Published: Thu, November 21, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new cabinet

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveils new cabinet

Seamus O'Regan, an MP from Newfoundland and Labrador, was named Canada's newest minister of natural resources Wednesday, moving from Indigenous services. Meanwhile, others with western backgrounds have gotten promotions.

Freeland, who rose to prominence by leading Canada's team during talks to renegotiate a new continental trade deal, was named minister of intergovernmental affairs and will also take on the more symbolic role of deputy prime minister.

Catherine McKenna, one of Mr Trudeau's more prominent ministers after spending four years in the environmental portfolio, was moved to infrastructure.

Quebec Liberals have 12 seats at the cabinet table, and new House Leader Pablo Rodriguez becomes the new Quebec lieutenant.

Two days after the election, Trudeau promised to address the concerns of the West, fight climate change and help Canadians tackle cost-of-living increases during his second term.

In a possible signal to the West, McKenna will be replaced by Jonathan Wilkinson, who backs the proposed expansion of a crude pipeline from Alberta to the Pacific coast that the energy industry says is vital and that environmentalists oppose.

"As we move forward on issues that matter across the country like energy and environment and other large issues, we will have to engage in a strong and positive way with different orders of government right across the country", said Mr Trudeau.

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A lot of the questions touched on the tensions between Trudeau's new minority government and Alberta, where his Liberals failed to elect an MP in this fall's election.

O'Regan is also a long-time friend of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, having attended a controversial Trudeau family vacation in the Bahamas.

Among the few who were not moved were Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Justice Minister David Lametti, National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains and Transport Minister Marc Garneau.

Several ministers in Mr Trudeau's previous Cabinet kept their jobs in the shuffle: Mr David Lametti remains justice minister, Mr Bill Morneau keeps his finance portfolio and Mr Harjit Sajjan stays at defence.

Premier Jason Kenney urged the new federal cabinet ministers to listen to the province's concerns and to take them seriously.

Trudeau has created a number of new portfolios, including one that appears to be an attempt to fix the damage done during the campaign by the disclosure of long-ago photos showing Trudeau in blackface. But Scheer argued that Guilbeault's inclusion, even in Heritage, will "only further stoke divisions" that he accused Trudeau of creating.

"What this government needs more than new ministers is a new commitment to working with us to deliver for Canadians", Singh said in a statement. "I really look forward to them, as a cabinet, taking on the repeal of the federal carbon tax, Bill C-48 and C-69".

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