Published: Sun, July 22, 2018
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Trudeau shuffles Cabinet, seeking to reduce Canada's reliance on US

Trudeau shuffles Cabinet, seeking to reduce Canada's reliance on US

He loses all that as minister for intergovernmental and northern affairs as well as internal trade.

Melanie Joly - Her rocky tenure as heritage minister came to an abrupt and inglorious end upon being shuffled into the more junior ministerial position overseeing tourism, official languages and la Francophonie.

Bill Blair, Mary Ng, Pablo Rodriguez, Filomena Tassi and Jonathan Wilkinson are the newest ministers in cabinet, which has an equal number of women and men.

Sohi, who will take over Carr's natural resources portfolio, handed off his infrastructure file to Francois-Philippe Champagne, the former worldwide trade minister.

Francois-Philippe Champagne - There were big expectations the Quebec MP was in line for a promotion from worldwide trade given his communication skills and energy. He said Canada must now deliver on the benefits of recently concluded trade deals with the European Union and Pacific Rim countries.

James Gordon Carr moves from Minister of Natural Resources to Minister of International Trade Diversification. It's not impossible to imagine further changes before then, but it's unlikely, because ministers are normally given a chance to settle in and show what they can do before the government goes again to the polls. The province now accounts for 15 of 35 seats at the cabinet table, of which nine are filled by MPs from the Greater Toronto Area.

Bill Blair rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, May 25, 2018. And he will be responsible for irregular migration.

Blair, who had been Trudeau's point man on efforts to adopt legislation to legalize cannabis, will become the minister of border security and organized crime reduction.


Carla Qualtrough remains Minister of Public Services and Procurement but is being given the additional responsibility of Accessibility. She had been deputy whip of the Liberal caucus.

Ng has served behind the scenes, working for Liberal provincial ministers at Queen's Park and then directing Trudeau's appointments in Ottawa after the 2015 election.

The Winnipeg MP, who previously led the outward-looking Business Council of Manitoba, is taking on the job of Canada's top travelling salesman as the country chases a goal it has pursued in fits and starts for 45 years: diversifying its trading relationship beyond an undue reliance on the United States.

But the thorny brief of renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) under pressure from Trump will remain with Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland.

Kennedy, a former minister of education in Ontario, was backed by Trudeau in the race that ultimately saw Stéphane Dion picked to lead the party.

The shuffle appears created to ensure deft communicators are well-placed to spell out the government's positions and defend policies on hot political issues leading up to the 2019 election campaign.

The former Fisheries minister's mandate is to counter Ontario's new Conservative government and prepare for the likelihood that Alberta's United Conservative Party and the nationalist Coalition Avenir Quebec will win provincial elections next year.

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