Canada: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes up his Cabinet

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

Justin Trudeau reshuffled his Cabinet on Wednesday, removing seven ministers and transferring several portfolios.

Anita Anand, the current Minister of National Defence, was appointed the new Treasury Board chairperson. Kamal Khera was shifted from the Seniors portfolio to become Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Persons with Disabilities. Harjit Sajjan becomes the new Minister of Emergency Preparedness after having served as Minister of International Development. Arif Virani, who represents Parkdale-High Park in Toronto, was appointed as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Bill Blair became the new Minister of National Defence.

The reshuffle was seen as an attempt by Trudeau to reboot his government, which has been struggling in recent polls. The new Cabinet members were sworn in by governor-general Mary Simon in a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday morning.

Trudeau said in a statement that the new team is “made up of accomplished people who reflect the diversity and talent of our country.” He also said that the new Cabinet is “ready to deliver on what matters most to Canadians: making life more affordable for the middle class, growing the economy, and building a strong future for people from coast to coast to coast.”

It remains to be seen whether the changes will rejuvenate the Liberals’ electoral prospects. Professor of political science at the University of Toronto Andrew McDougall described the reshuffle as “significant” and said that it “reflects the extent to which the Liberals feel a need to try something new.” McDougall also said that the Liberals have been struggling in recent polls and that the reshuffle is “likely an effort to show Canadians that they have a new team that is focused on the priorities of ordinary people.”

The reshuffle comes as Trudeau’s government faces a number of challenges, including high inflation and soaring housing costs. It will be interesting to see how the changes affect the Liberals’ popularity in the polls and whether they will help the party to win the next election.

Sumann Senguptaa

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