Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Justin Trudeau, cabinet maker crafts new team for latest minority government

The Federal Cabinet has been announced from Ottawa today

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced his new cabinet following his return to office from September, albeit as part of our second consecutive Minority government Parliament.

The new cabinet consists of the Prime Minister and thirty eight ministers, with an equal number of women and men among those around the Cabinet table, the Liberals have indicated a renewed commitment towards reinforcing their themes of a progressive government.

"This diverse team will continue to find real solutions to the challenges that Canadians face, and deliver on a progressive agenda, as we finish the fight against COVID-19 and build a better future for everyone. Canadians need a strong and diverse Cabinet to deliver on their priorities and keep Canada moving forward for everyone. This team will finish the fight against COVID‑19, deliver on $10-a-day child care, help Canadians find a home of their own, tackle the climate crisis, and continue to advance reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. Together, we will work tirelessly to build a better future for all Canadians."  -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the progressive theme for his new cabinet

The striking note from the PM's cabinet selection is the volume of ministers now in place who have strong personal relationships with Mr. Trudeau, some of whom have been given very senior roles and will make for a supportive sounding board or an echo chamber as the case may be for the Liberals as they navigate the tricky waters of another minority government. 

Among the more intriguing notes, is the end  of the Ministry of Middle Class Prosperity, which as we noted a year ago, did come close to sounding like something created by the Monty Python troupe of years ago. 

Though in a more serious vein, the demise of the Ministry of Middle Class prosperity seems to mirror the decline of actual prosperity for the Middle Class.

The Prime Minister's introduction of the Class of Fall 2021 can be reviewed here.  

For the Northwest, there are a few new faces in portfolios of some importance to the region.

Another new Minister for the
Fishery and Coast Guard 
with BC's Joyce Murray 
now appointed
For the Fishery, local union reps and interested municipal officials will have a new name to track in Ottawa, as MP Joyce Murray  takes on duties as Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. 

The post one which was last held by Bernadette Jordan, who lost her seat in the recent Federal election that brought us to Cabinet Making Tuesday.

The newest minister is from British Columbia, representing Vancouver-Quadra since 2008, which at least improves the chances that a Fishery Minister makes a trip to the North Coast to check in on fishery issues from time to time.

However, it's kind of a now serving number ... kind of post in cabinet, Ms. Murray makes for the fifth Fisheries minister since 2015. Among those who served previous, Hunter Tootoo, Dominic LeBlanc, Jonathan Wilkinson and the now former MP Ms. Jordan.

Hopefully, NDP Skeena-BulkleyValley MP Taylor Bachrach can touch base with the Liberal minister to impress upon her the dire condition of the North Coast fishery and the need for a hands on visit to the region sooner, than later.

With infrastructure always at the top of the mind for municipal and First Nations officials across the Northwest, the new letterhead from correspondences will come from the office of Minister Dominic LeBlanc who takes on somewhat of a super ministry, with duties that include Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

Concerns over employment issues will remain the domain of Carla Qulatrough, with the Delta MP taking on the duties of Minister of Employment, Workforce development and Disability inclusion. The BC MP holds on to the post which she held prior to the election.

With the Northwest finding old industries in decline and new one's arriving, that office may have some significant files to study from the region.

For Indigenous communities, the departure of Carolyn Bennett most likely won't be something that brings disappointment, the now former minister one who seemed somewhat out of touch with her responsibilities on more than a few occasions.

And with the Trudeau government needing a refresh on Indigenous themes, a familiar face will  now be in charge of Crown-Indigenous relations. That as Minister Marc Miller adding to his duties from the last Parliament as Minister of Indigenous services.

Ms. Bennett has been shuffled over to the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions, as well as to serve as Associate Minister of Health.

Natural Resources will feature a British Columbia face as well, with Jonathan Wilkinson named as the new Minister, shuffling out of his previous post of Environment.

The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change is now in the hands of Quebec's Steven Guilbeault, a controversial minister from the previous Parliament who may very well be raising alarms from Western provinces concerned over energy projects moving forward. 

With Housing an urgent need in many communities, including Prince Rupert, municipal and provincial politicians now have a new Minister to contact, with Housing, Diversity and Inclusion now the domain of Minister Ahmed Hussen.

British Columbia has the same four representatives at the cabinet table as they had prior to the September election Harjit Sajjan, Carla Qualtrough, Jonathan Wilkinson and Joyce Murray part of the inner circle and taking on their duties.

The new Cabinet Ministers have lots of time to learn their portfolios, the Prime Minster is holding off on a return to Parliament  until late November.

You can view some short biography notes on all the new cabinet ministers here.  

A wider overview of how the national media viewed the new Cabinet roll out can be found from our political portal D'Arcy McGee.

For further notes on the work of Parliament and updates on Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Taylor Bachrach see our archive page here

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