Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new Liberal cabinet

Liberal MP Navdeep Bains arrives for the swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal MP Navdeep Bains arrives for the swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberal MP David Lametti arrives for the cabinet swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal MP David Lametti arrives for the cabinet swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberal MP Maryam Monsef arrives with family for the cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday November 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal MP Maryam Monsef arrives with family for the cabinet shuffle at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday November 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberal MP Catherine McKenna arrives for the swearing in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean KilpatrickLiberal MP Catherine McKenna arrives for the swearing in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Liberal MP Bill Blair arrives for the swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal MP Bill Blair arrives for the swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Liberal MP Harjit Sajjan arrives for a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday, November 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian WyldLiberal MP Harjit Sajjan arrives for a swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday, November 20, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled a larger cabinet that aims to advance Liberal campaign promises to tackle climate change and promote middle-class prosperity, while attempting to soothe regional tensions exacerbated by last month’s election outcome.

The pivotal role in his new cabinet for a minority-government era goes to Chrystia Freeland, who moves from the prestigious Global Affairs portfolio to become deputy prime minister and minister in charge of intergovernmental affairs.

Freeland, whom Trudeau tapped to deal with mercurial U.S. President Donald Trump during the tense renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, will now be in charge of dealing with hostile conservative premiers across the country.

That will be particularly important in Canada’s oil and gas heartland, Alberta and Saskatchewan, where the Liberals were shut out on Oct. 21.

The Toronto MP, who has family roots in Alberta, won praise as a tough, canny negotiator during the trade talks. Her diplomatic and negotiating skills will be put to the test in dealing with Alberta’s Jason Kenney, Saskatchewan’s Scott Moe and Ontario’s Doug Ford.

In a further sign of outreach to the West, Trudeau has tapped Jonathan Wilkinson, formerly fisheries minister, to take on the environment portfolio.

It will be central to the government’s aim to take stronger measures to combat climate change while attempting to ensure Canada’s transition off fossil fuels does not tank the economy, particularly in the oil-producing western provinces.

Although Wilkinson represents a B.C. riding, he was born and raised in Saskatchewan and worked for the province’s former NDP government.

Winnipeg MP Jim Carr, one of Trudeau’s most reliable ministers who is now being treated for cancer, is no longer in cabinet. But Trudeau has appointed him to be his ”special representative for the Prairies .. (to) ensure that the people of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba have a strong voice in cabinet.”

Seamus O’Regan moves from Indigenous Services to take on Natural Resources, a crucial file as the government attempts to square the circle of tackling climate change while simultaneously expanding the Trans Mountain pipeline to carry Alberta crude to the B.C. coast for export overseas.

He hails from Newfoundland and Labrador, the only other oil-producing province.

Trudeau’s new lineup also includes outreach to Quebec, in response to a resurgence of the separatist Bloc Quebecois in the election.

Montreal MP Pablo Rodriguez, formerly Canadian Heritage minister, takes on the crucial role of government House leader.

He will be responsible for charting a path for the Liberals, who hold only a minority of seats, to get their legislation through the House of Commons. Passage of legislation will require the support of at least one opposition party.

Rodriguez has also been named political minister for Quebec — a position Trudeau had resisted creating until now.

In all, Trudeau’s new team includes 36 ministers — an increase of two — including 17 from Ontario, the province that ensured the Liberals’ re-election, and 10 from Quebec.

It maintains Trudeau’s insistence on an equal number of men and women, adds two newly elected MPs and elevates five experienced MPs from the backbench.

In addition to Carr, Trudeau has dropped two others from cabinet — former health minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who will serve as deputy whip, and former science minister Kirsty Duncan, who will serve as deputy House leader.

Bill Morneau remains finance minister but he will now be bolstered by Ottawa MP Mona Fortier, who becomes minister of middle class prosperity and associate finance minister.

Other newcomers include Trudeau’s longtime friend, Montreal MP Marc Miller, who moves from the backbench to Indigenous Services, rookie Oakville MP Anita Anand, who takes over public services and procurement, and rookie Montreal MP Steven Guilbeault, a prominent environmentalist, who was given the heritage portfolio.

Other new additions include Toronto MP Marco Mendicino, who takes over immigration, Toronto-area MP Deb Schulte who takes over as seniors minister, and Manitoba MP Dan Vandal, who becomes minister of northern affairs.

Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

(File Photo)
Crash causes delays on Coquihalla southbound, travel advisory issued

A vehicle incident between Merrit and Hope has caused major delays heading south

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Most Read