Canada's Trudeau to shuffle cabinet, foreign minister set for big new role

Canada's Trudeau to shuffle cabinet, foreign minister set for big new role
  • Clock-gray 14:25
  • calendar-gray 20 November 2019

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will shuffle his cabinet on Wednesday and insiders say he may well move Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland into a new job and ask her to prevent a national unity crisis, APA reports citing Reuters.

Trudeau’s Liberals lost their majority in an October election and now have no legislators in the western energy-producing provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, which oppose tougher environmental laws that critics say could cripple the oil industry. Polls show separatist sentiment is growing.

Freeland, an undisputed cabinet heavyweight, successfully led Canada through 15 months of tough talks to renegotiate a new continental trade treaty.

Public broadcaster Radio-Canada said on Tuesday that Freeland would be replaced by Infrastructure Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, indicating she will move.

Freeland was born in Alberta and grew up there. Three Liberal sources say Trudeau’s team is seriously considering whether to make her minister of intergovernmental affairs, the government’s point person to deal with the provinces.

“There are still some big foreign affairs files but does she need to handle them? No,” said one senior Liberal, who requested anonymity given the sensitivity of the situation.

“You have to take the people with star power and deploy them to address your biggest concerns.”

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