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Prime Minister Trudeau’s New Cabinet

Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, was sworn in this morning along with a cabinet that is the most diverse in the country’s history.  The new Prime Minister’s choice to select a cabinet that reflects the youthful group of Liberal MPs elected on October 19th is in line with the change agenda that the party ran on in during the election campaign.

While Trudeau had considerable experience from which to choose, his choices were made based on several key factors, including the size of the cabinet, gender equality, ethnic diversity, and regional distribution.

As for the balance of new and veteran MPs, the new Prime Minister’s bias is clearly evident in the selections made and positions granted.  That he did not include several longstanding MPs and former federal Cabinet Ministers in his new government’s cabinet may be instructive of the approach that he will take.  Trudeau wants to separate his Liberal government not only from the Harper Government, but also in many respects from past Liberal governments.

As is normally the case, the Prime Minister rewarded friendship and loyalty, as well as talent in providing his closest confidants with the most important cabinet posts.  Though novices when it comes to federal parliamentary experience, the new Prime Minister’s cabinet brings together experience from other sectors of the economy and orders of government.  It remains to be seen who will succeed in their new roles, but there is little doubt that Trudeau’s cabinet reflects a departure from the past.

Download our quick reference guide for Prime Minister Trudeau’s cabinet appointments or view the chart below.

