Justin Trudeau renews focus on Indigenous file in six-person cabinet shuffle
Trudeau came into office promising an increased and strong focus on Indigenous issues. Halfway through his mandate, he sent of his strongest ministers, Jane Philpott, to the ministry which will now have oversight from two ministers.
Monday’s shuffle saw Philpott moved from health to what is being called Indigenous services. Carolyn Bennett, who was minister of Indigenous and northern affairs, now becomes the minister Crown-Indigenous relations and northern affairs.
Philpott’s spot atop the health file was awarded to Ginette Petitpas Taylor, an MP from New Brunswick, who’s been acting as parliamentary secretary to the finance minister.
WATCH: Ginette Petitpas Taylor, a news face to cabinet, takes over as health minister after Jane Philpott was assigned to a new Indigenous Services portfolio.
Resignation triggers shuffle
The prime minister was left with a hole after longtime Liberal MP Judy Foote resigned last week as minister of public services and procurement. That job went to Carla Qualtrough, who was, until Monday afternoon, minister of sport and persons with disabilities.
In losing Foote, the prime minister was also out a Newfoundland and Labrador presence in his cabinet, which he filled by promoting rookie Liberal MP Seamus O’Regan from the backbenches to the veterans affairs portfolio.
O’Regan replaced Calgary MP Kent Hehr, who moved into Qualtrough’s previous spot at sport and persons with disabilities.
WATCH: Calgary MP Kent Hehr joins Global Calgary to discuss his new role as Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities.
While Foote was on leave prior to announcing her resignation, her colleague, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr was overseeing her portfolio — one of the most onerous in cabinet.
Public Works and Procurement involves a long list of responsibilities and challenging files, including the Phoenix pay system fiasco, which has resulted in leagues of public servants receiving either too much pay, not enough pay or no pay at all.
Because of the size and scope of that ministry, speculation in Ottawa has focused on experienced ministers who could step into the post.
Around the same time, O’Regan announced he’d entered a “wellness centre” in an effort to adopt an “alcohol-free lifestyle.”
WATCH: Seamus O’Regan talks about being an openly gay politician and his wedding to Steve Doss
The shuffle had a focus on foreign affairs and international trade, with Trudeau moving Chrystia Freeland to Global Affairs Canada and François-Philippe Champagne to trade.
WATCH: Seamus O’Regan takes on veterans affairs portfolio as cabinet member
— With a file from The Canadian Press
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