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Public support for May to be named federal environment minister

Last Updated Oct 22, 2015 at 7:49 am PDT

(Courtesy Twitter)

Petitions circulating to convince Trudeau to name May as federal environment minister

One political scientist doesn't think she would accept the position

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Could Canada’s greenest politician get a chance to serve as the country’s environment minister?

As Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau gets set to name his first cabinet, support is building for Green Party Leader Elizabeth May to serve as Canada’s environment minister.

At least three online petitions are circulating urging Trudeau to appoint May to the job and one of them as more than 30,000 signatures.

However, UBC political science professor David Moscrop doesn’t exactly like the chances of it actually happening. “It’s really low. It’s slightly higher than her accepting but it’s still really low.”

He adds the idea of a member of another party serving another’s cabinet is pretty rare. “If you were to have a minority (government), you can imagine it happening. If you were to have a coalition [government] it would have to happen, but I can’t think of any under a majority government,” says Moscrop.

Trudeau will likely reward his own MPs with cabinet positions and Moscrop says even if he offered May the gig, she would likely decline because it would mean she could no longer voice an independent opinion.

“If you’re in the cabinet you have to agree, publicly at least, with everything the government does or you have to resign. Cabinet solidarity is a very important principal in Canadian government. It requires that the cabinet be in solidarity with the government all the time. You can disagree privately, but that’s not going to get her very far,” says Moscrop.

Moscrop says May would be much more effective as a vocal critic or offering private advice to Trudeau.

The new cabinet will be named on November 4th.