Trudeau shuffles cabinet anticipating possible 2021 election
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled changes to his cabinet Tuesday in a potential sign he’s preparing for an election in Canada.
Marc Garneau, a former astronaut, becomes foreign affairs minister after five years as transport minister. He replaces Francois-Philippe Champagne as Trudeau’s top diplomat ahead of Joe Biden’s inauguration as U.S. president and amid Canada’s bitter feud with the communist government in Beijing.
Champagne takes over as industry minister, making him responsible telecom policy, including whether China’s state-championed Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. can be part of Canada’s next-generation wireless network. Champagne replaces Navdeep Bains, who announced in a video posted to Twitter that he is stepping down from cabinet and isn’t seeking re-election in order to spend more time with his family.
Toronto-area lawmaker Omar Alghabra becomes transport minister, his first full cabinet post. Jim Carr, who left cabinet after a cancer diagnosis two years ago, becomes a minister without portfolio and special representative for the prairies.
Trudeau, who first took power in 2015, won a second mandate in 2019 but the Liberals were reduced to majority in parliament amid a series of scandals. Speculation is growing that a fresh election could be triggered after the government introduces its budget in March or April.