Ahead of Trump, Canada Shakes up Its Cabinet

Chrystia Freeland, now Minister of International Trade, becomes Minister of Foreign Affairs, and retains the Canada-U.S. relations file, including trade relations.

The person said Freeland would replace Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion.

Immigration Minister John McCallum was named ambassador to China and was replaced by Ahmed Hussen, a Muslim who came to Canada as a teenage refugee from war-torn Somalia.

Karina Gould, who was parliamentary secretary to the global development minister, will take over the democratic institutions portfolio from Maryam Monsef, who was demoted to Status of Women.

Maryam Monsef, now Minister of Democratic Institutions, becomes Minister of Status of Women.

Dion's next assignment is unknown, although he's believed to be named as an ambassador.

Should the expected come to pass, this means that the now-former Global Affairs Minister will be ending his almost 21 years as the MP for St. Laurent-Cartierville and the newly-named St. Laurent riding.

"Over the last 21 years, I have devoted myself to my riding, to my fellow citizens, to Quebec, to all of Canada, to the role that we must play in the world, and to the Liberal Party of Canada", Dion said in a statement. I emerge full of energy. renewable!

Dion's tenure at Foreign Affairs has been a rocky one, marred by controversy over his approval of a $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Freeland, who once lived in both Moscow and NY during a long career as a journalist, will be the key minister to deal with the Trump administration when it takes office later this month.

Tuesday's announcement paid special tribute to Dion but would only say Trudeau looks forward to his "wisdom and his tireless service" in "the next chapter of Mr. Dion's contributions to our country".

With the United States being Canada's largest trading partner and Trump promising to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement, Canada's relationship with its neighbor to the south is a crucial one.

In all, the shake-up involved six of the cabinet's 30 positions, which remain divided evenly between men and women.

The shuffle will be the first major change Trudeau has made to the Cabinet he appointed in November 2015.

  • Rogelio Becker