  In the recent global recession, Canada has done better – far better – than its peers among the advanced countries.  But, while the strength of our economy is encouraging, nothing can be taken for granted.  The global recovery is fragile.
“That is why the economy remains the number one priority for Canadians.  That is also why the economy is the number one priority for our government.  And, it is why all spring and summer, Ministers and government MPs have been tightly focused on our economy, working hard to navigate our way through a world of great uncertainty.
“One thing has become abundantly clear: our Economic Action Plan needs time to run its course: Canada cannot afford to interrupt this green shoot of a recovery, with an unnecessary election.  Canadians need the government and Parliament to continue to work on Canada's Economic Action Plan.
“That brings us to why we are here today.  The work of Parliament depends on the maturity and wisdom of key members.  And one upon whom a great deal of this load fell, is moving on.  I speak of the Honourable Jay Hill.  As Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Jay Hill operated in a spirit of cooperation and constructive progress.  But, as you know, Mr. Hill recently announced that he will not stand as a candidate at the next general election.
“To succeed him as Government House leader, I have therefore chosen one of our most experienced and senior Ministers, the Honourable John Baird.  I have given John a very clear mandate – to make Parliament work.  To make sure we stay the course at this time of global uncertainty.  John is trusted and respected by his colleagues, with a deserved reputation for getting things done.  I have every confidence in John and it is for that reason I have entrusted him with this important new role.
“As a result of John`s promotion, I am announcing two more appointments to fine-tune the Ministry.  The Honourable Chuck Strahl will replace Mr. Baird as Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities.  During his time as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Chuck has done tremendous work on difficult issues.  In his new position, Chuck will drive progress on thousands of economic stimulus projects across Canada – projects to provide jobs, to lay the foundation for future growth and to give new hope to working Canadians.  His sound and steady judgment will serve him well as he takes on this new challenge.
“Finally, John Duncan enters the Ministry to replace Chuck as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.  John is an experienced, long-serving Member of Parliament from British Columbia, a respected representative for his riding and a valued member of our team.  John’s solid work as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Indian Affairs makes him a natural choice for this new role. 
“I congratulate all three ministers and wish them all success. 
“Finally, I just want to take this opportunity of thanking Jay for his service to his country over the past 17 years.  Jay and I have been colleagues for a long time – since before we were elected, in fact.  His faithful work, first on the back benches later on committees and variously as Chief Government Whip, Secretary of State and Government Leader in the House of Commons has been of immeasurable value to this party, this government and ultimately to Canada.  Jay Hill will be missed, and on both sides of the House.  He has been the ideal colleague and friend.  We wish him and Leah well as they prepare to move on to new adventures.”
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