Canadian PM Trudeau unveils new, expanded cabinet

Canadian PM Trudeau unveils new, expanded cabinet

Agency News

Ottawa, Nov 21 : Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his new 36-member cabinet after the swearing-in ceremony here.

Earlier, Mr Trudeau's Liberal Party had retained power in October's election but lost 20 seats. Now he has the challenge of governing with a minority.

In the newly expanded cabinet, most notable is the shift of former Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland who has become deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs, BBC reported.

Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday, the prime minister praised Ms Freeland's work on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement with the US and Mexico.

The former journalist, 51, was moved to intergovernmental affairs, and will now act as the government's point person to deal with the provinces. Mr Trudeau said their efforts together on "very difficult negotiation with her American counterparts should enable us to deliver on issues like energy and environment in particular". Meanwhile, Francois-Philippe Champagne, previously minister of infrastructure, was appointed as minister of foreign affairs. Bill Morneau will continue as minister of finance.

Jean-Yves Duclos became president of the treasury board while Marc Garneau remained minister of transport. Patty Hajdu becomes minister of health and David Lametti remains minister of justice and attorney general of Canada. Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence Lawrence MacAulay stayed in his job along with Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Marie-Claude Bibeau.

Marco E L. Mendicino became minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship. Pablo Rodriguez was appointed as leader of the government in the House of Commons. Filomena Tassi became minister of labor.

Overall, the new cabinet has two more positions than before and many familiar faces remain in new positions. However, Conservative leader Andrew Scheer called the expanded 36-member cabinet a bloated version of the same one that helped create an affordability crisis for Canadian families, attacked the energy sector and put thousands of Canadians out of work, and set the stage for a national unity crisis. (UNI)