Canada set for minor cabinet shuffle

Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:53pm EDT
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - Prime Minister Stephen Harper will announce what is expected to be a minor cabinet shuffle on Wednesday.

The announcement, set for Ottawa, could include a permanent replacement for former Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, who quit last month amid a security scandal.

Harper's office released a short media advisory late on Tuesday saying he would attend a swearing in ceremony of new members of his ministerial team. It provided no other details.

Last week, Harper ruled out a major cabinet shuffle, saying filling the foreign affairs post was the only item on his radar.

The post is has been temporarily filled by Trade Minister David Emerson, and there is speculation that he would get the job on long-term basis with someone else picking up the trade duties.

Emerson's office issued a separate advisory on Tuesday before Harper's came out, saying Emerson would attend the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Kyoto Japan later this week.

Bernier quit as foreign minister last month after admitting he had left secret documents at the home of a former girlfriend who had ties to organized crime.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Rob Wilson)

<p>Prime Minister Stephen Harper speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 18, 2008. REUTERS/Chris Wattie (</p>