Manitoba MP removed from Trudeau's cabinet

Author

11 January, 2017

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the shuffle of his cabinet.

One major change? Chrystia Freeland will leave her post as minister of worldwide trade to become minister of foreign affairs.

Ahmed Hussen, an MP for a Toronto riding, increases Ontario's representation in the cabinet to 12.

Hajdu, now Minister of Status of Women, becomes Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. She is being replaced by Patty Hajdu, a promotion from her junior job at Status of Women. Mr. Dion was swept out of global affairs and will likely be sent to France, while Mr. McCallum will go to China to pursue free trade as Canada's ambassador.

The fact that there was no immediate indication of a similar posting for Dion made clear that the ex-foreign affairs minister and one-time federal Liberal leader has been left at loose ends by the changes. She has lived in the US, United Kingdom and Russian Federation, and is credited with stickhandling through some last-minute hurdles that recently jeopardized the Canada-European Union free trade agreement, experience that could be invaluable in dealing with the incoming Donald Trump administration.

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Dion's tenure at Foreign Affairs has been a rocky one, marred by controversy over his approval of a $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Trump, whose inauguration takes place January 20, has vowed to adopt an unapologetically protectionist, America-first policy on trade, including re-opening or even tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Among other moves, Fran├žois-Philippe Champagne, parliamentary secretary to the finance minister, was named trade minister. Most recently, his work as Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship bringing in over 39,500 Syrian refugees has been an inspiration to Canadians and an example to the world.

Labour and Employment Minister MaryAnn Mihychuk was dumped from cabinet.

The addition of Champagne would restore the gender balance, assuming Dion remains in cabinet in some capacity.


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