In a lavish Rideau Hall ceremony on Tuesday, more than one month after the completion of the election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finally unveiled the cabinet that will (hopefully) lead Canada to the end of the pandemic and a brighter future beyond. The 38-person cabinet maintains Trudeau’s commitment to gender parity in cabinet, and aims to shake up some important portfolios with some newer faces.
“Canadians need a strong and diverse Cabinet to deliver on their priorities and keep Canada moving forward for everyone,” Trudeau said in a statement. “This team will finish the fight against COVID‑19, deliver on $10-a-day child care, help Canadians find a home of their own, tackle the climate crisis, and continue to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Together, we will work tirelessly to build a better future for all Canadians.”
As previously announced, Chrystia Freeland will remain the Deputy PM and Finance Minister, and six other cabinet ministers will also maintain their old portfolios including Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebuthillier, Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay, and Justice Minister David Lametti. Carla Qualtrough will also remain the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion while François-Philippe Champagne stays on as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
In terms of big changes, now-former Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is the new Minister of International Development while Anita Anand steps in as the Minister of Defence, a seeming promotion and reward from her old position as the Minister of Public Services and Procurement. Jonathan Wilkinson is moving from Environment and Climate Change to Natural Resources, while Steven Guilbeault moves to Environment from Canadian Heritage. Carolyn Bennett meanwhile is moving from Crown-Indigenous Relations to Minister of Mental Health, and Marc Miller will take over for her, while the separate Indigenous Services file will be handled by Patty Hajdu. Jean-Yves Duclos will now be Minister of Health.
Among the new faces in cabinet is an old face. Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault, having reclaimed his seat last month, is now the Minister of Tourism. Toronto Centre MP Marci Ian joins her former CTV alum Seamus O’Regan in cabinet as the new Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Youth. Brampton West MP Kamal Khera is now the Minister of Seniors, and former Ontario cabinet minister Helena Jaczek is the new Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario. Quebec MP Pascale St-Onge, who won her race by less than 200 votes, is the new Minister of Sport.
Some members are returning to cabinet in new positions after some time off. Central Nova MP Sean Fraser returns to cabinet as the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, while New Brunswick MP Petitpas Taylor is now the Minister of Official Languages, and Long Range Mountains MP Gudie Hutchings is now Minister of Rural Economic Development. Ajax-Pickering MP Mark Holland is moving up from Government Whip to the Government House Leader.
Snubs? There were a few. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau is out of cabinet entirely and replaced by Mélanie Joly even tough he spoke on Canada’s behalf at the U.N. General Assembly just a few weeks ago. Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger is also out of cabinet which creates a dearth of representation for southwestern Ontario at the cabinet level considering the election of many Liberal MPs in Waterloo Region, Milton, Hamilton, Windsor, London, Niagara, and, obviously, Guelph.
Speaking of Guelph MP Lloyd Longfield, when he appeared on Open Sources Guelph earlier this month he didn’t seem to harbour any cabinet ambitions. Instead he talking about the committee assignments that were his first and second choice to serve on.
“I really enjoyed working on the environment committee last time crafting the climate change accountability legislation, and now implementation is going to be a very challenging job that I’d love to be part of. Guelph is is well positioned as a community to really contribute to those discussions,” Longfield said. “My second choice is industry, looking at the transfer into clean technology, and jobs. I did serve on the industry committee two Parliament’s back, and we did some very interesting and challenging work back then.”
The House of Commons will resume sitting on November 22. Check out the full list of cabinet members below: