Hey Canada, you are getting a new cabinet. But before you groan, no, you don’t need a complicated instructions manual to assemble it; you just need to watch the news.
Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau, who spent the days after the election assembling the nation’s new cabinet, will officially become Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister tomorrow morning at Rideau Hall. Governor General David Johnston will officially swear in Trudeau and the new cabinet.
A sign that times are changing include an invitation that was sent to the public to attend the ceremonies at the grounds of Rideau Hall. Another first is the equal parity of male and female ministers and a smaller cabinet under the Trudeau administration. Under Stephen Harper, only 12 female MPs held key portfolios in his ministry.
The Prime Minister designate will also have to balance out regional equality; the lone Liberal MP elected in Saskatchewan is a shoe-in for a cabinet post. The previous election also saw the Liberals elected in Calgary for the first time since 1968. This means either Kent Hehr or Darshan Kang will be a member of the cabinet.
The mixture of rookie MPs and veterans will make it harder for the new Prime Minister to form his ministry. Veteran Scott Brison and Ralph Goodale are among the candidates for the Finance portfolio. Bill Morneau, a rookie MP from Toronto who was the head of Canada’s biggest human resources company, Morneau Shepell, is also among those rumored to be the next finance minister.
Gender parity was promised by the newly elected leader, and the Foreign Affairs portfolio could see a new female minister. Catherine McKenna and Chrystyia Freeland are among the top female contenders for the position, alongside current party critic Marc Garneau.
McKenna unseated NDP stalwart Paul Dewar and was a negotiator for the United Nations prior to her election. Star Toronto candidate Chrystia Freeland could also get the nod to be Canada’s top diplomat. Freeland was a former journalist and the party’s current critic on International Trade. Her views on trade could prove useful with the current debate boiling over the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.
Among the top Toronto contenders for a cabinet post is newly-elected Scarborough MP, Bill Blair. Blair’s experience as Toronto’s former police chief could see him become the next public safety minister. His controversial role during the G20 arrests and carding in Toronto could also affect which cabinet post he will be assigned.
Karen McCrimmon, the first woman in Canada to command an Air Force squadron, is among the leading candidates for the Defence Ministry. Andrew Leslie, a decorated former army general and member of Trudeau’s Foreign Affairs advisory council, is also gaining attention for the post.
The new ministers will be busy as key international conferences start just days after the swearing-in ceremony. The G20 Summit in Turkey is slated to begin November 15. The APEC Summit and the Paris Climate Summit follow afterwards.