Who's who in Harper's cabinet

Conservative government at a glance: The ministers and their responsibilities.

The ministers and their responsibilities

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, centre, arrives for a swearing-in ceremony of cabinet ministers at Rideau Hall in Ottawa Jan. 19, 2010. ((Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press))

Cabinet as of January 2011

Ministers are listed in order of precedence, which is generally the length of service in Parliament.

 PortfolioMinisterRiding
Prime Minister
Stephen Harper

Calgary Southwest, Alta.

Justice
Rob NicholsonNiagara Falls, Ont.
Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)
Jean-Pierre BlackburnJonquière-Alma, Que.
Government leader in the Senate
Marjory LeBretonSenate, Ont.
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Chuck StrahlChilliwack-Fraser Canyon, B.C.
Defence
Peter MacKayCentral Nova, N.S.
Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Stockwell DayOkanagan-Coquihalla, B.C.
Public Safety
Vic ToewsProvencher, Man.
Public Works
Rona AmbroseEdmonton-Spruce Grove, Alta.
Human Resources and Skills Development
Diane FinleyHaldimand-Norfolk, Ont.
International Co-operation
Bev OdaDurham, Ont.
Government leader in the House of Commons
John BairdOttawa West-Nepean, Ont.
Foreign Affairs
Lawrence CannonPontiac, Que.
Industry
Tony ClementParry Sound-Muskoka, Ont.
Finance
Jim FlahertyWhitby-Oshawa, Ont.
Intergovernmental Affairs, president of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
Josée VernerLouis-Saint-Laurent, Que.
International Trade
Peter Van LoanYork-Simcoe, Ont.

Agriculture and Agri-Food, Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

Gerry RitzBattlefords-Lloydminster, Sask.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Jason KenneyCalgary Southeast, Alta.
Natural Resources
Christian ParadisMégantic-L'Érable, Que.
Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
James MoorePort Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Health
Leona AglukkaqNunavut
Labour
Lisa RaittHalton, Ont.
Fisheries and Oceans
Gail SheaEgmont, P.E.I.
National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway
Keith AshfieldFredericton, N.B.
Indian Affairs and Northern Development
John DuncanVancouver Island North, B.C.
Environment
Peter KentThornhill, Ont.
MINISTERS OF STATE 
Sport
Gary LunnSaanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
Chief government whip
Gordon O'ConnorCarleton-Mississippi Mills, Ont.
Foreign affairs (Americas)
Diane AblonczyCalgary-Nose Hill, Alta.
Transport
Rob MerrifieldYellowhead, Alta.
Western economic diversificationLynne YelichBlackstrap, Sask.
Democratic reformSteven FletcherCharleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, Man.
Science and technology, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern OntarioGary GoodyearCambridge, Ont.
Economy Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of QuebecDenis LebelRoberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que.
Small business and tourismRob MooreFundy Royal, N.B.
FinanceTed MenziesMacleod, Alta.
SeniorsJulian FantinoVaughan, Ont.

Cabinet as of October 2008

During Prime Minister Stephen Harper's first government, opposition parties tried to paint his Conservatives as having a weak, gaffe-prone cabinet.

For his second government, Harper made sweeping changes to his roster of ministers, in an apparent effort to project an image of a strong team in power.

More chairs were brought to the cabinet table. The size of Harper's cabinet swelled to 38 ministers from 32. Eleven were ministers of state, whose responsibilities are considered junior portfolios.

Some 'fine tuning'

Harper made some changes in January 2010, shifting a total of 10 positions.

The Prime Minister's Office described the shuffle as "fine-tuning," and none of the major ministers was shifted.

Among the changes: Stockwell Day was shifted from International Trade to the Treasury Board, Lisa Raitt moved from Natural Resources to Ministry to Labour and a vacancy left by retiring Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson was filled with MP Rob Moore of New Brunswick, a new addition to the cabinet. 

Resignations and replacements

In April 2010, Helena Guergis resigned as the minister of state for the status of women, bringing the size of the cabinet to 37. Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose was asked to assume Guergis's cabinet responsibilities.

Jay Hill, the government House leader and longtime British Columbia MP, announced on July 21 that he wouldn't seek re-election in the next federal vote. That prompted a small cabinet change  a few weeks later.

John Baird was chosen to replace Hill as House leader, while Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl moved into Baird's portfolio at Transport. B.C. MP John Duncan, Strahl's parliamentary secretary at Indian and Northern Affairs, was promoted to cabinet to take over from Strahl.

In November, Environment Minister Jim Prentice announced he is leaving politics to join the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. This move shrank the size of the cabinet to 36. House Leader John Baird was named interim environment minister.

Fantino, Menzies promoted

Ontario MP Julian Fantino became minister of state responsible for seniors in a minor January 2011 shuffle, weeks after winning a tight byelection in the Liberal stronghold of Vaughan. Ted Menzies was named minister of state for finance, swelling the cabinet ranks back up to 38.

Also promoted in the shuffle was Thornhill, Ont., MP Peter Kent, who moved into the high-profile environment portfolio. Dianne Ablonczy shifted into Kent's old role, becoming minister of state for the Americas.

By the numbers

There are 10 female ministers, up from seven in the last Conservative government of 2006-08. Women make up 26 per cent of the cabinet, slightly less than the ratio (30 per cent) in Paul Martin's Liberal cabinet in 2003-04.

The cabinet also reflects the Conservatives' electoral strength in Ontario, with 13 ministers representing the province at the table. Four ministers are from Atlantic Canada (although there are none from Newfoundland and Labrador).

Quebec and British Columbia can each claim five ministers while 10 hail from the Prairie provinces, and one, Leona Aglukkaq, comes from the North.

Ministers who left cabinet