Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced changes to the Ministry, Monday, with a federal cabinet shuffle that will see the Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs split into two departments, and six MPs receive a new title:
- Carolyn Bennett will become Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs;
- Jane Philpott will take the helm as Minister of Indigenous Services;
- Kent Hehr become Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities;
- Carla Qualtrough become Minister of Public Services and Procurement;
- Ginette Petitpas Taylor become Minister of Health; and
- Seamus O’Reagan become Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, will keep his title.
“In my opinion, there are two factors at play here,” says RealAgriculture’s Shaun Haney. “First, there’s a lack of bench strength when it comes to tackling the agriculture and agri-food portfolio. Second, Minister MacAulay has a great start with Sonny Perdue. Those factors have solidified his stay.”
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue met with MacAulay in June, when the two discussed renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In a statement after the visit, Perdue likened the meeting to “family members discussing some things that are not necessarily comfortable.”
MacAulay was first elected into the House of Commons in 1998. In 2015, he was appointed the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food.
The cabinet changes come four days after Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Judy Foote, announced her immediate resignation from federal cabinet.