Trudeau Overhauls Cabinet in Major Shuffle

By Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.
October 26, 2021 Updated: October 27, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his new cabinet on Oct. 26, adding nine new faces, dropping three, and making major reshuffles in key positions including the defence department.

Among the major shifts, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who came under fire for the handling of sexual misconduct allegations against senior military officials, was moved to head of international development. Anita Anand will take over at National Defence, after leading the procurement of the COVID-19 vaccines.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, looks on Anita Anand, minister of national defence, is sworn in at a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Oct. 26, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

The three ministers who have been dropped from Trudeau’s cabinet include: Foreign Affairs Minister Marc Garneau, Minister of Diversity and Inclusion Bardish Chagger, and Jim Carr, who served as the special representative for the prairies.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault, a prominent advocate in environmental issues in Quebec before entering politics in 2019,  is taking over as environment minister, replacing Jonathan Wilkinson, who is moved to head of natural resources.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Gov. Gen. Mary May Simon, right, pose with Steven Guilbeault, minister of environment and climate change, at a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Oct. 26, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Other senior positions also saw a reshuffle:

  • Minister of Health: Jean-Yves Duclos, who was previously president of the Treasury Board. He replaces Patty Hajdu, who is now minister of indigenous services.
  • Minister of Public Safety: Marco Mendicino, who was previously the immigration minister. He replaces Bill Blair, who is now minister of emergency preparedness.
  • Minister of Public Services and Procurement: Filomena Tassi, who was the minister of labour. The post was previously held by Anita Anand, who now heads National Defence.
  • Minister of Canadian Heritage: Pablo Rodríguez, who was the leader of the government in the House of Commons. He replaces Steven Guilbeault, who is now the minister of environment and climate change.
  • Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure, and Communities: Dominic LeBlanc will take over this new portfolio. He was formerly the minister of intergovernmental affairs.
  • Minister of Indigenous Services: Patty Hajdu, who was the previous minister of health. Hadju is also now the minister responsible for the federal economic development agency for northern Ontario. Marc Miller was previously the minister of indigenous services and now serves as the minister of crown-indigenous relations.
  • President of the Treasury Board: Mona Fortier, who was the minister of middle class prosperity and associate minister of finance. Jean-Yves Duclos, who previously held this position, is now the minister of health.
  • Minister of Labour: Seamus O’Regan, who previously served as minister of natural resources. This post was previously held by Filomena Tassi, who is now the procurement minister.
  • Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion: Ahmed Hussen, who was previously the minister of social development. The post was formerly held by Bardish Chagger, who has been dropped from the cabinet.
  • Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance: Randy Boissonnault, who was elected to represent the riding of Edmonton Centre, and is one of two Liberals who won seats in Alberta in the 2021 federal election.
  • Minister of Mental Health and Addictions: Carolyn Bennett, who was previously the minister of crown-indigenous relations, will also serve as associate minister of health. Bennett is the first to hold this new portfolio.
  • Minister of International Development: Harjit Sajjan, who was the minister of national defence, will also serve as minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. Karina Gould was the previous international development minister and has now become the minister of families, children, and social development.
  • Minister of Families, Children and Social Development: Karina Gould
  • Minister of Official Languages: Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who previously served as parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance, will also serve as minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada opportunities agency. Mélanie Joly previously held the portfolio of minister of economic development and official languages, and has now become the minister of foreign affairs.
  • President of the Queen’s Privy Council and Minister of Emergency Preparedness: Bill Blair, who was the previous minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.
  • Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard: Joyce Murray, who was the minister of digital government. The post was previously held by Bernadette Jordan, who was defeated in the 2021 federal election.
  • Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations: Marc Miller, who was previously the minister of indigenous services. The post was previously held by Carolyn Bennett, who has now taken up the post of minister of mental health and addictions and associate minister of health.
  • Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada, and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency: Dan Vandal, who previously held the portfolio of Minister of Northern Affairs.
  • Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth: Marci Ien
  • Government House Leader: Mark Holland
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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, congratulates Mark Holland, government House leader, at a cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Oct. 26, 2021. (The Canadian Press/Adrian Wyld)

Chrystia Freeland retains her dual role as deputy prime minister and finance minister, as Trudeau previously announced in late September.

Others who retained their current positions include:

  • Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada: David Lametti
  • Minister of National Revenue: Diane Lebouthillier
  • Minister of Transport: Omar Alghabra
  • Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence: Lawrence MacAulay
  • Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food: Marie-Claude Bibeau
  • Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Disability Inclusion: Carla Qualtrough
  • Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry: François-Philippe Champagne
  • Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development: Mary Ng

The restructuring of the cabinet is considered a reflection of the Trudeau government’s policy priorities, including housing affordability, environment, public health, economic recovery, and indigenous affairs.

With files from The Canadian Press

Andrew Chen
Andrew Chen is an Epoch Times reporter based in Toronto.