According to CTV.ca. Stephen Harper was officially sworn in as Canada's 22nd prime minister at a ceremony in Rideau Hall Monday morning, two weeks after he led his Conservative Party to a minority victory over Paul Martin's Liberals.
Clutching his personal Bible, Harper was sworn in by Alex Himelfarb, clerk of the Privy Council, and was presided over by Governor General Michaelle Jean as he took the oath of office.
After keeping news of his cabinet a closely guarded secret, Harper has named a 26-member cabinet (which includes six women) streamlined from Martin's 37.
The most surprising news was the appointment of David Emerson as minister of international trade. Emerson, former industry minister under Paul Martin's Liberal government, crossed the floor to join the Tory cabinet. Interesting, Harper must have pulled out a convincing move for Emerson to do that. He may not be too popular with his constituants who voted in a Liberal MP. Good for the Conservatives though.
Emerson, an MP for the B.C. riding of Vancouver Kingsway, was considered a leadership candidate for the Liberals. He took a prominent role on the issue of softwood lumber in the last government. His acquisition gives the Tory party its only MP in one of the country's major cities.
Emerson received a loud ovation after he swore his oath on Monday morning.
"It is a big score for us, no doubt about it," Tory strategist Tim Powers told CTV. He played down the ethical implications raised by Emerson's party switch, despite the fact that Harper harshly criticized Belinda Stronach when she deserted his party for the Liberals.
As expected, Harper has dropped the post of deputy prime minister. His cabinet includes 10 members from Western Canada, nine from Ontario, one from Manitoba and three from the Maritimes. There is no cabinet member from P.E.I. since no Conservative MPs were elected in that province.
It is interesting to see that there is no Deputy PM, something that I have not heard of before. I guess that Stephen Harper is trying to make changes. Maybe the Deputy could be a threat to his position, so he dropped it.
Good luck Stephen Harper.