Trudeau Shortchanges BC Again … to Give Ontario and Quebec EXTRA Cabinet Seats/Power

Once again, British Columbians have paid the price for failing to play the federal game of politics the way Quebeckers and Ontarians do.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knows exactly how the game is played … and has now rewarded the two large Eastern provinces with EXTRA Cabinet seats and EXTRA powers and larger say over how/where federal spending will go.

Ontario elected 78 Liberals … 64% of their MPs …. in the Sept. 20, 2021 Federal Election. Trudeau returned the favour Tuesday … giving Ontario a whopping SIXTEEN Cabinet Seats … 41% of the entire Cabinet.

Trudeau’s Thank You to Ontario!

And then, there’s La Belle Province …

Quebec elected 34 Liberals … 43.7% of their MPs … and have now been bestowed ELEVEN Cabinet posts … 29% of the Cabinet’s strength.

Merci, Quebec!

That’s TWENTY-SEVEN Cabinet seats (of the total 38) … handed out to politicians from just two provinces!!

Or to put in another way, two provinces with 61% of the country’s population were given 71% of the country’s Cabinet posts!

How is that in any way a FAIR division of power in a country made up of 10 provinces and three territories?

And if you don’t think Cabinet power matters when it comes to doling out federal Billions, influencing national policies and decisions, awarding contracts, building regional headquarters and establishing agency offices, etc. etc. … you’re too naïve to discuss, let alone debate, politics!

BC?

BC lost out … AGAIN … after electing only 15 Liberals in September, along with 13 Tories, 13 NDP MPs and 1 Green. .. almost exactly like last time.

British Columbians apparently voted based on principles, ideology, party loyalties, maybe even platforms and policies. And now we are going to pay for it.

Trudeau shortchanged BC like last time: only FOUR Cabinet positions awarded to Canada’s third most populous province … with 14% of the country’s total population … but just 10.5% of the country’s Cabinet posts.

Take that BC!

It’s basic maths: the power pie can only be sliced in so many pieces: and when Ontario and Quebec get MORE than their fair share … based on population or total MPs elected … other provinces must have their fair portion trimmed.

And British Columbians make it so easy … with a compliant, complacent population and a weak, spineless BC media … most of whom don’t even REPORT how, let alone raise a peep when BC is shortchanged.

And Trudeau isn’t even asked about it.

Just imagine what we’d be hearing right now if Ontario or Quebec were denied THEIR fair share of power and positions!

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new postings . No spam …just alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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14 Responses to Trudeau Shortchanges BC Again … to Give Ontario and Quebec EXTRA Cabinet Seats/Power

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    So, what else is new?

    Trudeau’s advisers messed up big time, having the past election, so the next round, they really have to get Ontario and Quebec votes to win a majority. In BC, we don’t matter as we are seen to be tax “Milch Cows” and nothing more, so more power for Quebec and Ontario = more money spent in the two provinces to buy votes.

    Our BC MP’s are largely Liberal Duds who will kow-tow to what Trudeau wants, have virtually no power and are a mere sideshow to placate the local peons.

    Actually all the politcal party’s ran dud, all political apparatchiks under whatever banner they ran under, spouting the party line, with nary any individuality.

    Last election, I held my nose and voted because I do not believe in wasting a vote, but now I am not so sure.

    My thought is, the Liberal machine that actually runs things, still thinks Trudeau has still some politcal currency, thus they are merely posturing for the next election in two years time. The quest ion for me is: How many more times does Trudeau offer apologies until that broken record finally breaks completely?

    My big fear is what will happen in the USA in 2024/25 and it doesn’t look good, meanwhile in Canada, politcal mediocrity continues; the electorate lost in an ennui of lullaby fake news and alternative facts, as our own country slips into a new order of how things are done.

    In BC, we do not count, our politicians do not count, except at election time and with more politcal power for Ontario and Quebec, the Liberal Party has now affirmed that BC doesn’t count.

