The government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has shifted several ministerial responsibilities. The current Minister of State for Science and Technology, MP Greg Rickford, is one of the ministers with new responsibilities. Aside from his science and technology responsibilities, Rickford was the Minister of Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, a position he kept when he was appointed as science and technology minister last year.
Minister Rickford will retain his Northern Ontario responsibilities, and will now assume the portfolio of the Minister for Natural Resources. Taking his responsibilities for science and technology will be MP Ed Holder from Ontario. Holder represents parts of London, Ontario, and has stood in Parliament since 2008. His background is in insurance, where he established a successful brokerage company, and contributed time and resources to several charitable causes. In other words, the appointment reflects the second-tier status the science minister holds within the Canadian government.
(To be fair, science ministers who are elected politicians in many other nations hold a similar status.)
Given the abject frustration felt by many in Canada about the government’s approach to its scientific and technical employees and other resources, the bright side to Minister Holder’s appointment appears to be that he is not openly antagonistic (based on his record so far). But that reflects a bar that has been set directly on the ground.