Prime Minister Stephen Harper has put a new international face on his cabinet by tapping two steady performers — a former Liberal and a senator — to improve the government’s performance in its rocky third year.
David Emerson moves from the international trade portfolio to become foreign affairs minister, while Senator Michael Fortier moves from public works to Emerson’s old ministry in a mini-shuffle announced yesterday. Emerson, a former Liberal MP, and Fortier, who was unelected before being named to the Senate, were the most controversial cabinet picks when the Tories came to power in 2006.
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But the lingering scandal that led to former foreign minister Maxime Bernier’s resignation prompted Harper to seek experience over image to guiding affairs abroad.