, 11.20.2019 03:15 PM

Trudeau’s cabinet, in 240 characters or less

I have to say, he has done things mostly right since losing his majority. He’s stopped overselling stuff. He’s stopped sounding cocky. He’s cut out the selfies and the governance by social media. And he’s looked genuinely humbled – morose, even.

Will it hold? Who knows? But this cabinet shuffle/realignment was the most critical of his time in power.  It needed to to address the vulnerabilities on his flanks – surging nationalism in Quebec, surging alienation in the West, and the unhappiness of the more than one million Canadians who abandoned the Liberal choice.

I think it’s done that.


  1. Gord says:

    This cabinet has a bunch of what look like make-work jobs to me. How has Canada ever managed without a Minister of Middle Class Prosperity, a Minister of Diversity and Inclusion or a Minister of Women and Gender Equality. What was once one department (DIAND) is now three. Do Seniors, Northern Affairs, “Digital Government” (whatever that is) need their own stand-alone ministers? Can someone explain to me the differences in remit between Innovation, Science and Industry and Economic Development?

    I hate to say it, but a preponderance of the make-work jobs seem to have gone to female candidates. At first blush, this sends the message that Trudeau didn’t think there were enough capable women in his caucus to entrust with the “real” portfolios, and so was forced to create new ministries in order to achieve gender parity.

  2. Douglas W says:

    A rather weak front bench.
    In hockey terms, a newly minted cabinet composed mostly of third and fourth liners.
    Morneau has been dreadful in finance, running huge deficits in booming times.
    Freeland was badly outmanoeuvred by the Mexicans during NAFTA talks. Now, she gets to make nice with the provinces.
    Francois-Philippe Champagne is charming, but we need someone, who is good. Time will tell if Champagne is right for Foreign Affairs.
    When Parliament resumes, the Opposition will be smakin’ their collective chops.
    Going to be fun, watching Charlie Angus + Pierre Poilievre dine out on Team Trudeau.

  3. the real Sean says:

    The Minister of Pixie Dust and Unicorns has also been given Rural Development. Our rural communities can rejoice and look forward to many millions of dollars being shoveled into meaningless consultations and zero results.

  4. Chris says:

    Ho hum.
    As one of those aggrieved Westerners until recently employed in the energy industry I am somewhat underwhelmed with the new Cabinet.
    Having ten ministers from Quebec and eleven from Toronto does not instill any confidence that the Liberals think much about Western issues or that they even acknowledge that there is a problem (Alberta’s energy industry emits about 20% of Canada’s carbon dioxide & methane emissions but is suffering about 95% of the financial costs of dealing with the problem.)

    So now the Prairies are represented by Torontonian Chrystia Freeland, who once lived in Alberta as a child, and Vancouverite Jon Wilkinson who once worked in Saskatchewan. Their “special Western advisor” Jim Carr will be outside of Cabinet and sadly be pre-occuppied with his health.

    Could the Liberals not have found two Senators from Saskatchewan and Alberta to bring into the Liberal Caucus? No serious person would complain about Trudeau supposedly “abandoning” his Senate-reform plans. The “Independent” Senators are independent in name only so surely this minority Parliament, elected by a fractious nation, represents a unique and serious situation that justifies a couple of exceptions.

    Nothing can substitute for boots on the ground. Flying in Freeland and Wilkinson to Regina and Calgary once every few weeks is just not going to cut it.

    I think Tonda McCharles (Toronto Star) unintentionally and perfectly summed up the thoughts of Progressive Eastern/Central Canada when she appeared on CTV News Network’s afternoon politics show and stated that the Liberals must do some work on “that Western thing”, her words for the profound alienation and economic hardship Trudeau has brought upon the Prairies.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      The price of oil collapsed before he became Prime Minister. Obama put up roadblocks to Keystone XL before he became Prime Minister. A court of appeal stopped Transmountain, not him, he BOUGHT it. The narrative that Alberta’s problems are the fault of the Liberals doesn’t gain traction in central Canada because they overwhelmingly are not their fault. And I didn’t even vote Liberal this election and don’t like the guy!

      But if you don’t elect a single MP from the governing party it’s a bit eyeroll-inducing to complain about lack of representation.

      • joe says:

        Trudeau doesn’t want TMX expansion. The strategy is to delay, delay, delay.

        The Feds, under Trudeau, didn’t even present an argument at the latest Federal Court case involving attempts to stop the pipeline. This surprised the judge. If you want to win a court case and you don’t even present an argument? It doesn’t sound like you want a favourable decision.

      • Kris says:

        Check your facts. Your boy Trudeau was PM when Obama finally – but not surprisingly – nixed the XL pipeline. What was Trudeau’s reaction? Same as Notley’s: barely a shrug. The rest of your post is even less factual. Your as disconnected as the people you are trying to defend.

