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Paul Martin is a big fan of public private partnerships and the appointment of a parliamentary secretary to push P3s is just the latest evidence that CUPE members will have to be even more vigilant in the months ahead.

John McKay, an MP from Toronto, was named parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance with special emphasis on P3s. Hell report to Saskatchewan MP and newly-appointed finance minister Ralph Goodale, known for being a fiscal conservative who favours corporate tax cuts over public services.

Another area of concern is the naming of Pierre Pettigrew as minister of health. The Montreal MP showed little concern for protecting public services when he was international trade minister. Now hell be on first to defend the principles of the Canada Health Act. At the same time, hell serve as intergovernmental affairs minister, a post thats supposed to smooth relations with the provinces. Hard to believe hell punish premiers like Campbell, Klein or Charest for encouraging the spread of private health care.

Dr. Carolyn Bennett, a Toronto MP and long-time supporter of Paul Martin who has been an advocate for a greater private sector role in Canadas Medicare system, joins Pettigrew as minister of state (public health).

Despite frequent promises by Paul Martin to deliver a new deal and pump more money into the countrys ailing urban infrastructure, there is no cabinet minister dedicated to looking out for cities. Fredericton MP Andy Scott has returned to cabinet as infrastructure minister, and former Vancouver mayor and BC premier Mike Harcourt will head an advisory committee that will draft a new deal for cities. As well, Toronto MP John Godfrey was named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister with special emphasis on cities.

The issues of equal rights for women and children are low on cabinets priority, while issues of public security and defense are high. There are now two ministers of defense and the deputy prime minister, Edmonton MP Anne McLellan, will take charge of public safety and emergency preparedness. Meanwhile, children, youth, women and multiculturalism merit only two ministers of state the lowest priority cabinet positions. The MPs in charge are Jean Augustine and Ethel Blondin-Andrew.

Moncton MP Claudette Bradshaw gets to keep her job as minister of labour. The new minister of transport, who will have to deal with the crisis at Air Canada, is Tony Valeri, an MP from Hamilton where WestJet has a lot of clout.