Trudeau shuffles Cabinet, seeking to reduce Canada's reliance on US

Lester Mason
July 21, 2018

"They're failing in trade, they're failing in pipelines, they're failing in infrastructure and as a result those ministers have been moved to other portfolios - this is desperate attempt to hit that reset button", Raitt said.

The newly renamed position underlined Trudeau's desire to shift away Canada from a dependence on trade with the U.S. given the growing threat of a trade war between the two countries.

In one of the most significant of the 11 changes, trade minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was promoted to the infrastructure portfolio, where he will oversee plans to spend billions of dollars on major projects.

Melanie Joly becomes Minister of Tourism, Official Languages, and La Francophonie.

In today's shuffle, Trudeau also created a minister in charge of border security and irregular migration. He had been the Liberal Whip.

Ian Brodie, who served as chief of staff for former prime minister Stephen Harper, said in a tweet that Blair's appointment shows the Liberals are anxious Ontario's Ford government can hurt them over border security and the migrant issues. "We are pleased to continue to have the opportunity work with him in his new position, given its relevance to our sector".

The former Toronto police chief will be responsible for the thorny political issues of border management and a surge of migrants at unofficial entry points, as well as gun violence and the complex process of cannabis legalization.

Trudeau selected Jim Carr, formerly the minister for Natural Resources, to be the minister of International Trade Diversification on Wednesday as part of the broader reshuffle.

The responsibilities of five existing ministers were also revamped.

The Winnipeg MP, who previously led the outward-looking Business Council of Manitoba, is taking on the job of Canada's top travelling salesman as the country chases a goal it has pursued in fits and starts for 45 years: diversifying its trading relationship beyond an undue reliance on the United States. The Toronto-area MP was an adviser to Trudeau before her byelection win past year.

Ontario's auto industry would be particularly hard hit by such tariffs, and while the newly installed Progressive Conservative government under Premier Rob Ford has fundamentally disagreed with the federal Liberals in some key areas, such as on carbon pricing, it stands "shoulder-to-shoulder" with Ottawa when it comes to reducing trade barriers, the province's economic development minister said Thursday in Washington. She had been deputy whip of the Liberal caucus.

Yet the prime minister's refusal to comment on the Trump-Putin meeting, despite Canada's strong views on Russian Federation, highlights the difficulty he continues to face when it comes to the USA president, says University of Ottawa professor Roland Paris, who served as Trudeau's first foreign-policy adviser.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article