OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday, appointing new heads at 30 of the 38 ministries, adding seven new faces. Here are details of the main announcements:
WHO HAS A BIG NEW JOB?
The most unexpected move saw Anita Anand switch from defense to the more low-profile job of heading the Treasury Board, which has overall control of government spending. This is at best a lateral move for Anand, 56, a former university law professor, who first joined the cabinet in November 2019 as procurement minister and oversaw Canada’s effort to obtain vaccines and personal protective gear during the COVID-19 pandemic. She had been at defense since October 2021.
Bill Blair took over as defense minister, his fourth cabinet post under Trudeau since 2018, where he will oversee military efforts to help Ukraine and reinforce NATO. The former Toronto police chief, 69, had previously been in charge of border security, public safety and then emergency preparedness.
Close Trudeau ally Dominic LeBlanc, 55, takes on the challenging public safety ministry while keeping his previous position as minister of intergovernmental affairs. His predecessor Marco Mendicino was dropped from cabinet amid complaints about how he had handled key security files.
Marc Miller, 50, was promoted to immigration minister from crown indigenous relations. Immigration is a priority for the Liberal government, which is aiming to welcome 500,000 people a year – representing well over 1% of the population – by 2025.
Sean Fraser becomes minister of the newly combined housing and infrastructure portfolios, both key priorities for the government amid widespread complaints about the shortage of affordable accommodation. Fraser, 39, had been immigration minister since October 2021.
Mark Holland was promoted to health minister from leader of the government in the House of Commons lower chamber. It is the first cabinet job for the 48-year-old Ontario legislator.
Another former professor, Jean-Yves Duclos, moved to public services and procurement from the health portfolio.
Pablo Rodriguez, 56, moved to transport from Canadian Heritage, where he pushed through a controversial law obliging online giants to pay for Canadian news.
WHO ARE THE NEWCOMERS TO WATCH?
The most prominent newcomer to the cabinet is Arif Virani, a 51-year old lawyer who is justice minister. He will have to deal with unhappiness over plans to expand the ability of people to seek medically-assisted death.
WHO IS LEAVING?
Seven members of the old team have gone – Justice Minister David Lametti, Treasury Board head Mona Fortier and Mendicino were dropped and another four ministers had already announced they would be leaving politics.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by Steve Scherer and Deepa Babington)