    (Response: BC COULD and WOULD count more if our BC politicians from ALL parties spoke UP!! But that’s the worst part of the latest insult to BC … even though they see Ontario and Quebec getting MORE than their fair share of power/Cabinet seats … BC MPs from EVERY party say NOTHING!!! Because they know their parties don’t want them to do/say ANYTHING that could hurt them in Ontario and Quebec. So to hell with BC!! And they are OUR reps??? Far from it! h.o.)

    • e.a.f. says:

      Trudeau does what is best for him and we can blame him and the federal Liberal Party, but we are the ones who vote for all the politicians, so if you want some one who speaks up from any party, we need to vote for some one who will speak up.

      As I was told in my younger years, the first order of business for any political party is to stay in power. Trudeau is doing a fine job of that and so are the other parties who got their seats in Parliament.

      The other thing I learnt when I was young was: if a politician isn’t corrupt when they go into politics, they will be corrupted once they get into office because the process to get elected will corrupt them. Now that is not meant in the usual way, but rather their beliefs, their soul, their principles will be corrupted on the way to getting elected.

      Now we sit back and see what the new Cabinet does or we could make sure we let our opinions be known. People are pretty complacent about most things in life these days and we get what we deserve or as I say, you voted for them, now you can learn to live with it or die because of it.

  2. Brian T Greenside says:

    Great article Harvey, I followed you for years and a friend just now sent me this
    article. Spot on.

    (Response: I hope many others pass it on …especially to friends/family/voters in BC: the BC media is so tame, so weak, that I haven’t found ANY who even reported the shaft to BC …let alone raised any outrage over it!! Just imagine how I would have gone after Trudeau, the BC Liberal MPs, and even our NDP MPs over this …if I was still working, covering in Ottawa …or BC!! 🙂 h.o)

  3. John's Aghast says:

    Maybe it’s based on capability/qualification, NOT on population?
    A Fisheries Minister, for instance, need not reside on the East or West coast, although that MIGHT give them a better perspective of the problems than a Prairie resident. And a capable Minister from BC MAY be twice as effective as one from Alberta, resulting in less of requirement of representation by population.
    And they may have other considerations that we’re not made privy to? 🙂

    (Response: Capability/qualification??? There are some who meet those criteria … but history has shown quite a few who were less than stellar Ministers, appointed to Cabinet for a lot of other reasons: politics, regionalism, race, religion and ethnicity. But one constant always remains under the Liberals: Ontario and Quebec always get MORE than their fair share of the power, prestige and control of $$$. h.o)

  4. Beenie says:

    Harvey perhaps you need to review the definition of the term “FAIR”. Why should BC or ALBERTA get mire seats when they don’t vote in favour. I’m not a liberal but I do understand the consequences of an event.
    Perhaps you should consult with others to to get a better understanding of your comments ????

    (Response: We sort of agree. BC is being screwed ..again …but deserves it, because voters here don’t know how to play the game as well as people in Ontario and Quebec do. I was hoping for a Conservative minority government this time, but as I wrote in a blog during the election, British Columbians pay the price when they waste their votes by voting NDP (Singh had absolutely NO chance of forming Opposition, let alone government!) or, worse, voting Green. Wasted votes… when it comes to achieving government spending, government regional HQs, government contracts for BC. So I get it …but the media …especially the BC media …should be telling us what’s REALLY going on, not just deliver the usual cliche-stuffed press release type boring Cabinet list. Ugh! h.o)

  5. Nonconfidencevote says:

    One of the appointed Cabinet Ministers is now the “Minister” of “Housing, Diversity and INCLUSION.

    https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2021/10/26/prime-minister-welcomes-new-cabinet#:~:text=Ahmed%20Hussen%20becomes%20Minister%20of%20Housing%20and%20Diversity%20and%20Inclusion

    Perhaps we could put your questions to him as to why BC wasn’t “included”?

    I mean lets face it.
    What else is he going to do all day?

