Trudeau unveils new cabinet, shaking up positions and adding new faces
Justin Trudeau unveiled a new cabinet that puts an environmental activist in charge of climate policy, while shuffling other key posts in a bid by the Canadian prime minister to breathe new life into an administration entering its seventh year in power.
Steven Guilbeault, a former Greenpeace director who was arrested for scaling Toronto’s CN Tower during a 2001 protest, was named environment minister Tuesday in Ottawa as the government strives to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 per cent over the next decade.
Other major changes include the departure of Marc Garneau as the nation’s foreign minister, replaced by Montreal lawmaker Melanie Joly.
Anita Anand, who was in charge of procuring vaccines in Canada, is being promoted to defense minister, replacing Harjit Sajjan amid the military’s reckoning with sexual harassment in its ranks.
Trudeau announced last month that his closest confidante, Chrystia Freeland, was staying on as finance minister and deputy prime minister.
The cabinet shuffle comes after Trudeau secured a third mandate in the Sept. 20 vote, but failed to regain a parliamentary majority. For a second straight election, the Liberals lost the popular vote to the Conservatives even as they won a plurality of seats.
That hasn’t stopped Trudeau from claiming he received a strong mandate to push ahead with his agenda, starting with climate change and energy policy.
Jonathan Wilkinson, who was at environment, is taking over the natural resource department that oversees the nation’s oil sector. One of his first responsibilities will be to spearhead a Liberal campaign promise to oblige oil companies to slash emissions.
Guilbeault takes his new post after two years at the heritage department, where he was responsible for a plan to regulate social media and streaming services like Facebook Inc. and Netflix Inc. Pablo Rodriguez was named to that role.
Economist Jean-Yves Duclos replaces Patty Hajdu at health, as the country grapples with a fourth wave of COVID-19 cases. And in a nod to the affordabilty concerns that were a key campaign issue, Ahmed Hussen becomes housing minister.
Trudeau maintained gender parity at the cabinet table, as he has throughout his tenure as prime minister.
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