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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Unveils his Cabinet

The new federal cabinet was sworn in today, here’s what you need to know.

About half of the positions remained unchanged, indicating the government’s need for experienced hands in a minority scenario where cross-party collaboration will become the order of the day. Geographically, most of the cabinet positions are held by Greater Toronto Area (GTA) or Quebec Members of Parliament (MPs), some of whom have strategic ties to Alberta. Where Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has chosen to shake things up, however, indicates the Liberal government’s direction to show the lessons learned during the recent campaign and the imperative of holding onto power in a minority.

Chrystia Freeland becomes the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, focusing her well-honed foreign diplomatic and negotiating abilities on managing domestic relations. No small task in the midst of western alienation, the rise of Quebec sovereignty, and a growing number of conservative Premiers. Of important note, Minister Freeland will continue to oversee USMCA and US-Canada relations.

Supporting Freeland’s efforts will be Pablo Rodriguez as the Quebec Lieutenant and Jim Carr as the Special Advisor for the Prairies. Rodriguez is also serving as the House Leader, arguably the most important role in a minority government. In this role, Rodriguez will be in constant negotiation with other party leaders to get the support needed to pass bills and keep government running. A long-time MP who previously served as chief government whip, Rodriguez has deep House management experience.

François-Philippe Champagne, who is highly regarded across party lines, steps into the Foreign Affairs portfolio with his charm and effervescence in tow. He will need all of it to turn the page on Canada-China relations and will support building the relationship with the United States in an election year. A trade lawyer who previously served as Minister of Infrastructure and Minister of Trade, he is a rising star in Liberal politics.

Dominic LeBlanc, the most senior parliamentarian and deeply trusted by the inner circle of the PMO, becomes the Privy Council President as he continues to recover from cancer.

OTHER CABINET CHANGES TO NOTE

  • Jonathan Wilkinson will need to balance his new role as Minister of Environment with his home province of British Columbia’s opposition to the Trans Mountain pipeline.
  • Catherine McKenna, in her new role as Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, can be expected to focus her attentions on green infrastructure investments.
  • Patty Hadju will now take on the challenge of making pharmacare a reality in her role as Minister of Health. She will likely also be a champion for fighting the opioid crisis given her past work with drug awareness organizations in Thunder Bay.
  • Jean-Yves Duclos becomes the President of the Treasury Board, where he will continue to drive the middle class-childcare benefit narrative. He is also a valued voice as an economist who went to school in Alberta.
  • Bill Blair gets a major promotion and takes over for Ralph Goodale in Public Safety. He will have to stick-handle the diplomatic delicacies around Huawei’s intelligence review.

FRESH FACES TO WATCH

  • Marco Mendocino, the well-deserving former prosecutor from the GTA, is finally rewarded with a seat at the cabinet table. Since being elected in 2015, Mendocino has been the Liberal’s most loyal and effective communicator in the media.
  • Anita Anand, a newly elected, first-time MP, now serves as the Minister of Public Services and Procurement. This law professor from Oakville was born and raised in Nova Scotia and taught at Yale Law. This is a significant portfolio which supports 140 departments and agencies and oversees billions of dollars of government spending.
  • Steven Guilbeault, was one of the Liberal Party’s most prominent star candidates. Also a first-time MP, he was previously the head of Greenpeace Quebec. He is now the Minister of Canadian Heritage.
  • Marc Miller, the new Minister of Indigenous Services, was an infantry commander in the Army and recently taught himself to speak Mohawk, a sign of his commitment to reconciliation.

WHAT’S NEXT?

We’ve included the full Cabinet list below, but feel free to set up a call with the McMillan Vantage team to discuss who’s who in the new Cabinet.

Next up? The release of Mandate Letters and the December 5th return of the House for the Speech from the Throne. What’s it going to take to keep this minority ship afloat?

CABINET LIST:

CABINET POSITION

NAME

RIDING

PROVINCE

Agriculture and Agri-Food

Marie-Claude Bibeau

Compton-Stanstead

QC

Attorney General,

Justice

David Lametti

LaSalle-Emard-Verdun

QC

Canadian Heritage

Steven Guilbeault

Laurier-Sainte-Marie

QC

Crown-Indigenous Relations

Carolyn Bennett

Toronto-St.Paul’s

ON

Digital Government

Joyce Murray

Vancouver Quadra

BC

Diversity and Inclusion and Youth

Bardish Chagger

Waterloo

ON

Economic Development and Official Languages

Melanie Joly

Ahuntsic-Cartierville

QC

Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion

Carla Qualtrough

Delta

BC

Environment and Climate Change

Jonathan Wilkinson

North Vancouver

BC

Families, Children and Social Development

Ahmed Hussen

York South-Weston

ON

Finance

Bill Morneau

Toronto Centre

ON

Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

Bernadette Jordan

South Shore—St. Margaret’s

NS

Foreign Affairs

Francois-Phillippe Champagne

Saint-Maurice-Champlain

QC

Health

Patty Hajdu

Thunder Bay-Superior North

ON

Immigration, Refugees, Citizenship

Marco E. L. Mendicino

Eglington-Lawrence

ON

Indigenous Services

Marc Miller

Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs

QC

Infrastructure and Communities

Catherine McKenna

Ottawa Centre

ON

Innovation, Science and Industry

Navdeep Bains

Mississauga-Malton

ON

Intergovernmental Affairs,

Deputy Prime Minister

Chrystia Freeland

University-Rosedale

 

ON

International Development

Karina Gould

Burlington

ON

Labour

Filomena Tassi

Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas

ON

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons

Pablo Rodriguez

Honore-Mercier

QC

Middle Class Prosperity

A. Finance

Mona Fortier

Ottawa-Vanier

ON

National Defence

Harjit Sajjan

Vancouver South

BC

National Revenue

Diane Lebouthillier

Gaspesie-Les-Iles-de-la-Madeleine

QC

Natural Resources

Seamus O’Regan

St. John’s South – Mount Pearl

NL

Northern Affairs

Dan Vandal

St. Boniface

MB

President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada

Dominic LeBlanc

Beausejour

NB

Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

Bill Blair

Scarborough-Southwest

ON

Public Services and Procurement

 

Anita Anand

Oakville

ON

Rural Economic Development and Women and Gender Equality

Maryam Monsef

Peterborough-Kawartha

ON

Seniors

Deb Schulte

King-Vaughan

ON

Small Business, Export Promotion, and

International Trade

Mary Ng

Markham-Thornhill

ON

Transport

Marc Garneau

Notre-Dame-de-Grace-Westmount

QC

Treasury Board

Jean-Yves Duclos

Quebec

QC

Veterans Affairs,

A. National Defence

Lawrence MacAulay

Cardigan

PEI

 



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