Wed. Dec 1st, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will unveil his new cabinet after the October 25 election, several government sources told CBC News.

Trudeau is expected to add more new faces – while some veterans may leave the cabinet altogether.

The date of the mix will be officially announced on Friday. The government could at the same time announce a date for the return of Parliament.

The timing places the Cabinet’s oath ceremony between Governor – General Mary May Simon’s return from his first international trip and Trudeau’s departure for a few international summits in Italy and Scotland.

Trudeau’s commitment to a gender – balanced cabinet combined with his need for new cabinet ministers from Nova Scotia and Alberta is likely to require significant changes in the government’s front bench.

The biggest change may come in the Department of Defense. Many leading liberals suggest that Harjit Sajjan will be mixed into a new portfolio.

There has been pressure for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to dump Harjit Sajjan and replace him with a female defense minister. (Sean Kilpatrick / The Canadian Press)

Government insiders say it is clear that new leadership is needed to deal with ongoing issues of sexual misconduct in the military and suggest it may be time for a woman to take control of the Department of National Defense.

The names most often mentioned as possible replacements for Sajjan in the defense are Purchasing Minister Anita Anand and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough.

Sources say they expect to see Trudeau lean on his most experienced people as he builds the new cabinet. Following the 2019 election, only two new MPs – Anand and Steven Guilbeault – were promoted directly to the Cabinet.

The rookie MPs most often mentioned as cabinet prospects this time are Pascale St. Onge — who won Brome-Missisquoi in Quebec’s eastern cities — and George Chahal in Calgary-Skyview.

Chahal’s shot at a cabinet may be in trouble now that he is being investigated by the Office of the Commissioner for Canada’s elections for allegedly manipulating his opponent’s election leaflets.

He is also facing competition for Alberta’s seat at the cabinet table from returning MP Randy Boissonnault at the Edmonton Center.

But sources say Trudeau will look for experienced people as he again faces the uncertainty of leading a minority government.

It opens the door for Ontario lawmakers like Yasir Naqvi, Helena Jaczek and Marie-France Lalonde, who have all held provincial cabinet posts. Lena Metlege Diab of Halifax West is yet another Member of Parliament with experience in a province.

Helena Jaczek, a former Ontario MPP and provincial health minister, is considered a cabinet prospect. (Michael Wilson / CBC)

Government insiders also point to Central Nova MP Sean Fraser as a high-performing MP who is promoting. And with Navdeep Bain’s retirement, there’s an opening for a minister from the Peel region of Ontario; sources point to Brampton MPs Ruby Sahota and Kamal Khera as possible replacements.

It is not yet clear whether there will be a broader reconstruction of cabinet portfolios or new departments. One idea that is being considered is the creation of a housing ministry to help the Liberal Party fulfill the housing promises in their election platform.

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