Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced this Wednesday a profound reshuffle of his cabinet, with the aim of strengthening his economic team ahead of the 2025 legislative elections.
Weakened in the polls, the liberal leader has changed more than two-thirds of his inner circle: seven new members have joined the cabinet and some twenty ministers have been given new duties.
The shakeup comes at a time when Trudeau wants to make the economy a priority to counter inflation and tackle the housing crisis that is affecting the entire country.
“We face great challenges. So bringing together the strongest players and creating the strongest economic team in every sector for the benefit of Canadians is the most important thing,” explained the prime minister, who has been in power for almost eight years.
Trudeau combined the Housing and Infrastructure portfolios under the tutelage of Sean Fraser, now a former immigration minister.
Another important change was that of Minister Anita Anand, the first woman in charge of National Defense and who happens to preside over the Treasury Council. She replaces her in Defense Bill Blair, former police chief and former head of Public Safety.
Big portfolios like Finance, Foreign Affairs and Environment remain unchanged and are still managed by Chrystia Freeland, Mélanie Joly and Steven Guilbeault respectively.
Recent controversies surrounding Marco Mendicino, hitherto Minister of Public Security, have cost him his cabinet post.
opposition parties have criticized the remodeling of the council of ministers, by accusing Trudeau of inaction on the rising cost of living.
“His record is a failure and he is reshuffling almost his entire cabinet in a desperate attempt to divert attention from everything he has broken,” Conservative leader Pierre Poilièvre said in a statement.
For the Canadian New Democratic Party, with which the Liberals maintain a government alliance until 2025, the restructuring “will not change anything” regarding the housing crisis.
The government also announced the creation of a National Security Council to “address pressing issues relating to Canada’s security, both domestically and internationally,” following the example of several partner nations.
The new cabinet continues to have 38 members and a parity division.