MinisterPortfolioBiographical Sketch
Rt. Hon. Justin TrudeauPrime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and YouthJustin Trudeau is the Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and a Member of Parliament since 2008. In opposition, he sat on the Parliamentary Committees on Environment and Sustainable Development and Citizenship and Immigration, and served as the critic for Youth, Post-Secondary Education, Amateur Sports, Multiculturalism and Citizenship and Immigration. Prior to entering politics, he chaired the Katimavik youth program and was a French and math teacher in Vancouver.
Hon. Bill MorneauFinanceBill Morneau was executive chairman of Morneau Shepell, a Canadian human resources company. He is a former chair of St. Michael’s Hospital and the C.D. Howe Institute.
Hon. Stéphane DionForeign AffairsStéphane Dion is a former cabinet Minister for the environment and intergovernmental affairs. He has been a member of Parliament for nearly 20 years and is a former leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Hon. Harjit SajjanDefenceHarjit Sajjan has served Canada as both a soldier and a police officer. Sajjan is a Lieutenant Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and a combat veteran. He has deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina and served three separate deployments to Kandahar, Afghanistan. He was also a police officer with the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years.
Hon. Scott BrisonTreasury BoardScott Brison is a longtime Member of Parliament. He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) of Davos, Switzerland. He served as Minister of Public Works and Government Services, and Receiver General of Canada from 2004 to 2006.
Hon. Jody Wilson-RaybouldJusticeJody Wilson-Raybould is a former crown prosecutor, treaty commissioner and BC Assembly of First Nations regional chief. She has ten years of experience as an elected official. She was called to the Bar in 2000 and she later served as an advisor at the BC Treaty Commission.
Hon. Navdeep BainsInnovation, Science and Economic DevelopmentNavdeep Bains served as a Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in 2005. He is a Certified Management Accountant and holds an MBA with a specialization in Finance. He is a close confidant of the Prime Minster and played a key role in his leadership bid in 2013.
Hon. Ralph GoodalePublic Safety and Emergency PreparednessRalph Goodale has been in government for more than 12 years and served in the federal Cabinet as Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Natural Resources, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Public Works, and finally Minister of Finance. He was also the deputy leader of the Liberal Party of Canada.
Hon. Jane PhilpottHealthJane Philpott is a family physician and served as the Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She worked in Niger for a decade, where she practiced general medicine and helped to develop a training program for village health workers. She is the founder of Give a Day to World AIDS, a movement that has raised more than $4 million to help those affected by HIV/AIDS in Africa.
Hon. Dominic LeblancLeader of the Government in the House of CommonsDominic Leblanc was first elected to the House of Commons in November 2000 and served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Deputy Chief Government Whip. He received his Master’s in Law from Harvard and worked as a lawyer in New Brunswick. He is a close personal friend of Prime Minister Trudeau.
Hon. Carolyn BennettIndigenous and Northern AffairsCarolyn Bennett served as Canada's first Minister of State for Public Health in 2003 in the wake of the SARS epidemic, where she set up the Public Health Agency of Canada, appointed the first Chief Public Health Officer for Canada, and oversaw the establishment of a Public Health Network for Canada. She has served as the Liberal Critic for Aboriginal Affairs in opposition. She also chairs the All-Party Women’s Caucus.
Hon. Chrystia FreelandInternational TradeChrystia Freeland has served in various editorial positions with the Financial Times, the Globe and Mail, The Economist and Thomson Reuters, where she was the managing director and editor for consumer news. Freeland was the Liberal Party International Trade critic while in opposition.
Hon. Judy FootePublic Services and ProcurementJudy Foote has been a Member of Parliament since 2008. Previously, she was a Member of the Newfoundland House Assembly and served in cabinet as Minister of Development and Rural Renewal as well as Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology, Minister of Education, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Rural Development. Prior to her involvement in politics, she worked in television journalism.
Hon. Lawrence MacAulayAgriculture and Agri-FoodLawrence MacAulay has been a Member of Parliament since 1988 and is a former federal Cabinet Minister, who served in multiple roles including Solicitor General of Canada, Minister of Labour, Minister of State for Veterans and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. He recently served as Vice-Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.
Hon. John McCallumImmigration, Refugees and CitizenshipJohn McCallum was first elected to the House of Commons in November 2000. He served as Minister of National Defence, and in 2003, as Minister of Veterans Affairs. He was appointed Minister of National Revenue and Chair of the Expenditure Review Committee by Prime Minister Paul Martin. In opposition, he served as the Critic for Citizenship and Immigration, Multiculturalism and Seniors. Before entering politics, Mr. McCallum was senior vice-president and chief economist of the Royal Bank of Canada.
Hon. Catherine McKennaEnvironment and Climate ChangeCatherine McKenna is a lawyer from Ottawa and was the co-founder and executive director of Canadian Lawyers Abroad. She was also a legal advisor to the United Nations peacekeeping team in East Timor.
