Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet was revealed on Tuesday, with old faces in familiar places and new faces in new places.
As announced in September, Chrystia Freeland remains as deputy prime minister and minister of finance. Randy Boissonnault, one of two Liberal Alberta MPs, has been named associate minister of finance as well as minister of tourism.
Mona Fortier, who previously held the associate minister of finance role, will be president of the Treasury Board.
Diane Lebouthillier remains in her post as minister of national revenue, while Mary Ng remains as minister of international trade, export promotion, small business and economic development.
Outside of finance, Harjit Sajjan is leaving the defence portfolio to take up a new post in international development. Sajjan was heavily criticized for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations in Canada’s military.
Anita Anand, who led the campaign to procure vaccines during the pandemic as public services and procurement minister, will take over as minister of national defence. Prior to becoming an MP, Anand held the J.R. Kimber Chair in Investor Protection and Corporate Governance with the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is taking over environment from Jonathan Wilkinson, who is moving to natural resources.
Business and labour groups are urging the new federal cabinet to get to work on priority economic issues like the skilled labour shortage, supply chain issues, fixing employment insurance and ensuring an equitable recovery.
Robert Asselin, senior vice-president of policy at the Business Council of Canada, said given the challenges, he found it wasn’t obvious that the economy was front and centre as the new cabinet was rolled out.
He says labour shortages were a key area of concern for Canadian executives and that it will require co-ordination across the government to ensure there’s enough skilled people in the right industries.
Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, said in a statement that the government must prioritize an equitable recovery as women have been disproportionally impacted by the economic crisis that came with the pandemic.
Rebekah Young, director of fiscal and provincial economics at Scotiabank, said Freeland holding her post creates a level of consistency on economic policy, but that the minister signalled last week that the government’s Covid-19 support strategy was shifting to become more targeted.
Parliament will be recalled on Nov. 22 — just over two months after the snap election that returned the Liberals with a second consecutive minority.