The Trudeau Cabinet

At the last major Cabinet shuffle, I took a look at how the position titles had changed. I thought I’d take a look at the changes Justin Trudeau made to Cabinet, because there are some doozies.

First, there are no Ministers of State and no Secretaries of State. Either you’re a full Minister or you’re nothing.

Second, there’s no Deputy Prime Minister. Most people were expecting Trudeau to return to Liberal form and appoint one, probably Ralph Goodale, but he didn’t.

There seems to be no President of the Privy Council; an almost meaningless title, to be sure, but one that’s gone unfilled for the first time since 1867. (EDIT: According to the Hill Times, Minister of Democratic Institutions Marilyn Monsef was made President of the Privy Council. Still, the fact the appointment wasn’t mentioned at the inauguration is a visible break with tradition, putting the title on par with Navdeep Bains becoming Registrar-General of Canada or Judy Foote becoming the Receiver-General of Canada.)

The Chief Government Whip wasn’t given a Cabinet seat, but Trudeau won’t need one for at least another month until the House sits again in December.

The regional economic development agencies have been mushed together with the Minister of Industry to form the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Confusingly, there is also a Minister of Science; they must split their science duties by whether it’s pure or applied science.

Employment was split off of the Minister of Employment and Social Development to merge with Labour and form the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour. Social Development has mutated into the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

A number of ministries were renamed in such a way that their names now include a redundant extra word that the department was already covering, but the government really wants you to know that they’re doing something about it. These positions are the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship; the Minister of Environment and Climate Change; and the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development was renamed Indigenous and Northern Affairs, which means the departmental acronym will revert to the catchy “INAC” instead of the unpronounceable “AANDC”.

Public Works and Government Services was renamed Public Services and Procurement.

The Minister of Democratic Reform was renamed the Minister of Democratic Institutions. (Trudeau must not love that word REFOOORM.)

Intergovernmental Affairs and Infrastructure & Communities has been split into two cabinet posts. The Prime minister will be his own Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, much like most of the premiers in the provincial cabinets.

There is no more Minister of State for Seniors, but there is a new Minister of Youth.

Trudeau also dropped portfolios for Multiculturalism, Official Languages, and Consular Affairs, and added a Minister for Persons with Disabilities.


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