Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is swapping the roles assigned to two members of his cabinet.
During a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday, Trudeau announced Filomena Tassi is moving from the role of procurement minister to a new role as minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
“These changes follow Minister Filomena Tassi’s request to spend more time in Southern Ontario due to family reasons,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
Taking on Tassi’s duties will be Helena Jaczek, who has led the FedDev Ontario portfolio since last fall and previously served as Ontario’s minister of health in 2018 under the former Kathleen Wynne government.
Tassi’s office issued a statement following the shuffle, saying the shift to the FedDev Ontario portfolio will allow her to continue to serve Canadians while being able to remain closer to her home riding.
“Early last year, my husband suffered two strokes. As anyone whose family has had a similar experience will know, post-stroke care can be complex and filled with uncertainty,” she said in the statement.
“Because of this, I met with the Prime Minister last month to discuss balancing the needs of my family with the travel demands on me as Minister of Public Services and Procurement; a department with operations in every corner of this country.”
She added: “I want to thank the Prime Minister for approaching my situation as a challenge to be addressed and solved, rather than as a choice to be made between family or public service.”
The shuffle comes one week before a cabinet retreat in Vancouver and one month before the House of Commons will resume sitting following the summer break.
Tassi was a corporate lawyer for six years before becoming a chaplain at a Catholic high school in Ancaster, Ont.
She successfully ran for the Liberals federally in 2015 in the riding of Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, and repeated that victory in both 2019 and 2021.
In 2018 she was promoted to cabinet first as minister of seniors, and then minister of labour. Following the 2021 election Trudeau appointed her minister of public services and procurement.
With files from The Canadian Press.