Prime Minister Paul Martin announced a new cabinet on Tuesday, July 20, appointing Stphane Dion to the position of environment minister. He replaces long-serving former Environment Minister David Anderson who said, "Needless to say, I am disappointed that I will not be returning to the cabinet. That said, I look back with satisfaction to my work over the past ten-and-a-half years."
Mr. Dion is the Member of Parliament for Saint-Laurent — Cartierville. He has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from Laval University and a Doctorate in Sociology from the Institut d’tudes politiques in Paris. He taught at the University of Moncton and Montreal University, and published a number of books and articles on political science, public administration, and management. On January 25, 1996, Mr. Dion was sworn in as President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he remained until December 12, 2003.
Mr. Dion played an important role in bringing about the 1999 Social Union Framework Agreement. From 2001 to 2003 he was the mMnister responsible for Official Languages. He is the author of the Action Plan for Official Languages.
He had a significant role in events leading up to the Supreme Court opinion on the unilateral succession of Quebec, handed down on August 20, 1998, and on the Clarity Act, of March 15, 2000.
In related news, the Prime Minister’s two most senior ministers, Ralph Goodale and Anne McLellan, will keep their posts as Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, respectively.
"This cabinet was developed with a view to acting on our priorities and managing our affairs in a dynamic manner. And achieving true progress in areas most important to Canadians," said Mr. Martin.
Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan added, "I don’t think any of us are under any illusions, a minority government is a challenging government in a sense that one must always seek consensus and work toward reasonable compromise."
The new cabinet and parliamentary secretaries will have several months to prepare to face the opposition parties in the House of Commons, as parliament doesn’t resume until October 4, 2004.