Thursday, October 30, 2008

Well, here they are...the new cabinet!

Earlier this morning, I mentioned some of my guesses regarding the new cabinet. Some panned out, others were more of a surprise. Of particular note was that Jason Kenney did indeed become Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. For my sport clients such as the Canadian Paralympic Committee, there's now a sport specific minister - Gary Lunn. For those associations who have approached me with issues dealing with seniors, the Veteran's Affairs minister remains Greg Thompson of New Brunswick. For CPP and social policy matters, the minister remains as Diane Finley. For some of my previous clients who have been concerned by energy efficiency issues, a new face to watch will be a brand new face in Parliament, Lisa Raitt.

In total, here's a list of the newest cabinet:

The Honourable Robert Douglas Nicholson
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture)

The Honourable Gregory Francis Thompson
Minister of Veterans Affairs

The Honourable Marjory LeBreton
Leader of the Government in the Senate and Minister of State (Seniors)

The Honourable Chuck Strahl
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians

The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay
Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway

The Honourable Stockwell Day
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

The Honourable Vic Toews
President of the Treasury Board

The Honourable Rona Ambrose
Minister of Labour

The Honourable Diane Finley
Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda
Minister of International Cooperation

The Honourable Jim Prentice
Minister of the Environment

The Honourable John Baird
Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities

The Honourable Lawrence Cannon
Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Honourable Tony Clement
Minister of Industry

The Honourable James Michael Flaherty
Minister of Finance

The Honourable Josée Verner
Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister for La Francophonie

The Honourable Jay D. Hill
Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

The Honourable Peter Van Loan
Minister of Public Safety

The Honourable Gerry Ritz
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board

The Honourable Jason Kenney
Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism

The Honourable Christian Paradis
Minister of Public Works and Government Services

The Honourable James Moore
Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq
Minister of Health

The Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Natural Resources

The Honourable Gail Shea
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

The Honourable Gary Lunn
Minister of State (Sport)

The Honourable Gordon O'Connor
Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

The Honourable Helena Guergis
Minister of State (Status of Women)

The Honourable Diane Ablonczy
Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism)

The Honourable Rob Merrifield
Minister of State (Transport)

The Honourable Lynne Yelich
Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification)

The Honourable Steven John Fletcher
Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

The Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology)

The Honourable Denis Lebel
Minister of State (Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec)

The Honourable Keith Ashfield
Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)

The Honourable Peter Kent
Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas)
Mark Buzan is Principal of Action Strategies, a GR Consultancy for non-profits. Subscribe now to his Lobbying tips newsletter at www.actionstrategies.ca/Action_Strategies/Newsletter.html

Things that make you go..hmmm!

Two things have come up today that I'll be monitoring with interest.  First, it appears as though Prime Minister Harper will be announcing his new cabinet.  Of particular interest are the growing rumours that James Moore and Jason Kenney are likely nominees.  From those reading this blog in the past, I predicted they will be ones to watch...let's wait and see.

On the provincial scene, it appears that Premier Jean Charest will be heading Quebec into another election seeking a majority government.  Humbly, this is disappointing as there are a number of legislative issues that will need to be put on hold.  Time will tell what will result of the provinces 3 parties in the National Assembly.

Predictions anyone on either of the two situations?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

5 Principles of Effective Government Relations

When it comes to ensuring government relations are communicating and teaching the public in an effective and attainable manner, what are the most important services and functions that you should expect from your Canadian government relations resource? From the perspective of someone wondering about the value of a lobbyist, I thought it pertinent to provide my ideas on the most obvious reasons of what should be expected in an optimum government relations office.

1. Parliament: Beyond offering an effective advisory, advocacy, and educating resource for Canadian citizens, an effective government relations resource should know the ins and outs of Parliament and how it relates to the average citizen, to better be able to communicate to the citizen this information. So, how does a government relations resource keep abreast of the most useful Parliament information?

2. Regulation: Another important principle of effective government relations is providing citizens with regulation information and assistance. By acting as an intermediary between concerned citizen and the private sector, government relations specialists can help maintain and revise-if need be-current private sector regulations. They can use their contacts and experience in the government to ensure that all parties are being treated according to fair practice. By keeping an eye and hand in the workings of governmental actions and practice, these specialists can ensure balance through proper regulation.

3. Trade and Investment: Government relations employees are also very necessary in the area of trade and investment. With all the rules and disputes that can arise in trade and investment-between the U.S and Canada primarily-having this resource to secure the best information and navigation in your affairs is absolutely necessary. For example, government relations specialists can teach you about current NAFTA and other trade association regulations, help you acquire financial assistance in relation to trade, set up your new business service or investment program in Canada, and navigate general customs issues.

