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.

 Portfolio Minister Riding
Prime Minister
Stephen Harper

Calgary Southwest, Alta.

Rob Nicholson Niagara Falls, Ont.
Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture)
Jean-Pierre Blackburn Jonquière-Alma, Que.
Government leader in the Senate
Marjory LeBreton Senate, Ont.
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities
Chuck Strahl Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, B.C.
Peter MacKay Central Nova, N.S.
Treasury Board and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
Stockwell Day Okanagan-Coquihalla, B.C.
Public Safety
Vic Toews Provencher, Man.
Public Works
Rona Ambrose Edmonton-Spruce Grove, Alta.
Human Resources and Skills Development
Diane Finley Haldimand-Norfolk, Ont.
International Co-operation
Bev Oda Durham, Ont.
Government leader in the House of Commons
John Baird Ottawa West-Nepean, Ont.
Foreign Affairs
Lawrence Cannon Pontiac, Que.
Tony Clement Parry Sound-Muskoka, Ont.
Jim Flaherty Whitby-Oshawa, Ont.
Intergovernmental Affairs, president of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie
Josée Verner Louis-Saint-Laurent, Que.
International Trade
Peter Van Loan York-Simcoe, Ont.

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

Gerry Ritz Battlefords-Lloydminster, Sask.
Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism
Jason Kenney Calgary Southeast, Alta.
Natural Resources
Christian Paradis Mégantic-L'Érable, Que.
Canadian Heritage and Official Languages
James Moore Port Moody-Westwood-Port Coquitlam, B.C.
Leona Aglukkaq Nunavut
Lisa Raitt Halton, Ont.
Fisheries and Oceans
Gail Shea Egmont, P.E.I.
National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway
Keith Ashfield Fredericton, N.B.
Indian Affairs and Northern Development
John Duncan Vancouver Island North, B.C.
Peter Kent Thornhill, Ont.
Gary Lunn Saanich-Gulf Islands, B.C.
Chief government whip
Gordon O'Connor Carleton-Mississippi Mills, Ont.
Foreign affairs (Americas)
Diane Ablonczy Calgary-Nose Hill, Alta.
Rob Merrifield Yellowhead, Alta.
Western economic diversification Lynne Yelich Blackstrap, Sask.
Democratic reform Steven Fletcher Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, Man.
Science and technology, Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario Gary Goodyear Cambridge, Ont.
Economy Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Denis Lebel Roberval-Lac-Saint-Jean, Que.
Small business and tourism Rob Moore Fundy Royal, N.B.
Finance Ted Menzies Macleod, Alta.
Seniors Julian Fantino Vaughan, 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