(Ottawa) While federal elections could take place this year, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will proceed Tuesday morning with a cabinet reshuffle that will move two influential ministers from Quebec: François-Philippe Champagne and Marc Garneau.
Marc Garneau will leave the Ministry of Transport, which he has headed since 2015, to take over the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The current head of Canadian diplomacy, François-Philippe Champagne, will be given the mandate to head the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Industry, confirmed to Press liberal sources you can trust.
According to our information, Justin Trudeau decided to proceed with this “minor” reshuffle after being informed by the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, Navdeep Bains, that he would not run for office in the next election. for family reasons. Father of young teenage girls, Mr. Bains intends to sit as a private member of the House of Commons for a few more months before making the jump into the private sector, it was indicated on Monday evening.
PHOTO ADRIAN WYLD, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Mr. Trudeau has decided to give Mississauga Center MP Omar Alghabra a promotion by appointing him Minister of Transport. Considered to be close to Mr. Trudeau, Mr. Alghabra also held the post of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister (public service renewal), Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc.
Liberal sources insisted Monday night that the reshuffle does not mean a federal election is imminent. “This is not a political reshuffle in anticipation of the call of an election,” they insisted. But according to the calculations of the Liberal strategists, a federal election in the spring or in the fall still appears to be the scenario the Prime Minister must favor if he wishes to obtain another mandate from the voters.
Behind the scenes, it is believed that the Prime Minister’s decision to entrust Marc Garneau with the Department of Foreign Affairs is quite logical.
“Marc Garneau is a guarantee of stability at a time when Canada-US relations will still be at the top of the government’s priorities. He knows the United States very well. He is a minister who has always delivered the goods, ”said a liberal source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Since the Liberals’ return to power in 2015, Justin Trudeau has often called on Marc Garneau to “put out fires”, even when it was outside his department. For example, he was the one the Prime Minister dispatched to calm discontent in Quebec when we were witnessing an increase in the number of immigrants crossing the Canada-United States border in an irregular manner using Roxham Road, near the Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle border crossing, in 2018.
Mr. Garneau will be leaving Transports as important decisions are expected in the airline industry, among other things. Air carriers and the aviation industry are particularly demanding specific aid for their sector, which has been hard hit by the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Garneau was also due to rule on Air Canada’s takeover bid for Air Transat – a matter that must be approved by the firm as a whole in the coming weeks.
But within the liberal ranks, his rise to the Foreign Office was deemed inevitable given his long record without fail in cabinet and his knowledge of foreign affairs issues.
For his part, François-Philippe Champagne is being transferred to an economic ministry after having led Canadian diplomacy with skill for a little over a year in a difficult context due to the pandemic.
PHOTO SEAN KILPATRICK, ARCHIVES THE CANADIAN PRESS
Over the months, Mr. Champagne has been seized with several complex cases, including the crash of Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752, shot down by two surface-to-air missiles fired by Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards shortly after takeoff. from Tehran airport.
The plane crash killed all 176 people on board, half of whom were Canadian citizens or permanent residents.
It was also under the leadership of Mr. Champagne that Canada suffered a second setback in 10 years as the Trudeau government tried to win a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council last summer.
Within the Liberal ranks, Mr. Champagne is seen as a potential candidate in a possible Liberal Party of Canada leadership race, once Justin Trudeau decides to pass the torch. But Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, who also served as foreign minister and successfully renegotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement with the Trump administration and Mexico, will also likely be in the running.