    (Response: From the Ottawa press conferences I’ve seen, it doesn’t even look the media ask many BC questions any more. h.o)

  6. Gilbert says:

    If we exclude Vancouver, the Liberald didn’t do so well in BC. A Conservative minority would have been better for BC. As usual, Ontario and Quebec are overrepresented at the cabinet table.

    (Response: Have to admit I was hoping for a Conservative minority government in the last election. And I can understand others opting to give Trudeau/Liberals another chance. Equally, when Layton was NDP leader, and that party had some hope of becoming Official Opposition, I could understand people voting NDP. But in this election, Singh clearly had no hope of that …so knowing exactly how the Canadian federal game of politics and power is played, it boggles my mind that the NDP still elected 13 MPS! To do what? Sit on the back benches, promising everything to everyone, but really unable to deliver very much. Trudeau knows they will huff and puff, but wouldn’t dare defeat his government for quite some time: they’re broke; need a new leader …basically powerless. Interesting that Ontario, with 121 Parliamentary seats, elected only 5 NDP; Quebec, with 78, only ONE! Clearly people there understand Cabinet power and how THEY can benefit from backing the WINNER … not 13 backbench voices crying out in the wilderness. h.o)

    • NVG says:

      Harvey et al, I see there’s a need here on where our deceased Prime Ministers hailed from, and where their political power, their support, lied (past tense obviously) within Canada. I did a post on my blog last month that pinpointed precisely where one may go to grieve over past Prime Ministers like John George Diefenbaker (Saskatchewan) ???, hmm it doesn’t seem to be a powerhouse of voters, therefore there is hope, eh, for British Columbians. There could be downside to my blog post because of the possibility of vandalism taking place at their gravesites, their statues may have already been damaged, some destroyed.

      The Prime Ministers permanent care is covered by something called the National Program for the Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers, and, it was Jean Chrétien that made those plans official ….. for himself too, of course.

      The majority of Prime Ministers are buried in the two provinces of Ontario and Quebec, spread out over 942 Kilometers and another two Prime Ministers are at rest in Nova Scotia.

      Maybe the next time you, anyone here, want a truly unique place to travel to ……. just joking.

  7. Not Sure says:

    I appreciate your defense of BC, but I am curious what you actually think would be a fair number and more importantly how to make sure regions are fairly represented.

    The Liberals have a caucus of 160 MPs. 39 are in the cabinet which is very close to 25%. BC elected 15 MPs and 25% of that is 3.75 rounded to the four we have. BTW, using this method Ontario should have 19.5 cabinet positions instead of their 16.

    But what about % of population. BC has 13.4% of Canada’s population and 13.4 of 39 is 5.2 so I suppose we could argue for an extra ministry. Is it just this one seat at the cabinet table that you are upset about.

    I am not a political scientist so I don’t know what the answer might be. Ontario and Quebec have the bulk of the population and to win any election a party has to win those provinces. Alberta elected 2 Liberals and by default 1 of them gets a cabinet position regardless of qualifications.

    So yeh, I am a bit muddled, but I don’t want to get too distracted at what doesn’t appear to be a huge slight. I want to stay focused on what the actual cabinet ministers regardless of location end up doing. Are there some good ones there? Guillbeault in Environment. Hadju in Indigenous Affairs. Joly at Foreign Affairs. Can Freeland move us out of the pandemic economy.

    We could put all 15 BC Liberals in the cabinet and I wouldn’t feel we were any better off dealing with the issues confronting Canada.

    (Response: I would argue for TWO more Cabinet seats for BC. And not just minor ones…but the BIGGIES … like Finance! If Ontario and Quebec have, for generations, exceeded their “fair” number of Cabinet seats, based on population or number of MPs, why shouldn’t BC enjoy the same (or even greater) privilege for a few years … or decades to compensate us for our neglect and abuse for so long.? Call it “BC Truth and Reconciliation” h.o)

    • e.a.f. says:

      Harvey, you want a Finance Minister from B.C? That is an important position a truly I don’t’ know any Liberal from B.C.. who would be qualified. currently Freeland has it and she is the most qualified of all the M.P.s Some expect Mark Carney will toss his hat in the ring one of these days. If he does and is elected then he would be the most qualified, but Finance really has to be the most qualified.

