Dion showing 'what he's made of' in critics shuffle?
The three new Liberal MPs have been sworn in this morning and assigned their tasks.
No huge surprises here - Bob Rae stays as foreign affairs critic, Martha Hall-Findlay is associate finance critic and Joyce Murray, from Vancouver Quadra, becomes vice-chair of the caucus committee on environmental sustainability.
We still have to wait a couple of hours to see where they'll be seated in the Commons - where rank really does matter and optics are important.
UPDATE: Rae and Hall-Findlay have both been placed in the Liberals' front row. Here's the updated seating plan (pdf).
Perhaps the most interesting part of the shadow-cabinet shuffle, though, are the other switches of assignment.
* Denis Coderre, the Montreal MP and big Ignatieff booster in the leadership campaign, is out of his defence critic's post and assigned to Canadian Heritage. Coderre may be most remembered in his defence role for his freelance trip to Afghanistan last fall.
But people will be wondering if Coderre's job change comes because his name keeps coming up (vaguely, of course) in relation to Dion's leadership problems in Quebec.
* Bryon Wilfert, perhaps the original member of Dion's caucus-supporter club (and the guy who gave Dion the famous leather knapsack), has been handed the defence job.
* Gerard Kennedy, the former leadership candidate and Ontario education minister - now the only former Dion rival to NOT have a seat in the House - becomes intergovernmental affairs critic. Not a bad idea to have a former member of McGuinty's government on this issue if the Harper government keeps up its attacks on Ontario. Where has Kennedy been, by the way?
* As well, Raymonde Folco is out of the shadow cabinet, with Coderre taking on her duties for official languages and francophone affairs. Does this have something to do with Folco telling reporters last week that it was time for Dion "to show what he's made of"?
FURTHER UPDATES: Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering what's happened to Gerard Kennedy.
Also, I stand corrected on Raymonde Folco. She was not in the shadow cabinet. It was Mauril Belanger (Ottawa-Vanier) who created the opening for Coderre on official languages and the francophonie. Belanger has apparently stood down from the shadow cabinet for personal reasons.