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When You Need To Know What’s Ahead In Ottawa This Fall

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made changes to his cabinet in a minor shuffle. This morning at Rideau Hall, Trudeau confirmed that Dr. Helena Jaczek will assume the role of Minister of Public Services and Procurement, exchanging portfolios with Filomena Tassi who will serve as the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario.

The swap came at the request of Minister Tassi who has asked for a lighter portfolio in light of family health challenges, with her husband having suffered two strokes last year. This is the first shuffle the Prime Minister has made since announcing major changes to cabinet portfolios following the 2021 election.

Minister Tassi, a former corporate lawyer and high school chaplain, has served as Minister of Labour, Minister of Seniors and Deputy Whip. She was first elected in 2015 in the southern Ontario riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.

First elected federally in 2019, representing Markham-Stoufville, Minister Jaczek received her first federal cabinet appointment following the 2021 election. Prior to being elected federally, Jaczek served as the MPP for Oak Ridges-Markham from 2007 to 2018. Trained as a physician, she served as a provincial minister in several portfolios including health and long-term care.

This minor shuffle to cabinet comes ahead next week’s Liberal cabinet retreat in Vancouver, where cabinet members will gather to affirm their priorities ahead of the return of the House of Commons on September 19.

The fall session is shaping up to be a busy one, with the Liberal government looking to gain traction on key items, including many of those outlined in its agreement with the NDP. In March, the NDP pledged to support the Liberal government through 2025 in exchange for commitments on several policy items, including a national dental-care program.

Parliament will also see a new Conservative Party leader, following the announcement of results of the party’s leadership race on September 10. With the odds on a Pierre Poilievre win, we can expect the new Leader to be razor focused on what he has pegged “Justinflation”.

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