OTTAWA — The latest on the unveiling and swearing-in of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet. All times Eastern.
Weeks of rampant speculation about the members of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet has vanished as each gets sworn in at Rideau Hall.
The incoming cabinet consists of 36 ministers, not including the prime minister himself, and also has gender parity, following the standard Trudeau set in 2015.
In a statement, Trudeau calls his new cabinet a “strong, diverse and experienced team” that will be “working tirelessly for all Canadians.”
A few key ministers are not moving from their posts: Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Carolyn Bennett, Finance Minister Bill Morneau, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay.
Others are taking on big portfolios: Ahmed Hussen becomes social-development minister, Marco Mendicino the immigration minister, Seamus O’Regan the minister of natural resources, Patty Hajdu the minister of health, and newcomer Marc Miller the minister of Indigenous services.
Two ministers who remain MPs have been removed from cabinet: Ginette Petitpas Taylor, who was health minister, is now deputy government whip; and Kirsty Duncan, the science and sport minister, becomes deputy leader of the government in the House of Commons.
Winnipeg MP Jim Carr is also not receiving a cabinet post as he battles cancer, but Trudeau is making him a special representative for the Prairies to be a voice in cabinet for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
The Liberals were shut out of every riding in Saskatchewan and Alberta in the Oct. 21 vote.
New House leader Pablo Rodriguez will also be Trudeau’s Quebec lieutenant.
Two newly elected MPs have arrived at Rideau Hall, fresh off their first election victories and now about to become rookie cabinet ministers.
And both say they’re very honoured to be part of cabinet.
Anita Anand took the riding of Oakville, just outside Toronto, from the Conservatives in last month’s vote.
The University of Toronto law professor is telling reporters she can’t wait to participate in the Canadian government.
Likewise, Steven Guilbeault, expected to become heritage minister, says he is very honoured to be given a cabinet role.
Also arriving Rideau Hall is Dan Vandal, a Manitoba MP who may take over as a voice for the province as cabinet minister Jim Carr battles cancer.
Melanie Joly is also returning to cabinet, telling reporters she’s happy to have the prime minister’s trust to remain a minister, although she didn’t say what portfolio she will receive.
Finance Minister Bill Morneau says he isn’t going anywhere within Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
Speaking to reporters on his way into Rideau Hall for a swearing-in ceremony, Morneau says he’s excited to remain in the role he has held since first being elected in 2015.
He also says the government wants to put a focus on combating climate change, which he calls an important issue for all Canadians.
Morneau adds the government will want Canadians to see that it is going to work hard on their behalf.
But there are some new faces in cabinet making their way into Rideau Hall, including Ottawa-area MP Mona Fortier, and Deb Schulte, who was a parliamentary secretary heading into an election where she held her seat in the Greater Toronto Area.
Also making their way into Rideau Hall is Jonathan Wilkinson, who is expected to take over the environment portfolio from Catherine McKenna as she is shifted to infrastructure, and Marc Garneau who has been Trudeau’s transport minister.
The new and returning members of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet are arriving at Rideau Hall.
A ceremony where Gov. Gen. Julie Payette will oversee the swearing-in of cabinet ministers is roughly 45 minutes away.
Unlike in 2015, when the swearing-in ceremony included outdoor screens and a public invitation, today’s event will be a more subdued ceremony, reflecting the sobering circumstances in which the governing party finds itself.
A number of the positions have already become public, including Chrystia Freeland as deputy prime minister and intergovernmental affairs minister, Francois-Philippe Champagne to foreign affairs, Catherine McKenna to infrastructure, and Jonathan Wilkinson to environment.
Among those making their way into Rideau Hall are Lawrence MacAulay, a long-time party stalwart who was veterans affairs minister, Bill Blair, in charge of combating organized crime and border security, Joyce Murray, the Treasury Board president, and Marco Mendicino, who had served as a parliamentary secretary before the election.
Speaking to reporters before the ceremony, a grinning Champagne is calling today a “great day,” seeing lots of challenges and opportunities ahead for the country.
Like cabinets during Trudeau’s first mandate, this one will have an equal number of men and women and attempt to balance regional, ethnic and religious considerations.