      My concern is the best might not work if government appointed based on population, geography. A lot of those who are in Cabinet aren’t the sharpest tools in the caucus shed. Constituencies might try a little harder to find better candidates to run for election, then we might have a better selection of cabinet ministers. Having seen a lot of Cabinet Minister over the years, most could not have gotten the job of Regional Director in the departments they head, some not even manager of a large office.

      (Response: The Tories didn’t give BC top Cabinet posts either: We are second class …because we don’t know how to play the federal game …and our so-called elected representatives or in the media don’t even raise a peep when Ontario and Quebec steal our rightful due. h.o.)

  8. Keith says:

    I watched the news from Newfoundland and Labrador where a chamber of commerce type was gushing about having 2 cabinet ministers and how great that would be, which was perfect timing after going through the comments on this post Harvey.

    Newfoundland and Labrador have a population of 521, 542 – stats Can. 2019. Divvied up into 27 federal seats, 6 of which are liberal, 2 cabinet positions, and the only province with a liberal provincial govt. Yep, you’re right, it does matter who you vote for.

    https://vocm.com/2021/10/26/2021-trudeau-cabinet-shuffle/

    D.M. Johnson noted..

    “Our BC MP’s are largely Liberal Duds who will kow-tow to what Trudeau wants, have virtually no power and are a mere sideshow to placate the local peons.”

    Which is exactly right., but that is how the game has to be played if one wants to keep their position and for any future ambitions. The last high profile cabinet minister from B.C. was Jody Wilson Raybould who stood up for the rule of law and did the right thing despite pressure from Trudeau and his gofers. By doing so J.W.R. resigsned her job and party, as did the excellent minister Jane Philpott, and another female M.P. from Ontario whose name I can’t recall. Message sent and received.

    Only time in the future we will see any intestinal fortitude from any liberal minister or M.P. will be if Trudeau is on his way out or they are.

    (Response: Thanks/ I feel vindicated …again! 🙂 It is absolutely astounding that a province of 522,000 is awarded TWO Cabinet posts … and, yet, naïve British Columbians, a province of 5 MILLION, and the BC MEDIA, seem quite willing to accept, without any protests or even questions, only four Cabinet seats, while Quebec and Ontario get 27!!! It’s ridiculous … and will cost BC BILLIONS of dollars over the next four years .. if the minority government lasts that long. And then BC will likely vote the same way, learn nothing and lose out AGAIN! h.o)

  9. Not Sure says:

    NVG’s post got me googling.

    There have been four Prime Ministers with connections to the prairie provinces. Diefenbaker (Sask), Clark (Alberta) and RB Bennett and Harper who were easterners transplanted to Alberta. None would be put in the great column but except for Clark who botched his one and only year, you could argue that the other three had some success even RB Bennett.

    How about BC. Well we have had two. Kim Campbell and John Turner, both known as the leader who took their party to a massive defeat. But also, fun fact, they are two of three PMs (Tupper being the other) who never passed one piece of legislation so at least they never did any harm unlike some we know.

    And I also found this today. An editorial in the Ottawa Citizen complaining that out of 14 Liberals elected from the Ottawa-Gatineau region only one was put in the cabinet while Toronto got 14. No way does Toronto need 14 but I guess that is where the smart people live. lol. But what I found ironic is the city where all the decisions are made is complaining that they don’t have enough representation. Good grief. And here I thought you were overreacting to BC losing one seat at the table. Sorry.

    https://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorial-ottawas-lone-voice-in-the-federal-cabinet-isnt-good-enough

    Still Harvey, I think worrying about how many cabinet spots BC gets is not nearly as important as the people in it and what they intend to do. This from a Conservative leaning newspaper but it is quoting Liberals. “This is Canada’s first NDP government.”

    https://nationalpost.com/opinion/john-ivison-blue-liberals-seeing-red-over-new-trudeau-cabinet

    As debatable as Trudeau’s first six years have been, his legacy lives or dies on the next two. Thoughts?

