Today Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet. This shuffle was wide-ranging, and included 7 Ministers dropped from cabinet, with 7 new ministers promoted to cabinet. The shuffle also included 23 previous cabinet Ministers receiving new portfolios, with only 8 retaining their portfolios.
The is the first major cabinet shuffle since the September 2021 federal election in which the federal Liberal government was re-elected with a minority.
The following key Ministers are in new portfolios:
- Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
- Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Public Safety, Democratic Institutions and Intergovernmental Affairs
- Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence
- Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
- Mark Holland, Minister of Health
- Marc Miller, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
- Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Transport
- Jonathan Wilkinson, previously Minister of Natural Resources, is now Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.
The following Ministers are newly appointed to Canada’s Cabinet:
- Gary Anandasangaree becomes Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations
- Terry Beech becomes Minister of Citizens’ Services
- Soraya Martinez Ferrada becomes Minister of Tourism and Minister responsible for the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
- Ya’ara Saks becomes Minister of Mental Health and Addictions and Associate Minister of Health
- Jenna Sudds becomes Minister of Families, Children and Social Development
- Rechie Valdez becomes Minister of Small Business
- Arif Virani becomes Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada
Remaining in their Portfolios
The following key Ministers are remaining in their portfolios:
- Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
- François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
- Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Various sources have cited how the cabinet shuffle represents the Prime Minister placing an emphasis on economic priorities, as Canadians continue to grapple with high costs of living, groceries, and housing.
While shuffles are about policy, they are also about politics. There are several new faces in Cabinet, including four Greater Toronto Area (GTA) MPs: Arif Virani, Gary Anandasangaree, Ya’ara Saks, and Rechie Valdez.
Other new faces include:
- Jenna Sudds, MP for Kanata—Carleton, who won her riding in the previous election by a relatively tight margin.
- Terry Beech, MP for Burnaby North—Seymour, who previously served as a Parliamentary Secretary throughout each iteration of cabinet since the Liberal Party formed government following the 2015 federal election.
- Soraya Martinez Ferrada, MP for Hochelaga, has been promoted to Cabinet as well. This riding has changed hands multiple times in recent elections between the Liberals, Bloc Québécois, and NDP, with it being held by the Liberals since the 2019 federal election.
One further change of note includes Minister Hussen who takes over the International Development portfolio and will immediately be faced with two major issues. The first is maintaining Canada’s leadership role on the humanitarian response to global crises such as the war in Ukraine, instability in Sudan, and food insecurity in the Sahel region of Africa, while tackling intractable global challenges such as food security, health, climate resiliency, and high indebtedness. Second, and perhaps more challenging, is the strained relationship between the government and civil society organizations (CSOs) given the cut to the international development in Budget 2023. The shuffle offers the government an opportunity to reset relations with the international development sector, which is likely to be a key feature of the Minister’s mandate letter.
As with all Cabinet Shuffles, the “who” has been resolved and now we await the “what” in the form of mandate letters for the new Cabinet.
If you have any questions about today’s cabinet changes, and how these and other federal developments may impact your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out to our Wellington Advocacy team. We’re here to help.
All of the details can be found in the following press release: https://www.pm.gc.ca/en/news/news-releases/2023/07/26/prime-minister-announces-changes-ministry