Inexplicably, research data on minority and female populations is not collected in Canada — seemingly a theme in this country.
It even has a cool name: the Transit Of Mercury.
More cynical commentators in Ottawa dismissed the newly minted Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister of Science portfolios as a simple rebrand of pre-existing cabinet posts. In some ways, that was an understandable reaction. After all the new Liberal government was widely criticized by opposition parties for being heavy on style and light on substance.
The excitement is real.
Recent cuts to Environment Canada's operating budget have left the department a shadow of its former self and unable to enforce what little environmental laws are left. The Harper Government has burned enough environmental legislation to keep the Minister warm for an entire winter in her home in chilly Gjoa Haven. Nero fiddles while Rome burns.
After a month of prorogation and a shuttered Parliament, MPs at last returned to the Hill for the Government's Speech from the Throne laying out its new agenda for the Second Session of the Forty-First Parliament of Canada. One commentator described the Speech as "a breathtaking spout of free-associating bloviation... an epic ramble".