Hon. Marc GarneauTransportMarc Garneau served as an engineer with the Canadian Navy and later was a Canadian astronaut and the president of the Canadian Space Agency. He was one of the leadership candidates who ran against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Hon. Jean-Yves DuclosFamilies, Children and Social DevelopmentJean-Yves Duclos was Director of the Department of Economics and a tenured professor at the Université Laval, as well as a well-published author, conference speaker, and renowned economics expert. In addition, Jean-Yves is Chairholder of the Industrial Alliance Research Chair on the Economics of Demographic Change, Vice-President of the Canadian Economics Association, and a member of the Institut sur le vieillissement et la participation sociale des aînés.
Hon. Mélanie Joly HeritageMélanie Joly is a lawyer and communication professional who worked at two major law firms in Montréal and as a managing partner of a national public relations firm. The founder of the party Le Vrai Changement pour Montréal, she ran for mayor of Montréal in 2013.
Hon. Amarjeet SohiInfrastructure and CommunitiesAmarjeet Sohi was a two-term Edmonton City Councilor and represented the city on the Canadian Urban Transit Association. Sohi served as member of the Edmonton Police Commission and took a leadership role to create the Police Chief's Indo-Canadian Liaison Committee, the Punjabi Cultural Association and the Punjabi Arts Association.
Hon. Maryam MonsefDemocratic InstitutionsMaryam is a community organizer and former mayoral candidate in Peterborough. She is Vice-President of the YWCA of Peterborough and Haliburton Board of Directors, and the former director of the Ontario Public Interest Research Group, and the New Canadians Centre. She is the co-founder of the Red Pashmina Campaign, a grassroots initiative that has raised over $150,000 to help support women in Afghanistan. She is the first Afghan-Canadian Member of Parliament.
Hon. Hunter TootooFisheries and Oceans, and Canadian CoastguardHunter Tootoo was first elected as the MLA for Iqaluit Centre in 1999 and served there for 14 years. He was the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly as well as in numerous cabinet positions, including Minister Responsible for the Nunavut Housing Corporation, Homelessness, the Qulliq Energy Corporation and Minister of Education. Prior to his work in the public sector, he was a businessman and co-founder of the Iqaluit branch of Arctic Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Hon. MaryAnn MihychukEmployment Workforce Development and LabourMaryAnn Mihychuk was elected as a member of Manitoba’s NDP government in 1995, and served as Minister of Industry, Trade, and Mines and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. She has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Winnipeg and a Master’s in Geology from Brock University, and has worked in several capacities within Canada’s mineral industry. She was also the founder of both Women in Mining Canada and Women in Mining Manitoba.
Hon. Diane LebouthillierNational RevenueDiane Lebouthillier served as the warden for the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Rocher Percé since 2010 and spent over 20 years working with the Rocher Percé Health and Social Services Centre. She chaired the boards of directors of Réseau collectif Gaspésie Les Îles and Transport adapté et collectif des Anses, and is also the Vice chairperson of the Board of Directors of Les Ateliers Actibec 2000 inc.
Hon. Kent HehrVeterans Affairs, and Associate Minister of National DefenceKent Hehr represented the people of Calgary in the Legislative Assembly of Alberta for more than seven years. At the age of 22, he was hit by a drive-by shooter, leaving him paralyzed. He later practised law at a top national firm and became an active community leader working with the United Way and heading the Alberta branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association.
Hon. Patricia HajduStatus of WomenPatricia Hajdu was the Executive Director at Shelter House. She served as Chairperson for the Drug Awareness Committee of Thunder Bay and the authored the Implementation Panel for the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. She was formerly on the Board of Directors for Alphacourt Mental Health Services and the Ontario Literacy Coalition.
Hon. Bardish ChaggerSmall Business and TourismBardish Chagger is a long-time Liberal Party activist and was an organizer for the Prime Minister’s leadership campaign in 2013. She is a community organizer and recently worked with the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre. The Waterloo Region Record recognized Bardish as one of “40 under 40” who would lead Waterloo Region into the future.
Hon. Carla QualtroughSport, and Persons with DisabilitiesCarla Qualtrough is a human rights lawyer who chaired the BC Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility and was an adjudicator with the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal. She is also a former legal counsel for both the BC and Canadian human rights commissions. Visually impaired since birth, she won three Paralympic and four World Championship medals and served as President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee
Hon. Kirsty DuncanScienceKirsty Duncan has been a Member of Parliament since 2008. She holds a Doctorate in Geology from the University of Edinburgh and served on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She was an Associate Professor of Health Studies at the University of Toronto and the former Research Director for the AIC Institute of Corporate Citizenship at the Rotman School of Management. She most recently sat on the Advisory Board for Pandemic Flu for the Conference Board of Canada, and the University of Toronto.
Hon. Jim CarrNatural ResourcesJim Carr is a businessman and founding CEO of the Business Council of Manitoba. He is also a former MLA and deputy leader of the Manitoba Liberal Party. He is the founding Co-chair of the Winnipeg Poverty Reduction Council and a member of the board of the Canada West Foundation.
Hon. Marie-Claude BibeauInternational Development and La francophonieMarie-Claude Bibeau is a former international development worker at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), working in Ottawa, Montréal, Morocco and Benin, and an experienced businesswoman. She is a former board member of Commerce Sherbrooke, a member of the strategic planning committee of the regional county municipality (RCM) of Coaticook, and chair of the governing board of École Louis-St-Laurent in Compton.


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