Written by Chris Gray, Senior Consultant
As promised, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced his new gender-balanced cabinet yesterday afternoon. There are now 36 cabinet ministers with 10 of those coming from Quebec, despite only having elected 35 Liberal MPs from the province in last month’s election. The Prime Minister has assembled a strong team to govern during this minority Parliament, rewarding those ministers who have been solid performers by keeping many in their same portfolios for stability and bringing in some new faces with diverse backgrounds.
There were some notable promotions, with Chrystia Freeland moving from Foreign Affairs to become the Deputy Prime Minister and François-Philippe Champagne moving to Foreign Affairs. Approximately half of the cabinet members from the previous parliamentary session have held onto their portfolios: Bill Morneau remains at Finance; Navdeep Bains stays at Innovation, Science, and Industry; Marie-Claude Bibeau holds onto Agriculture and Agri-Food; Marc Garneau stays at Transport; and David Lametti remains the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
Notable deletions from cabinet include Ginette Petitpas-Taylor, who was the Health Minister and Kirsty Duncan who was the Minister of Science.
Some key shifts:
- Catherine McKenna moves from Environment to Infrastructure and Communities;
- Jonathan Wilkinson becomes the Minister of Environment and Climate Change;
- Seamus O’Regan moves to Natural Resources;
- Bernadette Jordan becomes the Fisheries Minister;
- Patty Hadju becomes the Minister of Health.
Notable new faces in Trudeau’s cabinet this time around, including seven rookies:
- Rookie Oakville MP Anita Anand is the Minister of Public Services and Procurement;
- Manitoba MP Dan Vandal is the Minister of Northern Affairs;
- Toronto MP Marco Mendocino becomes the Minister of Immigration;
- Rookie Montreal MP Stephen Guilbeault is the new Minister of Canadian Heritage.
So what about western representation? The Prime Minister was stuck between a rock and a hard place with no MPs in either Saskatchewan or Alberta. He has appointed Winnipeg MP Jim Carr, the former Natural Resources Minister, as the government’s special representative in the Prairies. Presumably his role will include regular liaison with western MPs of all stripes and provincial governments to ensure the government is listening to their priorities.
The government will be focused on continuing to tackle climate change and ensure the country’s economic growth by investing further in Canada’s natural resources, particularly in the west with pipelines and oil. And of course, ratification of the USMCA trade deal between Canada/U.S./Mexico is still to be completed.
We anticipate that this minority government will be in place anywhere from 18 months to two years. It will be important for stakeholders to connect with MPs, ministers and their staff in the early days of the new government to establish relationships and put issues on the table. And we must remember that with a minority Parliament, opposition MPs and critics can play an important role in the House of Commons and in Committees.
The Governor General will read the Speech from the Throne on Thursday, December 5th and Parliament will sit for the next week to take care of house keeping items before breaking for Christmas and returning on January 27th. Over the next week, stakeholders can anticipate the release of the Minister’s mandate letters and the announcement of Parliamentary Secretaries to support the Ministers.
Grassroots is ready to assist your organization in Ottawa with any federal engagement or strategic advice you may require as you plan your advocacy efforts.
The members of the cabinet are:
- Chrystia Freeland becomes Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
- Anita Anand becomes Minister of Public Services and Procurement
- Navdeep Bains remains Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
- Carolyn Bennett remains Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
- Marie-Claude Bibeau remains Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Bill Blair becomes Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
- Bardish Chagger becomes Minister of Diversity and Inclusion and Youth
- François-Philippe Champagne becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs
- Jean-Yves Duclos becomes President of the Treasury Board
- Mona Fortier becomes Minister of Middle Class Prosperity and Associate Minister of Finance
- Marc Garneau remains Minister of Transport
- Karina Gould becomes Minister of International Development
- Steven Guilbeault becomes Minister of Canadian Heritage
- Patty Hajdu becomes Minister of Health
- Ahmed Hussen becomes Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- Mélanie Joly becomes Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
- Bernadette Jordan becomes Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- David Lametti remains Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- Dominic LeBlanc becomes President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada
- Diane Lebouthillier remains Minister of National Revenue
- Lawrence MacAulay remains Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- Catherine McKenna becomes Minister of Infrastructure and Communities
- Marco E. L. Mendicino becomes Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- Marc Miller becomes Minister of Indigenous Services
- Maryam Monsef becomes Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
- Bill Morneau remains Minister of Finance
- Joyce Murray becomes Minister of Digital Government
- Mary Ng becomes Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
- Seamus O’Regan becomes Minister of Natural Resources
- Carla Qualtrough becomes Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
- Pablo Rodriguez becomes Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
- Harjit Sajjan remains Minister of National Defence
- Deb Schulte becomes Minister of Seniors
- Filomena Tassi becomes Minister of Labour
- Dan Vandal becomes Minister of Northern Affairs
- Jonathan Wilkinson becomes Minister of Environment and Climate Change