At Harper's photo-op at a Con rally this morning, after his speech, he was asked, by 2 different reporters, if he was re-elected would he be "appointing" anyone to his Cabinet or the Senate. This was in reference to him having appointed someone to the Senate after the last election who was an unelected person. In both instances he answered: I will not answer who I would name to my Cabinet during an election. If I'm re-elected then I will answer.
In other words, by side-stepping, he has basically said, to my view, yes I will appoint anyone I want to. Which means that if he wins this election we can be sure to see Michael Fortier back in the Senate & back in a Cabinet post.
Some things never change.
UPDATE: This brief article from the Canadian Press, in The Star, shows exactly what I'm talking about.
"Stephen Harper has refused to rule out appointing another Quebec senator to his cabinet if Conservative election results in the province are as dismal as indicated by recent polls.
Campaigning yesterday in Brantford, Ont., the Prime Minister would not exclude a replay of his decision after the last election to name the unelected Michael Fortier to the Senate, and into his cabinet. That move gave Harper his only cabinet minister from the Montreal area, and added to his relatively tiny roster of caucus members from the province.
Harper was asked twice at a news conference if he would rule out installing another senator in his cabinet. He twice declined to do so."