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Oliver replaces Flaherty

Prime Minister Stephen Harper tabbed Joe Oliver on Wednesday to take over from Jim Flaherty in the all-important Finance portfolio, and also promoted junior minister Greg Rickford to succeed Oliver at Natural Resources.

Southern Ontario backbench MP Ed Holder has also been brought into the cabinet fold, replacing Rickford as minister of state for science and technology.

In the past, even small cabinet shuffles have been documented with news releases and backgrounders. This time — and for the second time in less than a year — Harper relied instead on Twitter to announce his newest lieutenants.

"I just named Joe Oliver Canada's new finance minister," the prime minister tweeted as the new ministers were sworn in at Rideau Hall. "He will continue to strengthen the economy & balance the budget by 2015."

An hour later, he issued a five-paragraph statement on the shuffle.

"Mr. Oliver, Mr. Rickford and Mr. Holder bring with them a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience and I am confident that they will deliver results and provide strong leadership in these important portfolios," the statement said.

Oliver, 73, is widely respected within the Harper cabinet and Conservative party and is known on Bay Street, where he spent decades as an investment banker.

He went on to become executive director of the Ontario Securities Commission and then president of the Investment Dealers Association of Canada

His sometimes gruff and often partisan demeanour is much different from that of the jocular Flaherty, who often poked fun at himself.

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