Canada’s Justin Trudeau reshuffles top Cabinet officials

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, including a new foreign minister who is a former astronaut. Mr Trudeau also named new industry and transport ministers following the surprise resignation of current innovations minister Navdeep Bains.

Mr Trudeau could face an election this spring over a budget row, analysts say.

His Liberals failed to win a majority of seats in parliament in 2019 and must rely on the support of other parties. Transport minister Marc Garneau was named the new foreign affairs minister. He is Canada’s fourth foreign minister in the last five years.

Mr Garneau, 71, was also the first Canadian in space, flying aboard the US space shuttle in 1984. The former astronaut lived in the US for nine years. He will now be tasked with working with a new US administration as well as managing disputes with China.

François-Philippe Champagne replaces Mr Bains as Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

The transport department will be headed by Omar Alghabra, who was currently serving as parliamentary secretary to the minister of intergovernmental affairs.

Winnipeg MP Jim Carr is returning to cabinet after stepping aside in 2019 following a cancer diagnosis. He has been named special representative for the Prairie provinces.

Mr Bains, 43, said on Tuesday he was resigning due to family reasons. He had served in the role since 2015.

His unexpected departure prompted the cabinet reshuffling, as these top spots are generally held by officials who will participate in the next election.

In his announcement on Tuesday, the Prime Minister thanked Mr Bains “for his friendship, support, and counsel over their many years working together in Parliament”.

SHARE ON