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Time to get to know a new Heritage Minister


OTTAWA - Well, that was fast. The broadcast and cable industry barely had a chance to get to know Heritage Minister Hélène Chalifour Scherrer before the voters of the Louis-Hebert riding turfed her from office during Monday's federal election.

Now, the race is on among the depleted Liberal ranks for the cabinet posting - only about six months after Prime Minister Paul Martin had shuffled much of the former Jean Chretien cabinet and promoted Chalifour Scherrer, considered to be a Liberal "star" candidate in Quebec.

In that cabinet shuffle, Martin threw former Heritage minister Sheila Copps over the side, and the PM's supporters even made successful moves in her own riding, making sure she didn't even get to run again under the Liberal flag (Martin-backer and Transport Minister Tony Valeri did manage to narrowly hold on to the riding despite most of Copps' local team defecting to the NDP, according to reports).

Martin has said he plans to have his new cabinet in place within a short time frame and while there are a number of names making the rounds, the culture portfolio is considered to be one of those places where an inexperienced new minister (as Chalifour Scherrer was) could be appointed, based more on geographic, gender, or other political concerns than on experience in the media world.

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