Prime Minister Trudeau presented the 31 members of his Cabinet today. Fifteen are female, reflecting an election commitment to achieve gender parity. The Cabinet contains 18 members who have never held Cabinet positions before (or in some cases, Parliamentary seats). Several first time MPS have been appointed to senior portfolios including Harjit Singh Sajjan at National Defence, Mélanie Joly at Heritage and Bill Morneau, the new Minister of Finance. The scaled down Cabinet also reflects a 21st century orientation toward economic matters.
Navdeep Bains, has been appointed Minister of Innovation Science and Economic Development. This restyling of the former Industry Canada reflects a major focus on building a more innovative, knowledge-based economy – a commitment expressed often in the campaign and in the Liberal party’s response to ITAC’s election questionnaire. Mr. Bains is the member for Mississauga Brampton where many tech companies are based and he has been an outspoken advocate for innovation and our sector in previous Liberal caucuses.
In addition to Mr. Bains, Kirsty Duncan of Etobicoke has been named Minister of Science.
Finance Canada remains Finance Canada. Bill Morneau is a distinguished and successful business person having served as the executive chair of Morneau Shepel, Canada’s largest human resources firm. He led the company through a period of significant growth and an IPO. His business experience and his tenure as Chair at the CD Howe Institute suggest good potential for effectiveness at Finance.
Newfoundland’s Judy Foote is the new Minister for the also restyled Public Services and Procurement department. Minister Foote has held several provincial posts related to Industry, Trade, Technology, and Economic Development. This experience will lend well to her new role overseeing Public Services and Procurement.
Former PWGSC Minister Scott Brison from Nova Scotia will serve as the new Chair of Treasury Board. Mr. Brison, too, has proven to be a thought leader on matters pertaining to innovation and knowledge based industries in Cabinet and in caucus.
The former ESDC has also had a name change with MaryAnn Mihychuk sworn in as Minister for Employment Workforce Development and Labour. Though newly elected, Minister Mihychuk has considerable provincial Cabinet experience in Manitoba. She will be tasked with addressing the promise ITAC has received from the Liberal Party that it will undue the harm brought by changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program.
Federal Cabinet veteran John McCallum will serve as the Minister of Immigration, Citizenship and Refugees. Patricia Hajdu, newly elected in Thunder Bay will take responsibility for Status of Women.
Another Cabinet veteran and former Liberal Party leader Stéphane Dion has been named Minister of Foreign Affairs while Chrystia Freeland, one of the most thoughtful voices on trade in the Liberal party is the new Minister of International Trade.
Jane Philpott, newly elected in is the new Minister of Health. Dr. Philpott, a family physician and educator, is the newly elected member for Markham Stouffville.