The cabinet is almost shuffled

Tease the day: After weeks of breakneck speculation, speculation will suddenly stop

Rideau Hall.

On a morning like this morning in a place like this place, media advisories take on mystical importance. Last week, Defence Minister Peter MacKay had invited reporters to watch him speak to the Quadrennial Search and Rescue Review Forum. This morning, in the hours before Prime Minister Stephen Harper shuffles his cabinet at Rideau Hall, reporters were no longer welcome at the SAR Forum. As is usual, tongues wag, speculation mounts, all in anticipation of several people getting new jobs.

Zero hour is 11 a.m. Finally, after all these weeks of unfettered excitement, of guessing and then guessing again, the fidgety hordes of speculators will learn who will fill the government’s front benches in the House of Commons. And then, that’s it.

In these last feverish hours before the prime minister unveils a new, game-changing team that will reboot and refresh and re-energize and reinvigorate and relaunch the government’s ambitious and bold and pragmatic and steady agenda—and otherwise give some powerful parliamentarians a chance to get comfortable in new seats—don’t miss your chance to speculate one last time.

First, savour Aaron Wherry’s perfect cabinet speculation—the only post on the subject worth reading as these interminable weeks have passed into history. Then, if you’re still feeling lucky, place your bets. Because you just can’t help yourself.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with speculation that Prime Minister Stephen Harper will not shuffle his finance, trade or Treasury Board ministers later today at Rideau Hall. The National Post fronts “substantial change” expected in today’s cabinet shuffle. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with the death of Canadian actor and Glee star Cory Monteith. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a prediction that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty will keep his job today. iPolitics fronts Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu’s hacked Facebook account. leads with Harper’s “substantial” cabinet shuffle. CTV News leads with Loblaw’s $12.4-billion purchase of Shoppers Drug Mart. National Newswatch showcases CTV Newscabinet shuffle predictions, including the promotion of several backbenchers.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. Foreign aid. The Canadian International Development Agency failed to spend $419 million allocated to its programs in the last fiscal year, about 13 per cent of the budgeted $3.14 billion. 2. Syria. Damian Clairmont, a 22-year-old Canadian who converted to Islam and eventually left Calgary to participate in the Syrian conflict, hasn’t been heard from since June 26.
3. Mexico. Marc Ménard, a 44-year-old Canadian who spent three months travelling through Central America, has been missing since he was turned away at a Texas border crossing on March 14. 4. Fracking. An environmental watchdog says companies hoping to extract oil and gas from the ground right beside Gros Morne National Park—a UNESCO World Heritage site—should be stopped.
5. Sudan. Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese president who’s wanted by the International Criminal Court on genocide charges in Darfur, visited Nigeria—where he was received by a military brass band. 6. Racism. Italian Senator Roberto Calderoli, the leader of the Northern League, was admonished by Premier Enrico Letta for comparing the country’s first black cabinet minister to an orangutan.

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