As Trudeau set to shuffle cabinet, 7 ministers expected to exit

Click to play video: 'Trudeau cabinet shuffle preview: Who’s out, who’s in, and why'
Trudeau cabinet shuffle preview: Who’s out, who’s in, and why
WATCH: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to make a major cabinet shuffle, with at least seven ministers set to leave their roles. Mackenzie Gray explains what's prompting the departures from Trudeau's inner circle, who's being reassigned, and how the shakeup could be a much-needed boost for the federal Liberals – Jul 25, 2023

Seven Liberal cabinet ministers will be removed for their portfolios in a cabinet shuffle expected to take place Wednesday, Global News has learned.

As first reported by CBC and confirmed by Global News, Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino, Justice Minister David Lametti, and Treasury Board President Mona Fortier are expected to be shuffled out.

Other high profile moves will include Defence Minister Anita Anand going to “an economic portfolio” and Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair taking over the defence portfolio.

Anand was tasked with shaping cultural change in the military amid widespread reports of sexual misconduct throughout the service.

Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek, and Fisheries, Oceans and Coast Guard Minister Joyce Murray all announced Tuesday morning that they would not be seeking re-election on Twitter. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett announced her plans not to run again on Monday evening.

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Click to play video: 'Omar Alghabra stepping down from Cabinet, announces he won’t see re-election'
Omar Alghabra stepping down from Cabinet, announces he won’t see re-election

Mendicino has been front and center in recent controversies facing the Liberal government, including the handling of transfer of serial killer and rapist Paul Bernardo and the handling of foreign interference allegations

Fortier was also responsible for leading the government side of the largest public sector strike in Canadian history when 120,000 public sector PSAC members walked off the job earlier this spring. This ground everything from passport offices to immigration services to a halt, and she became the face of a contentious push to move more public servants back to the office after pandemic remote work measures.

Liberal MPs reportedly entering cabinet include Ontario MPs Jenna Sudds, Rechie Valdez, Ya’ara Saks and Arif Virani. British Columbia MP Terry Beech is also set to join cabinet.

Mendicino, Lametti and Fortier have not publicly addressed their reported cabinet exits like the other departing ministers.

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“After almost 11 years as a member of Parliament, two and a half years as a minister and six elections, I’ve made the difficult decision to not run in the next election,” Alghabra said in a video address.

“As a result of this decision, I am also stepping aside as my role as minister because the prime minister deserves a cabinet that is committed to running in the next federal campaign.”

Alghabra adds that he will finish off his term as MP for Mississauga Centre.

Click to play video: 'Helena Jaczek sworn in as public services and procurement minister'
Helena Jaczek sworn in as public services and procurement minister

He became the transportation minister in January 2021, his first and only role in cabinet.

In that time, Alghabra was faced with several high-profile challenges — most notably major delay issues at airports last summer and over the holiday season and most recently, a strike at the Port of Vancouver causing significant disruptions in Canada’s supply chain.

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It’s estimated the 13-day work stoppage cost the economy $500 million daily and created a shipping backlog that will take months to clear.

Fellow Ontario MP and political veteran Jaczek tweeted the upcoming end of her time in federal politics the same morning.

“After 50 years of public service as a family doctor, Regional Medical Of Health and Commissioner of Health Services, Member of Provincial Parliament, and now Member of Parliament for Markham-Stouffville, I have decided that I will not seek re-election after my current term,” Jaczek tweeted.

In the thread, Jaczek goes on to thank her constituents for their support and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for naming her to two cabinet portfolios.

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Prior to becoming procurement minister in the last cabinet shuffle in August 2022, Jaczek served as the minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario, first appointed in October 2021.

Jaczek entered federal politics in the 2019 election, defeating the former Liberal Jane Philpott, who had been removed from caucus and was running as an independent following the SNC-Lavalin scandal.

A third minister announced their upcoming exit from federal politics shortly after. Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray tweeted that she will not run in the next election.

A veteran MP, Murray has served as the representative for Vancouver Quadra since 2008.

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She joined cabinet in March 2019, as president of the Treasury Board and minister of digital government before moving to her current role in September 2021.

Click to play video: 'Liberal Minister Carolyn Bennett announces she won’t seek re-election'
Liberal Minister Carolyn Bennett announces she won’t seek re-election

On Monday, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett announced she would also not seek re-election at the end of her current term.

Bennett has been in cabinet since the beginning of the Trudeau government, first being named Crown-Indigenous relations minister. She held that role until 2021, when she moved to her current portfolio.

She also served as a member of former prime minister Paul Martin’s cabinet as minister of state for public health from 2003 to 2006.

Trudeau needs to ‘kick-start his government’: expert

The expected shuffle comes as the government is facing serious pressure on the cost of living, specifically housing prices, along with intense scrutiny over the medium-security prison transfer of serial killer and rapist Paul Bernardo and its handling of foreign interference.

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Trudeau, whose minority government could face an election at any time, needs to get some “momentum back,” said Darrell Bricker, global CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs.

Click to play video: 'Why Trudeau and Poilievre need to woo Canadians this summer'
Why Trudeau and Poilievre need to woo Canadians this summer

The prime minister needs to “kick-start his government” and “take them in a new direction,” he said.

“They have to get some momentum back, so every tool that he has available to him he’s going to use, the first one being a cabinet shuffle,” Bricker said.

“It seems this time that it’s not going to be a minor, kind of administrative shuffle; it’s going to be a major shuffle in which they try to do a bit of a reset in terms of how they present themselves to the Canadian public, and frankly, based on how their polling numbers are doing these days, they definitely need to do something.”

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Click to play video: 'Poilievre, Conservatives move ahead of Trudeau, Liberals in latest Ipsos poll'
Poilievre, Conservatives move ahead of Trudeau, Liberals in latest Ipsos poll

Bricker cited a July Ipsos poll conducted exclusively for Global News that suggested 37 per cent of Canadians said they would vote for Pierre Poilievre’s Conservative Party if an election was held right now – a four-point jump since February.

The Liberals would fall behind with 32 per cent of votes, which is one point lower than they got four months ago. The polling is revealing, Bricker said, given since 2019 neither party has emerged as a front-runner in public opinion polling.

The anticipated cabinet shuffle will likely represent where Trudeau wants his government to go, said Kathy Brock, a professor at Queen’s University’s school of policy studies.

Click to play video: 'Trudeau tells Poilievre to ‘wake up’, urges Liberal convention to reject populism'
Trudeau tells Poilievre to ‘wake up’, urges Liberal convention to reject populism

Brock said the government has to shore up economic portfolios dealing with issues like inflation, with the economy, with trade and housing. Also, the government is going to have to pay attention to different regions and areas where it needs to build support, including urban centres like Toronto and Montreal, she added.

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“The government has been in office long enough that its previous goals no longer hold, and Canadians are going to see what the priorities are for the next … Liberal government or what the party is going to be fighting for if it goes into opposition,” Brock said, adding another takeaway from a shuffle would be if the government is dealing with some of the problems that have shaken Canadians’ confidence in it.

“Those would be the two takeaways: What are the priorities going forward, and is our prime minister taking Canadians’ concerns seriously and addressing them in this shuffle?”

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