Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off his third mandate with a cabinet shuffle on October 26, 2021 that made significant changes to senior portfolios. The new cabinet includes 39 ministers, including the Prime Minister, which is slightly larger than the last cabinet. Several portfolios have been created, broken up or renamed.

Click here to see the complete list on the Prime Minister of Canada’s cabinet website.

The major shuffle places new faces in some of the government’s most important and contentious posts, replacing Canada’s health minister during a pandemic and naming a new environment minister just days before the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow. Here are some highlights relevant to our network:

  • The new Environment Minister, Steven Guilbeault, will have a prominent role in cabinet as the Liberals attempt to slash greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • Jean-Yves Duclos was sworn in as Canada’s new Health Minister while Carolyn Bennet assumes a newly created portfolio as Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. Former Health Minister Patty Hajdu moves to Indigenous Services.
  • Mary Ng remains in her role as Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, and Small Business, but adds Economic Development to her portfolio, previously held by Melanie Joly, now Minister of Foreign Affairs. Gudie Hutchings assumes the role as Minister of Rural Economic Development.

Three former ministers did not retain seats in the new cabinet: Marc Garneau, who had held the Foreign Affairs portfolio; Bardish Chagger, who was the minister of Diversity, Inclusion and Youth; and Jim Carr, the former special representative for the Prairies.

In the last federal election, Saskatchewan and Alberta did not elect a single Member of Parliament from the Liberal Party, leaving the Prairie provinces under-represented in cabinet. The government’s answer to the issue was to name Manitoba MP Jim Carr as Special Representative for the Prairies. His role was to understand Prairie issues and to ensure that the prairie point of view was expressed at the cabinet table in Ottawa. Jim Carr is no longer in cabinet and consequently, no longer holds the position of Special Representative for the Prairies.

Dan Vandal, MP for Saint Boniface – Saint Vital, assumes the role of Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor), in addition to retaining his portfolio of Northern Affairs.

“The Chamber network looks forward to working with Minister Vandal as Manitoba’s senior minister and specifically on economic development efforts in his role as Minister Responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada,” says Chuck Davidson, President & CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce.