Friday, October 30, 2015

Public Policy Forum Report Calls for a "Reboot," Smaller Cabinet
"A new report by the Public Policy Forum warns of the weakening of key pillars of the Westminster system, and outlines a number of parliamentary reforms to 'reboot' the system.

The report – made with input from a panel of prominent Canadians that included former Quebec Premier Jean Charest – recommends that governments in Canada adopt smaller and stronger cabinets, reform their committee systems and clarify job descriptions of various public service and government positions. In the case of deputy ministers, that would need to be done with legislation.

A week ahead of the swearing-in of Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau and his cabinet, the report suggests that ministers have lost their influence, that large cabinets are 'generally not in the interests of good governance,' and points to the size of cabinet in the UK government, which has only 22 ministers – roughly half the size of Harper’s last cabinet.

At a news conference the day after the election, Trudeau suggested he was going to appoint a cabinet of 'deciders,' and not just representatives of their ministries. He also said that cabinet would be smaller, although didn’t specify by how much.

The report also decried the 'extraordinary' centralization of power in the PMO and premiers’ offices as a key source of the problem."

View the Report

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