OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is unveiling his pre-election cabinet, shuffling six ministers to new portfolios and promoting five other MPs to his front benches in a bid to boost the profile of his team.
Trudeau confidant and long-time MP Dominic LeBlanc moves from fisheries to take on intergovernmental affairs, placing a veteran in charge of unpredictable federal-provincial relations.
Montreal’s Melanie Joly, who has wrestled with the heritage portfolio, moves to tourism, official languages and la Francophonie as the prime minister readies his Quebec team at a volatile time for politics in the seat-rich province.
Trudeau aims to bolster Canada’s bid to diversify its trade interests beyond the United States by moving natural resources minister Jim Carr into the international trade portfolio. That means a new role for Francois-Philippe Champagne, who becomes minister of infrastructure.
Carr’s job will be to kickstart Canada’s stalled efforts towards a trade agreement with China, promoting the Canada-EU free trade agreement among European countries that have yet to ratify it and continuing to push for deeper economic integration into Latin America.
Amarjeet Sohi moves from infrastructure to take over natural resources from Carr.
Five Liberal MPs have been promoted to cabinet for the first time.
Bill Blair is minister of the new portfolio of border security and organized crime reduction, Mary Ng becomes minister for small business and export promotion, Filomena Tassi takes on the new cabinet file for seniors and Jonathan Wilkinson is fisheries, oceans and Coast Guard minister.
Veteran Montreal Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez, who was chief government whip, will take over from Joly as heritage minister.
Ministers overseeing some of cabinet’s key portfolios are staying put, including Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
In addition, Trudeau revamped the responsibilities of five existing ministers.
Source: Calgary Herald