Ontario Culture Minister Aileen Carroll Dumped After Ministry’s Mistreatment of Artefacts

Ontarios Minister of Culture, Aileen Carroll, wastossed out of cabinet today as part of a larger shuffle.She will now become a backbench member of the legislature.

The decision caught members of the media off-guard. The National Post said that, Ms. Carroll’s demotion is perhaps the most surprising. A former federal minister, the Barrie MPP was considered a high profile candidate in 2007.

The Toronto Star writes that she may have made a decision not to run in the next general election. In Canadian politics it is not unusual for retiring ministers to get dumped from cabinet before they actually retire. Her replacement is going to be Michael Chan, who is moving from the Citizenship and Immigration post.

Artefacts in the Bin

The culture ministry has come under fire over its handling of the provinces ancient artefacts. Dr. Ron Williamson told Heritage Key in an interview last summer that the province hasnt been making provisions to store artefacts properly with the result being that some of them have ended up in garbage dumps.

This is not a new problem, but rather one that Carroll inherited. New facilities are now being built in Hamilton and London Ontario to alleviate the situation.

Her tenure as minister saw a number of positives. The arrival of the Dead Sea Scrolls and King Tut in Toronto were major coups. The Art Gallery of Ontario completed a major expansion and the Royal Ontario Museum is adding new Roman and Byzantine galleries.

The province is running a deficit of more than $20 billion (CDN) and, at some point, will likely have to cut spending to balance its books. If the cuts hit, it will be up to Chan to mitigate howtheyaffect the ministry.