Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffles cabinet

Fourteen months ago Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says one of the main reasons for how he constructed his cabinet was “because it’s 2015.”

But now it’s 2017 and it brings different challenges in the form of a U.S. President that doesn’t share the same beliefs as out-going President and Trudeau’s friend Barack Obama. So changes had to be made.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion is out and replacing him is Chrystia Freeland, who brokered the Canadian – European union trade deal when it’s future looked murky. Brock University political scientist Zachary Spicer believes most of Freeland’s time will be spent discussing NAFTA, a deal President-elect Trump is open to revisiting or blowing up all together.

Rookie minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will be the new Minister of International Trade. He was the Finance Minister’s Parliamentary Secretary and also spent years as an executive in Europe. Professor Spicer believes he’ll focus on Canada’s relations with Europe and Asia while Freeland focuses on the U.S.

Spicer also says 29-year old Burlington MP Karina Gould’s promotion to Minister of Democratic Institution was one of a few surprising moves but says she brings a fresh face to a portfolio left by Maryam Monsef, who will be the Minister of Status of Women.

Another new face to the cabinet is Ahmed Hussen. The 39-year old immigrated to Canada by himself when he was 16 and has become the first Somali-Canadian appointed to parliament.He’ll replace John McCallum as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. McCallum will now be Canada’s Ambassador to China.

Stephane Dion says he’s leaving active politics and the Prime Minister says he offered the former out-going Foreign Affairs Minister important jobs so he can continue to serve Canada.


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