This morning, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his Cabinet were sworn into government following an unprecedented pandemic election. This Cabinet is a significant overhaul from its previous iteration – signalling that the Trudeau government is seeking a “fresh start” following mounting criticism from Canadians.
One month after the 2021 election, Trudeau is still facing criticism for calling an election that essentially returned largely the same result. Major changes to Cabinet are hoped to convince Canadians that this is not the same government that took us to the polls a couple of short months ago.
Below are the key implications and impacts of this new cabinet as well as the full list of Cabinet Members and their portfolios. Much like his previous Cabinets, the Prime Minister has committed to gender parity and strong regional representation across Canada.
Trudeau and the Liberals pledged throughout the election campaign to work towards several key priorities; recovering Canada’s economy coming out of the pandemic, universal $10/day child care, stronger environmental protection, continuing to work towards reconciliation, more affordable housing and a host of vaccine mandates for international and domestic travel.
1) Health – now split into two portfolios, the Minister of Health is Jean Yves Duclos, a trusted Trudeau insider and highly respected. The second health portfolio, Associate Minister of Health, Mental Health and Addictions, will be headed by Carolyn Bennett, former Minister of Crown Indigenous Relations.
2) National Defense – Harjit Sajin is being moved from the portfolio following a mishandling of several significant sexual assault allegations within the forces and nearly 6 years in the portfolio. Taking over is Anita Anand, seen as one of the stars of the Trudeau government for her work in procuring COVID-19 vaccines and overseeing the strong vaccine rollout.
3) Environment/Natural Resources – Minister Jonathan Wilkinson moves out of Environment and into Natural Resources Canada. Former Minister of Canadian Heritage Steven Guilbeault moves into the Environment role which he has long coveted as a former Environmental Activist and could signal a new approach to the portfolio and a new prominence for this role within this government.
3) Foreign Affairs – The Prime Minister has dropped Marc Garneau as Foreign Affairs Minister, ahead of a likely appointment as Ambassador to France. However, this portfolio remains a challenge for this government as this will be Trudeau’s 5th Minister in the post in 6 years. Melanie Joly takes over the role after performing well on the language and tourism files. If Garneau is appointed to the diplomatic service, there will be a by-election in his riding.
4) Chrystia Freeland – retains the dual role of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Trudeau announced early that she would remain in these posts and drive the government’s effort to recover from the pandemic, in a strong show of confidence from the PM.
6) Patty Hadju – former Health Minister moves into the role of Indigenous Services and Fed Dev (Northern Ont). Marc Miller moves from Indigenous Services to Crown Indigenous Relations. Pablo Rodriguez moves back into the Heritage portfolio and will serve as Quebec Lieutenant
7) Mary Ng, Minister for Small Business, Francois Phillip Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry and Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities all keep their roles and are regarded as strong performers. Ng was instrumental in supporting small business throughout the pandemic, Champagne for his championing of tech, cleantech and innovation and LeBlanc for working closely with the provinces throughout the struggles of COVID 19.
The changes announced today to Cabinet signal a ‘removal’ of most of the Liberal old guard and ushers in an era of largely younger members of Cabinet and by extension a more ‘activist’ approach to governing. This shift will be crucial to generating the support of the NDP in passing key legislation in the House of Commons as the Liberals will need their support to move their agenda forward in this minority parliament.
Bliss is former chief of staff to the northern development and mines minister in addition to being an advisor to two Prime Ministers and various elected officials. Bliss also has extensive private sector experience as Vice President of the Canadian Bankers Association, public relations experience in the pipeline industry, President of a national industry association, and various leadership positions in the public affairs arena.
Full List of Cabinet Members;
- The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau Prime Minister of Canada
- The Honourable Chrystia Freeland Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
- The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
- The Honourable Carolyn Bennett Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
- The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
- The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos Minister of Health
- The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly Minister of Foreign Affairs
- The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier Minister of National Revenue
- The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada
- The Honourable Carla Qualtrough Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
- The Honourable Karina Gould Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- The Honourable Ahmed Hussen Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion
- The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr. Minister of Labour
- The Honourable Pablo Rodriguez Minister of Canadian Heritage and Quebec Lieutenant
- The Honourable Bill Blair President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada and Minister of Emergency Preparedness
- The Honourable Mary Ng Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
- The Honourable Filomena Tassi Minister of Public Services and Procurement
- The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson Minister of Natural Resources
- The Honourable David Lametti Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
- The Honourable Joyce Murray Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
- The Honourable Anita Anand Minister of National Defence
- The Honourable Mona Fortier President of the Treasury Board
- The Honourable Steven Guilbeault Minister of Environment and Climate Change
- The Honourable Marco E. L. Mendicino Minister of Public Safety
- The Honourable Marc Miller Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
- The Honourable Dan Vandal Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
- The Honourable Omar Alghabra Minister of Transport
- The Honourable Randy Boissonnault Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance
- The Honourable Sean Fraser Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- The Honourable Mark Holland Leader of the Government in the House of Commons
- The Honourable Gudie Hutchings Minister of Rural Economic Development
- The Honourable Marci Ien Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth
- The Honourable Helena Jaczek Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
- The Honourable Kamal Khera Minister of Seniors
- The Honourable Pascale St-Onge Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec