Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision on Wednesday, adding that the role will see Goodale provide “strategic advice” to him as Canada and the U.K. face issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and the aftermath of the Brexit decision.
“His decades of experience will further strengthen the relationship between our two countries as we continue to work together to tackle the greatest challenges of today and tomorrow, including beating the global COVID-19 pandemic, fighting climate change, pursuing post-Brexit trade, creating jobs and opportunity for our people, and building back a better world for everyone,” Trudeau said.
Goodale said he considers the new role a privilege and added he will be the first Canadian from Saskatchewan to hold the position.
Goodale is a veteran former Liberal MP who had represented the riding of Regina—Wascana since 1993.
He lost in the federal election in 2019 and was named in March 2020 by Trudeau as a special advisor to the government as it navigated how to respond to Iran’s downing of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft.
Prior to losing office though, he served for four years as public safety minister.
In the role, he led the government’s efforts to try to craft a response to the risk of violent extremism and radicalization of Canadian youth by ISIS, and the flight of foreign fighters to join the conflict in Syria.
His work on the extremism file could be relevant to the new role.
Old sectarian tensions and violence are flaring once more in Northern Ireland over trade restrictions in the Irish Sea resulting from the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union.