Published: Thu, July 19, 2018

Prime Minister names new federal cabinet

Prime Minister names new federal cabinet

As for potential new faces in cabinet, several names have been churning in Ottawa's rumour mill in recent days.

The moves also look to reinforce possible weak spots.

Dominic LeBlanc - As fisheries minister, LeBlanc oversaw a department with a large budget and hundreds of employees.

It's their go-to position when they're screwing up on an issue, as they are on border security, in light of the thousands of asylum seekers who have been coming into Canada from the unofficial border crossings.

Other provincial elections on the horizon - Quebec this fall and Alberta next spring - could produce governmental changes that create new challenges for the Trudeau government.

Trudeau aims to bolster Canada's bid to diversify its trade interests beyond the United States by moving natural resources minister Jim Carr into the worldwide trade portfolio. Carr's job will be to re-energize stalled efforts towards a trade deal with China, to promote the Canada-EU free trade agreement among European countries that have yet to ratify it and to continue to push for deeper economic integration into Latin America.

Now the first-time minister just needs to find a way to appease Quebecers angry at the government's deal with Netflix.

Former Toronto police chief Bill Blair is being appointed Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.

Infrastructure Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough, and Bill Blair, parliamentary secretary for justice, also are at Rideau Hall.

Blair's new portfolio overlaps with those of Hussen and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale. The Toronto-area MP was an adviser to Trudeau before her byelection win previous year.

Jonathan Wilkinson, a North Vancouver MP, is taking over from LeBlanc as minister of fisheries, oceans and the Coast Guard.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef all have events scheduled for Wednesday.

Mandate letters for the new ministers are expected later this summer.

The Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday Rodriguez will "help ensure the vitality of Canadian arts, culture and heritage while promoting the diversity and inclusion that makes Canada stronger".

Veteran Montreal Liberal MP Pablo Rodriguez, the chief government whip, will take over from Joly as heritage minister.

He had been Minister of Natural Resources.

Francois-Philippe Champagne - There were big expectations the Quebec MP was in line for a promotion from worldwide trade given his communication skills and energy.

Conservative deputy leader Lisa Raitt said Trudeau's shuffle highlights areas where the government has failed to deliver on its promises.

Six ministers had their portfolios changed, while five others - three from Ontario - were moved from the back benches.

Blair's clash with the Ford family capped what was at times a tumultuous decade as the city's top cop.

Mary Ng and Bill Blair - Ng's star is rising, as the Toronto MP becomes minister of small business just over a year after being elected to Parliament in a byelection.

Indeed, the Liberals will have to manage a progressively vexing provincial landscape.

Insiders have indicated there's a possibility Ottawa will appoint a minister dedicated to seniors, a post that existed in past federal cabinets.

At the moment, there's also risk the Ottawa-Ontario relationship could be severely strained over key issues, including the federal carbon-pricing plan and management of the migrant influx.

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