This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the much-anticipated cabinet shuffle. Former ministers who will take on a new portfolio include;
Anita Anand as President of the Treasury Board;
Marie-Claude Bibeau as Minister of National Revenue;
Bill Blair as Minister of National Defence;
Randy Boissonnault as Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages;
Jean-Yves Duclos as Minister of Public Services and Procurement;
Sean Fraser as Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities;
Karina Gould as Leader of the Government in the House of Commons;
Mark Holland as Minister of Health;
Ahmed Hussen as Minister of International Development;
Gudie Hutchings as Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency;
Kamal Khera as Minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Persons with Disabilities;
Dominic LeBlanc as Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs;
Diane Lebouthillier as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard;
Lawrence MacAulay as Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food;
Marc Miller as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship;
Mary Ng as Minister of Export Promotion, International Trade and Economic Development;
Seamus O’Regan Jr. as Minister of Labour and Seniors;
Ginette Petitpas Taylor as Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence;
Carla Qualtrough as Minister of Sport and Physical Activity;
Pablo Rodriguez as Minister of Transport and will continue to serve as Quebec Lieutenant;
Harjit S. Sajjan as President of the King’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada;
Pascale St-Onge as Minister of Canadian Heritage; and Jonathan Wilkinson as Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
The new faces to the Cabinet are:
Gary Anandasangaree, who will become Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations;
Terry Beech becomes Minister of Citizens’ Services;
Soraya Martinez Ferrada becomes Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec;
Ya’ara Saks becomes Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health;
Jenna Sudds becomes Minister of Families, Children and Social Development;
Rechie Valdez becomes Minister of Small Business;
Arif Virani becomes Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
The Ministers staying with their current portfolio are:
Chrystia Freeland as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance;
François-Philippe Champagne as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry;
Steven Guilbeault as Minister of Environment and Climate Change;
Patty Hajdu as Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario;
Marci Ien as Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth;
Mélanie Joly as Minister of Foreign Affairs
Filomena Tassi as Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario;
Dan Vandal as Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.
The ministers leaving the front bench are:
Former Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek;
Former Transport Minister Omar Alghabra;
Former Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett;
Former Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray;
Former Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino;
Former Justice Minister David Lametti;
Former President of the Treasury Board Mona Fortier.
The first four ministers also announced that they will not be returning in the next federal election.
The cabinet reshuffle comes at a time when Trudeau wants to emphasize economic priorities, particularly fixing the housing crisis, and improve communications from crucial files. There’s speculation that the Trudeau government will work closer with the Treasury Board and ministries responsible for procurement, social development and employment in order to improve the government’s economic record for the next election. Not to mention, a Cabinet shuffle is a great communications tool that offers fresh faces and signals renewed energy. That said, leading up to the shuffle, Conservatives were leading ahead of the Liberals by 10 points.
What’s next? This afternoon, the new Cabinet will hold its first meeting and the new ministers will be briefed on their new priorities and tasks. Importantly, the new ministers will be joining veteran ministers who have been in the Cabinet for eight years. Former Clerk of the Privy Council and Secretary to the Cabinet of Canada Michael Wernick stressed that people skills will determine the new ministers’ capabilities as they navigate their new cabinet and ministry.