Harris returns to Parliament June 2

Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris will return to Parliament holding the same posts he did when the federal election was called. And he’s fine with that.

Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harris will return to Parliament holding the same posts he did when the federal election was called.  And he’s fine with that.

Harris, a 17-year veteran of Parliament who says he has no aspirations to be in cabinet, took the oath of office along with other government MPs late last week.

On June 2 — the opening day of the new session — he will return as chair of both the B.C./Yukon caucus and the national forestry caucus.

“My responsibilities are going to be pretty much the same and that’s fine with me,” he says. “I’ve got a good handle on them and I know the issues inside out so that makes it easy to get things done.”

He hedged when asked whether he had ever been asked to be a minister, citing confidentiality.

“Even if I had that would be confidential,” he says. As chair of the B.C./Yukon caucus it’s Harris’ role to work with other MPs from the province and territory to bring issues concerning those regions to the prime minister and cabinet. He has held that post for five years. As forestry caucus chair, Harris’ role is to manage national forestry issues; he has held that post for five years, too.

“I’m looking forward to this new term and having a majority government is going to be very exciting working in.”

On Wednesday, Stephen Harper announced 37 minister positions: Christian Paradis, industry minister; Denis Lebel, transport minister; Stephen Blaney, veterans affairs minister; John Baird, minister of foreign affairs; Tony Clement, treasury board; Jim Flaherty, minister of finance; Peter Kent, environment minister; John Duncan, aboriginal affairs and northern development; Bev Oda, minister of the Canadian International Development Agengy; Rob Nicholson, justice minister; Peter MacKay, defence minister; Peter Van Loan, government House leader; Vic Toews, public safety minister; Leona Aglukkaq, health minister; Jason Kenney, minister of citizenship and immigration; Lisa Raiit, labour minister; Gordon O’Connor, government whip; Diane Finely, human resources and skills dvelopment minister; Rona Ambrose, public works and status of women; Gail Shea, revenue minister; Keith Ashfield, fisheries and oceans; Maxime Bernier, minister of state for small business and tourism; Ed Fast, international trade; and Joe Oliver, natural resources minister. Other junior cabinet ministers were also appointed.