      • Steve Maudsley says:

        He also killed Northern Gateway and made remarks about shutting down Alberta’s oil industry. The people of Alberta and Saskatchewan have reasons to question JT’s sincerity in wanting to help western Canada

      • Walter says:

        The problem for Alberta is not lack of representation now – it’s lack of representation (of their needs) for the past 4 years when this did have MPs.

      • Doug says:

        The challenge is finding someone who could credibly represent SK and AB, and be Liberal friendly. The two skillsets are mutually exclusive.

        Trudeau should appoint someone like Brett Wilson, Preston Manning or Gwyn Morgan to the Senate and bring them j to Cabinet.

      • Pedant says:

        Derek, here’s one the problems, perhaps the main one.

        Atlantic Canada, 2.3 million people – 32 seats
        Alberta, 4.4 million people – 36 seats

        Does that seem equitable to you? A region of the country that mostly takes having 75% greater per capita representation than a province that mostly contributes?

        And yes I know Ontatio is technically underrepresented too. But not to the same degree as Alberta (on a per person basis) and Ontario is still big enough to decide elections even if it has slightly fewer MPs than it should.

        • Pedant,

          Here’s the real main problem: you see, English Canada has said Fuck You Quebec since 1982 regarding Quebec’s formal acceptable of the 1982 constitutional disaster. And then English Canada just loved doing nothing about it right up until 2019! So, English Canada’s convenient self-serving mantra became: No, No, we can’t re-open the constitution. Things are just fine.

          As a result, English Canada, in the form of the Western provinces and Ontario, are reaping the not so benign neglect that they themselves willingly sowed: you can’t take seats away from a region or province without re-opening the constitution. I don’t know about you but for me it’s toooooooooooo fuuuuunnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnyyyyy.

  5. Joseph says:

    The cabinet seems reflective of one aspect of who this government truly represents.
    The MTV.
    If any of the pundits thinks this is “getting it” those individuals are suffering from cognitive dissonance or they are expecting to become one of the inner circle.
    The show starts on the day the guilty verdict is declared at the SNC trial.

  6. lyn says:

    Nothing changed about Justin Trudeau he is the same old same old. Spending more of the taxpayers money with what kind of out come none that can I see!! He will try his hardest to harm the west anyway he can. I just don’t trust Trudeau or Butts and their policies….just watch me!! Remember what his father said Justin is doing it!! And that is the way I feel!!

  7. Lipstick on a pig time!: Freeland to Intergovernmental Affairs — a definite demotion covered by a Deputy PM fig leaf; takes guts to put Champagne in Foreign Affairs as it’s a somewhat risky move; McKenna: another demotion who made provincial friends with considerable difficulty and wasn’t the right person for the big environmental sell; Joly gets a promotion, seemingly by the grace of God; Leblanc: an administrative portfolio — a steady as she goes mandate; Duclos and Hajdu get good promotions; and then there’s Rodriguez: knows how to navigate a minority parliament but had better not give anymore unifier rants in the Commons…otherwise his efforts will be basically pointless vis-à-vis CPC MPs.

  8. Too bad Trudeau didn’t think to demote himself, since it’s so richly deserved.

  9. jsa says:

    I think he’s getting ready to step down. Probably has been for a while too… It isn’t like he needs the job. He’s young enough to quit while he’s still ahead and come back for a second honeymoon down the road.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      Lol I’ve read some Conservative fantasies posted in the comments here before and this one of the fancier flights of fancy.

    • Douglas W says:

      He’s not steppin’ down unless the RCMP has something bad on him, and there’s no way out.

    • Chris says:

      “…needs the job.”
      Trudeau CRAVES the job of PM. His narcissistic personality has been the driving force. Ever since he delivered the well-received eulogy for his father he has been building towards this moment (with help from smarter folks than him (Butts, etc.)). Almost all of Canada’s foreign affairs policy has been altered & designed to win the UN Security Council seat he so desperately wants. The only reason is for Justin to appear on stage in New York and in front of the cameras of the world. Trudeau will cling with every fibre of his being to the Prime Ministership for as long as possible. Power is what most Liberals crave. Attention is what drives Justin Trudeau.

  10. joe says:

    Catherine McKenna as Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. She’s already talking about lots of green infrastructure projects.

    Perhaps she will electrify the railroads from coast to coast. Don’t want diesel locomotives polluting the countryside. The could also put solar panels all along the right of way, with a few windmills added for good measure.

  11. Kris says:

    Who cares who got what ministry. The real question is what position will Butts get? Will he be lurking in the shadows or will there be a blatant assignment to the PMO? All sins forgiven…?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.