Anand to defence, Joly to foreign affairs: Trudeau announces major cabinet shakeup

Anita Anand is the new Defence Minister-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand received a promotion in today’s cabinet shuffle. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is kicking off his third mandate with a monumental shift in his cabinet lineup that makes significant changes to senior portfolios.

Governor General Mary May Simon is overseeing the swearing-in ceremony this morning at Rideau Hall.

Oakville MP Anita Anand becomes only the second woman in Canadian history to take on the role of defence minister, after former prime minister Kim Campbell in the 1990s.

She inherits a tough job as the Canadian Armed Forces continues to battle a sexual misconduct crisis. Multiple high-ranking military officers have been moved out of their jobs while facing allegations.

As questions about his handling of that crisis continue to swirl, Harjit Sajjan has been bumped to minister of international development and minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development Canada.

Mélanie Joly received a major promotion this morning, moving up from minister of economic development and official languages to a much higher profile as foreign affairs minister.

She takes over from Marc Garneau, who is no longer in cabinet.

Mélanie Joly-Milenio Stadum-Canada
Mélanie Joly received a promotion this morning, taking on a new role in cabinet. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press)

Canada is getting a new environment and climate change minister just days ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow (COP26). Long-time environmental activist Steven Guilbeault is taking on the role following his previous posting as heritage minister.

The Quebec MP, who has worked with groups such as Equiterre and Greenpeace, will have a prominent role in cabinet as the Liberals attempt to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

His predecessor, Jonathan Wilkinson, takes over natural resources.

Steven Guillbeault is the new Environment Minister-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Liberal MP Steven Guilbeault arrives for a cabinet swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Nov. 20, 2019. This time around he’ll be taking the oath as environment minister, sources say. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

As the country still grapples with the lingering effects of the pandemic, Jean Yves Duclos becomes the new health minister. He’s being replaced as president of the Treasury Board by Ottawa-area MP Mona Fortier.

Patty Hajdu, who took on the health ministry just months before the pandemic hit, becomes minister of Indigenous services and minister responsible for the federal economic development agency for Northern Ontario.

Marci Ien-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Toronto Centre’s Marci Ien joins cabinet this morning. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

Marc Miller is the new minister of Crown-Indigenous relations.

Former government house leader Pablo Rodríguez takes over as heritage minister, keeping the portfolio in the hands of a Quebec MP. Former whip Mark Holland moves into a cabinet position, taking over Rodríguez’s old job as leader of the government in the House of Commons.

New portfolios

A number of portfolios have been created, broken up or renamed.

After years overseeing various Indigenous files, Carolyn Bennett moves to a new position as minister of mental health and addictions and associate minister of health.

Former public safety minister Bill Blair becomes president of the Queen’s Privy Council and takes on a new role as minister of emergency preparedness — a file that used to be housed under public safety.

Marco Mendicino takes over a slimmer public safety department.

Dominic LeBlanc stays on as minister of intergovernmental affairs but also takes on infrastructure and communities.

Trudeau made other changes to his team today:

  • Ahmed Hussen becomes minister of housing and diversity and inclusion.
  • Karina Gould becomes minister of families, children and social development.
  • Joyce Murray becomes the new minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.
  • Mary Ng becomes minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development.
  • Seamus O’Regan becomes minister of labour.
  • Ginette Petitpas Taylor gets a second chance in cabinet as minister of official languages and minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
  • Filomena Tassi becomes minister of public services and procurement
  • Dan Vandal stays on as minister of northern affairs but also takes on responsibility for Prairies Economic Development Canada and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency.

New faces

There will be some fresh faces around the cabinet table as well.

Former broadcaster and Toronto MP Marci Ien becomes the new minister for women, gender equality and youth.

Brampton West’s Kamal Khera has been named minister of seniors; the previous minister, Deb Schulte, was defeated in September’s election.

Pascale St-Onge, elected in Brome—Missisquoi, has been appointed minister of sport and minister responsible for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions. She previously worked as a union leader in Quebec’s cultural sector.

Alberta will get a seat at the table — Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault is the new minister of tourism and associate minister of finance. He was first elected in 2015 but lost his seat in 2019, only to win it back last month by a narrow margin. He served previously as a special adviser to the prime minister on LGBTQ2 issues.

Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser, who was first elected in 2015, finally gets a spot at the table as the new minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship.

Sean Fraser is the new minister of immigration-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Central Nova MP Sean Fraser also found a spot at the table. (Robert Short/CBC)

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Gudie Hutchings moves in as minister of rural economic development.

Helena Jaczek, a former Ontario MPP and provincial health minister, becomes the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

A few ministers are keeping their old jobs. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has agreed to remain in both roles and David Lametti stays as attorney general and minister of justice.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland keeps her job-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland keeps her jobs. (CBC)

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra keeps his job, Marie Claude Bibeau remains at agriculture and agri-food, Dianne Lebouthillier stays at national revenue and Lawrence MacAulay keeps veterans affairs.

Carla Qualtrough also remains minister of employment workforce development and disability inclusion.

Francois Philippe Champagne stays on as minister as innovation, science and industry.

Along with Garneau, Waterloo MP Bardish Chagger and Winnipeg Jim Carr were dropped from cabinet.

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