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Monday, December 6, 2021

Canadian PM Justin Trudeau holds major cabinet shuffle

ART GALLERY

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has overhauled his cabinet with significant changes across multiple ministries.

It comes after Mr. Trudeau’s Liberals won a minority government in a snap federal election last month.

Fewer than ten of the 38 cabinet members sworn in on Tuesday are still in their previous positions.

As part of the reshuffle, Canada will get a new defence minister, as the military is dealing with a sexual misconduct scandal.

Mr Trudeau stated that the major reshuffle is necessary because “Canadians are expecting big things to be done” on issues such as climate change and reconciliation with indigenous peoples in Canada – and that having a “fresh, reinvigorated team” will make that possible.

Former Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has stepped down after six years in the post, following calls for his resignation due to the ongoing military scandal.

Several current and former senior military leaders have been investigated for inappropriate behaviour since last February. Some people are still on leave.

Anita Anand has been appointed as national defence minister, becoming only the second woman to hold the position. Previously, the former academic was in charge of leading Canada’s procurement during the pandemic, which included securing the country’s supply of Covid-19 vaccines.

The prime minister described Ms Anand as a “world class expert in governance” who can help lead the necessary change in the armed forces’ culture.

Another significant change is the appointment of climate activist-turned-politician Steven Guilbeault as environment minister.

Mr. Trudeau has stated that addressing climate change is a top priority for Canada, and that the country will “encourage, challenge the world to do even more, go even faster” at the UN Climate Change Summit this month in Glasgow.

Mr Guilbeault’s tenure as heritage minister was marred by the introduction of a broadcasting reform bill that was criticised as a threat to online free speech. He is a staunch opponent of oil pipeline projects, which may irritate the country’s energy-producing regions.

Mr. Trudeau has also appointed his fifth foreign affairs minister since his Liberals took office in 2015. Melanie Joly, a former official languages minister, has been promoted to that position.

Chrystia Freeland, the federal finance minister and deputy prime minister, is among the ministers who will retain their previous positions.

On November 22, Canada’s parliament will reconvene with a Throne Speech, which is when a government outlines its policies and programmes as a parliamentary session begins.

SourceBBC
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