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fortuncookie5084
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Icon 17 posted 26. May 2002 17:07
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Apparently he's getting the boot.... http://cbc.ca/stories/2002/05/26/cabinet_shuffle020526
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fortuncookie5084
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Icon 17 posted 26. May 2002 18:43
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It is now official. Art Eggleton is out, fmr deputy finance minister John McCallum (spelling?) is in. I for one think Art Eggleton did some good things for us in some very tough times.
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rceme_rat
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Icon 1 posted 26. May 2002 19:19
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Sorry. I don't think Art carried much clout in Cabinet (what the PM calls "the Ministry"), and I don't think he helped the department much over the past few years - unless you say that without him, it could have been much worse. I'd have to accept there could be an argument in favour of that proposition.

Here's the official blurb on the new Minister:

The Honourable John McCallum
Member of Parliament (Markham, Ontario)
formerly, Secretary of State (International Financial Institutions)

Mr. McCallum was first elected in November 2000. In September 2001, he was named Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance, and he has also been a member of the Standing Committee on Finance.

Before his election, Mr. McCallum was Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist of the Royal Bank of Canada, a position he held since 1994. Prior to joining the Bank he was Dean of McGill University's Faculty of Arts. He also taught economics at the University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser University, the University of Québec at Montréal and McGill University, and is the author of numerous publications on economic issues.

Mr. McCallum obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Cambridge in 1971, a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures from the Université Paris in 1973, and a PhD in Economics from McGill University in 1977.

Mr. McCallum is married to Nancy Lim and they have three children.

Can we draw any conclusions from his appointment? He's eminently-qualified for an economics or finance position, and has considerable experience in a large corporate (i.e., banking) organization. From the brief bio, there seems to be no prior military service or external affairs experience. It is also his first term as an MP, so he has limited direct political experience, although this limit is offset by his prior experience in banking.

So, my quickie conclusion is based on his competence is management and economics, not military strategy or international politics. He will be expected to play to this strength: appointed to gain more personal experience/profile in a department the PM generally has no respect for; expectation is for him to manage the department competently, with a focus on cost-control and smooth management; likely to be told not to cause any ripples -- to get the tasks done but not to re-engineer the organization or to oversee a revolution in military affairs. Don't expect a new White Paper under McCallum.
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Harry
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Icon 1 posted 26. May 2002 21:29
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Imagine that, hmm, I guess the contract to his ex-gfriend finally spoiled the Eggs. [Crybaby]
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rceme_rat
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Icon 1 posted 26. May 2002 22:40
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And just to add to the evidence that the PM has no real respect for soldiers, past or present, is the assignment to Veterans Affairs Minister Rey Pagtakhan the additional role of "junior minister for science, research and development".

Not only does this detract from the time available to do his job, but the two sets of responsibilities have nothing in common.

If he is that short for talent (despite his backbenchers' complaints they don't have any real work), he could at least pair up things that seem to go together - Defence and Veterans Affairs could go back together, and the science, etc. could go with an education portfolio or a technology or business portfolio.

Is he losing his mind, or his is craftily avoiding situations where ministers could actually learn how to do their job and display their competence?
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portcullisguy
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Icon 1 posted 27. May 2002 01:00
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quote:
Originally posted by rceme_rat:
Can we draw any conclusions from his appointment? He's eminently-qualified for an economics or finance position, and has considerable experience in a large corporate (i.e., banking) organization. From the brief bio, there seems to be no prior military service or external affairs experience. It is also his first term as an MP, so he has limited direct political experience, although this limit is offset by his prior experience in banking.



Conclusion: Poor Mr. McCallum is being set up to fail, if things go badly in the DND, and/or the Liberals fail to retain their mandate in the next election on any issue relating to the military.

But of course, this is the ol' Ottawa shell-game. You move one lad here, another lad there, nobody knows where the marbles are ... except ol' Cretin, who is running the table.

