(Ottawa) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his decision to reshuffle his cabinet is not a sign that he wants an election in the spring.
” Not at all. We need to have the best possible team to deliver to Canadians in this unprecedented crisis, ”argued the Prime Minister at a conference at Rideau Cottage on Tuesday, two hours after confirming changes to his cabinet.
But Trudeau said he hopes all Canadians who want to be vaccinated can be vaccinated before voters are called to the polls.
But for the leader of the Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole, it is obvious that the Prime Minister, who leads a minority government in the Commons, is eager to launch an election campaign.
“As Canadians worry about the health and safety of their families and their personal financial security, it is clear that the Liberals are prepared to force an election. The Conservatives will continue to focus on helping Canadians during the pandemic and the devastating economic crisis, even if the Liberals do not, ”he warned in a written statement.
Minor cabinet reshuffle
Justin Trudeau carried out a minor cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday by giving new functions to two influential ministers from Quebec, Marc Garneau and François-Philippe Champagne.
At the head of the Ministry of Transport since 2015, Marc Garneau becomes responsible for Canadian diplomacy in place of François-Philippe Champagne. The latter has been entrusted with the mandate of leading the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Mr. Garneau’s appointment as head of the Foreign Office comes days before the new Democratic administration of US President-designate Joe Biden came to power on January 20.
As has been the case since 2017, Canada-US relations, battered by current White House tenant Donald Trump, will be one of the Trudeau government’s priority issues.
Trudeau was forced to make the reshuffle after being told by Innovation, Science and Industry Minister Navdeep Bains that he would not run for office in the next election for family reasons. Father of young teenage girls, Mr. Bains plans to sit as a private member in the House of Commons for a few more months before making the jump into the private sector.
Mr. Trudeau has decided to give Mississauga Center MP Omar Alghabra a promotion by appointing him Minister of Transport. Considered close to Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Alghabra also held the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (public service renewal), to the Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland, and to the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Dominic. The White.
“Whether it is the absence of an aeronautics strategy, an air transport recovery plan or the reimbursement of passenger tickets, Marc Garneau’s record at Transport is derisory. Not a good omen for Foreign Affairs ”, reacted the deputy of the New Democratic Party Alexandre Boulerice.
The Prime Minister also took the opportunity Tuesday to re-appoint Jim Carr, who had been forced to step down as Minister of International Trade for health reasons, to return to Cabinet. Carr, who was re-elected to the Winnipeg, Manitoba area in the last election, is doing better and becomes a minister without portfolio with a mandate of special representative for the Prairies. The Liberals were wiped off the electoral map in Saskatchewan and Alberta in October 2019.