4. Procurement: Procurement of new technological opportunities for government use is another necessary principle for effective government relations. These specialists not only receive incoming opportunities for technological advancement for government procurement, but also seek out and identify potentially helpful technological resources. Government relations teams as an effective practice; invest their time, money, and resources in technology companies to promote the mutual technological prowess and success of both business and country. On a more specific level, these government relations representatives actively market, network, research competition, and oversee contract negotiations of tech businesses they find promising.

5. Grassroots Campaigns: Generating support for your cause can sometimes seem an overwhelming venture, no matter how important the cause. Government relations representatives can help bridge the gap between the public outcry of grassroots campaigns and governmental decision makers in an effective and demonstrative manner. They help lobby for specific causes and groups through key contacts, organize the campaign for presentation, generate marketing tactics, and overall boost widespread support for a cause or campaign that just needs a voice.

Do you have an example of one of the five effective principles of government relations or perhaps have insight to share on the efficacy of government relations resources and representatives. Please share your story with us.

Mark Buzan is Principal of Action Strategies, a GR Consultancy for non-profits. Subscribe now to his Lobbying tips newsletter at www.actionstrategies.ca/Action_Strategies/Newsletter.html

Who's in and ... who's out?

Since the results of last week's election were revealed, it's clear that while a Conservative party minority government has returned to Ottawa, the composition of this government will be different. 35 new MPs (new to Parliament) from the Conservatives were elected making a much stronger minority government from that of the 39th Parliament. Who are these new members of the government? Reviewing the list reveals the following:

Aglukkaq, Leona Nunavut, Nunavut
Ashfield, Keith Fredericton, New Brunswick
Block, Kelly Saskatoon--Rosetown--Biggar, Saskatchewan
Boughen, Ray Palliser, Saskatchewan
Braid, Peter Kitchener--Waterloo, Ontario
Brown, Lois Newmarket--Aurora, Ontario
Cadman, Dona Surrey North, British Columbia
Calandra, Paul Oak Ridges--Markham, Ontario
Dechert, Bob Mississauga--Erindale, Ontario
Dreeshen, Earl Red Deer, Alberta
Duncan, John Morris Vancouver Island North, British Columbia
Glover, Shelly Saint Boniface, Manitoba
Hoback, Randy Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
Hoeppner, Candice Portage--Lisgar, Manitoba
Holder, Ed London West, Ontario
Kent, Peter Thornhill, Ontario
Kerr, Greg West Nova, Nova Scotia
Lobb, Ben Huron--Bruce, Ontario
McColeman, Phil Brant, Ontario
McLeod, Cathy Kamloops--Thompson--Cariboo, British Columbia
O'Neill-Gordon, Tilly Miramichi, New Brunswick
Payne, LaVar Medicine Hat, Alberta
Raitt, Lisa Halton, Ontario
Rathgeber, Brent Edmonton--St. Albert, Alberta
Richards, Blake Wild Rose, Alberta
Rickford, Greg Kenora, Ontario
Saxton, Andrew North Vancouver, British Columbia
Shea, Gail A. Egmont, Prince Edward Island
Shory, Devinder Calgary Northeast, Alberta
Uppal, Tim Edmonton--Sherwood Park, Alberta
Weston, John West Vancouver--Sunshine Coast--Sea to Sky Country, British Columbia
Weston, Rodney Saint John, New Brunswick
Wong, Alice Richmond, British Columbia
Woodworth, Stephen Kitchener Centre, Ontario
Young, Terence H. Oakville, Ontario

With 35 new MPs to choose from as well as a number of notable MPs who are not returning to this Parliament, the Prime Minister will have his work cut out for him in constructing a new cabinet. Most notable in those that I have had contact with in the past include Monte Solberg (Minister of Human Resources and Social Development) and Rahim Jaffer (Chair of the National Conservative Caucus).

Of the MPs for which I have had some personal contact with, I would wager that some important MPs to watch would include James Moore (Port Moody-Coquitlam), Jason Kenney (my former boss), Maxime Bernier (even with the troubles experienced earlier in the year, the Prime Minister needs Quebec representation in the Cabinet), Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Lawrence Cannon, Stockwell Day, and Pierre Poilievre.

Mark Buzan is Principal of Action Strategies, a GR Consultancy for non-profits. Subscribe now to his Lobbying tips newsletter at www.actionstrategies.ca/Action_Strategies/Newsletter.html