Pro - An economics guy might help the DND spend their money more sensibly. Unfortunately this is negated by the fact that the Liberals are incapable of spending money 'sensibly'.

Con - Lack of experience, as you state, and lack of influence as he is only a rookie MP. This is a big job for a greenhorn. There is obviously some higher reason for placing him there, as there are eminently more qualified people on the government side of the House who can do the job. Watch this one like a hawk.

So, my quickie conclusion is based on his competence is management and economics, not military strategy or international politics. He will be expected to play to this strength: appointed to gain more personal experience/profile in a department the PM generally has no respect for; expectation is for him to manage the department competently, with a focus on cost-control and smooth management; likely to be told not to cause any ripples -- to get the tasks done but not to re-engineer the organization or to oversee a revolution in military affairs. Don't expect a new White Paper under McCallum.[/QB][/QUOTE]


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portcullisguy

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Posts: 123 | From: Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Registered: Nov 2001
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rceme_rat
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Icon 1 posted 27. May 2002 12:50
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A little more on the new Minister, from today's NationalPost:

May 27, 2021

McCallum has had meteoric political rise

Former academic left top bank post to become an MP

Anne Marie Owens
National Post, with files from Southam News

On the day that John McCallum was first sworn into Cabinet, he was so flummoxed by all the pomp that he forgot to sign the papers to officially make him a minister.

The next day, he apparently forgot the car and driver that came with the new job and caused a stir as his limousine chased after him on Parliament Hill before the driver was able to flag him down.

On Mr. McCallum's first official day on the job as junior finance minister, he also attacked the banks for charging "grotesquely high" credit card interest rates, and was summarily chastised by Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, for speaking out of turn.

"He has views, now he will have to express them within the Cabinet," Mr. Chrétien said.

Mr. McCallum said the Prime Minister reminded him of that again yesterday when he called him in to discuss taking over the defence portfolio.

"The Prime Minister himself said to me in our conversation that I tend to use colourful language," Mr. McCallum said. "I said, 'You want my language to be less colourful?' and he said, 'No, no, just be careful.' "

Canada's new Defence Minister cheerfully admits that what he knows about the military is limited to what he learned as a young air cadet and what he heard from his father, a decorated war hero.

Mr. McCallum, a former senior bank executive, has always been described as a bit of a rebel, both as an economist and as a banker.

When he made the shift to run for political office in 2000, many said he must have been crazy to trade in a $400,000 salary at the Royal Bank and a powerful post among Canada's business elite for a $65,000 MP's salary and job.

It was widely believed that he had been lured to the job with promises of a plum Cabinet post, and that, with his background, he was a natural fit to be groomed for the job of Finance Minister.

When asked if he would be content to toil in the backbenches of politics, he said: "Few people enter politics and immediately enter Cabinet. Even Pierre Trudeau was a parliamentary secretary for a while."

Nobody who knew Mr. McCallum believed that he would wait in obscurity for long, but even those who know him best are likely to be surprised by a meteoric political rise that has pushed him from winning a seat to assuming one of the country's most powerful Cabinet positions in less than two years.

The 51-year-old was born in Montreal and spent part of his childhood in the affluent Westmount neighbourhood. His father was an actuary and his mother sold real estate.

After high school, he went to Cambridge University to study economics. He has three degrees (from Cambridge, the Université Paris and McGill University) and had an 18-year career as an academic. His teaching career took him all across Canada, to universities in Winnipeg, British Columbia (where he met his future wife, Nancy Lim, a student), and Montreal.

He left academia in 1994, when he was Dean of Arts at McGill University, and took a job with the Royal Bank, enamoured of higher pay and the prospect of a career change with considerably broader clout.

His political demeanour has combined a straight-shooting matter-of-factness with an academic's ease of putting issues into broader perspective. He has also been seen as part of a small intellectual wing of Mr. Chrétien's otherwise workmanlike Cabinet.
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