    (Response: There’s good reason, other than pride, so many people and politicians back East pay so much attention to how many Cabinet seats their area gets …or does not. And I think you are starting to understand when you write what’s most important about the Cabinet is “the people in it and what they intend to do.” Exactly! Because they are all politicians, well aware THEIR futures (ie re-election!!) depend on representing THEIR voters, THEIR constituencies, THEIR provinces, adding to THEIR loot (grants, contracts, jobs, regional offices etc.) … political booty that counts more, frankly, than proficiency, enlightened policies…when they’re up for re-election. And I’d say NONE know that better than the MPs from Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes who make it into the Cabinet! Welcome the REALITY of federal politics! Too bad BC MPs and even Cabinet members are such great “team” players … catering to “national” interests/policies/projects …in other words those benefitting Ontario and Quebec … and their 199 seats!! h.o)

  10. nonconfidencevote says:

    “naïve British Columbians, a province of 5 MILLION, and the BC MEDIA, seem quite willing to accept, without any protests or even questions, only four Cabinet seats, while Quebec and Ontario get 27!!! It’s ridiculous … ”

    +++

    The media are lapdogs to the advertising revenue the vairous levels of govt shovel at them year after year. “Sit! Stay! Rollover! Good Dogs. Here’s your treat.”

    As for BC and Alberta ,etc etc etc receiving bupkis from the Trudeau Govt…. he was re-elected (barely) by Ontario and Quebec…especially Quebec..

    The Liberal vampires know where the blood is to suck and who to thank for giving it to them.
    The Election Night maps were quite revealing.
    Interestingly it was the Urban vote in both those provinces that voted Liberal .
    Like Liberal red pimples on the blue and Orange rumps of the Quebec and Ontario Cows waiting to be being milked

  11. Not Sure says:

    I am not arguing with you Harvey, but it is all about perspective. And thank you for allowing me to share mine.

    Politicians will do what it takes to get elected. Caucus members of the governing party will get favours ahead of opposition members and the ridings they represent. And cabinet ministers with more power will get even more. We hear that all the time. But if I am following your train of thought rather than fighting that system and demanding change, you want one or two more cabinet members to get in on the graft.

    In BC we figure the west gets robbed because of the power of the east. And that was my mindset until I moved north. Try getting it from both directions. The Ottawa Citizen article I linked said 14 cabinet members from GTA. I also read that greater Montreal has seven. The four from BC are all from Greater Vancouver. That is over 60% of cabinet for 1/3 of Canada’s population. How many people do you need in cabinet from the three biggest metropolitan areas. Small town Canada deserves its share of the perks as well, don’t ya think.

    Maybe that’s I am not as outraged as you are because I know that however BC benefits from an extra cabinet seat or two isn’t likely to affect Quesnel or Kelowna or Nanaimo or Prince Rupert. Just extra sauce for the Lower Mainland. Now I’m sounding as cynical as you. lol.

    This is a fun discussion but the real concern is that those 39 people do the job that best serves Canada and moves us forward. I am sure you are ready to blast them when they screw up.

    (Response: Large urban areas have always dominated the political scene, in every province and both federally and provincially. And, of course, with their larger populations, larger corporate, larger university, larger professional bases .. and, yes, larger voter base, it’s not that unusual … although unfair. But again, it will go on until those with second class status scream like hell about it … over and over. As I wrote in an earlier blog, Quebeckers have that strategy down well …very well, to BC and the West’s detriment: http://harveyoberfeld.ca/blog/conservative-minority-government-better-for-bc/ . And our complacent media don’t seem to give a damn …or have any reporters/pundits who do! h.o)

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