Former Trail Doctor Now BC Minister of Labour

Christy Clark demotes Harry Bloy in pre-session cabinet shuffle

By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun September 26, 2011 2:36 PM

VICTORIA — Premier Christy Clark on Monday demoted Harry Bloy, moving the beleaguered minister of social development out of the limelight and into a low-profile junior role just days before the Legislature is to reconvene for a Fall sitting.

“I thought it was time to make a change,” Clark said Monday, explaining her mini-cabinet shuffle.

Clark called the move “a refocusing of Harry Bloy’s responsibilities”, though acknowledged Bloy had been struggling to communicate changes government has been making in its support for the disabled.

“It’s important that the minister is communicating changes, which are very difficult, particularly for vulnerable clients,” said Clark, adding that despite Bloy’s public shortcomings, she believes he still made a positive contribution.

“Being a minister is not just about communicating in question period and in scrums,” she said.

“I think Harry did a lot of great things as minister. He really advocated for the community and he worked incredibly hard,” she added.

“He has always had a soft heart for people who don’t have the same advantages that he’s had.”

The move is significant as Bloy was the only Liberal MLA who supported Clark during her bid for the Liberal leadership.

Critics had been quick to suggest blind loyalty as the reason Clark gave Bloy the job when she was sworn in this past March, especially after his shaky performances in question period and in front of the cameras.

On Monday, Clark gave the impression that for her, loyalty only lasts so long.

“If you were hoping I was going to be a premier who made a decision, set it in stone and never revisited it and decided that change was never necessary, I’m not that premier,” she said.

“We’re at about the six month mark into our administration now, I’m a new premier and I thought it was time to make a change.”

Bloy now becomes Minister of State for Multiculturalism, meaning he is shuffled into a junior role, but still remains part of the cabinet.

Stephanie Cadieux, who had been minister of labour, now becomes Minister of Social Development.

Margaret MacDiarmid, who Clark dropped from cabinet when she took over from former premier Gordon Campbell, will take over for Cadieux as Minister of Labour, Citizen Services and Open Government.

The Legislature resumes next week, with a Speech from the Throne on Oct. 3.

The changes full are as follows:

Stephanie Cadieux becomes Minister of Social Development.

Margaret MacDiarmid becomes Minister of Labour, Citizen Services and Open Government.

Harry Bloy becomes Minister of State for Multiculturalism.

Ron Cantelon becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health.

Gordon Hogg becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Non-Profit Partnerships to the Minister of Social Development.

Donna Barnett becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Communities to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Richard Lee becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Asia-Pacific to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

jfowlie@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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