Canada PM Trudeau, facing tough re-election bid, shuffles cabinet

Canada PM Trudeau, facing tough re-election bid, shuffles cabinet

The renaming of International Trade to Trade Diversification, with Jim Carr moving from Natural Resources to head the ministry, is meant to respond to that urgency, as is the increased focus on export promotion in the Small Business portfolio now under rookie MP Mary Ng.

The political scenes in big provinces could also be part of the federal calculation behind Wednesday's shuffle, with the Liberals now dealing with conservatives running Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario.

The prime minister announced Thursday he will host a first ministers meeting in the fall aimed at making the country's economy more interconnected. James Carr, the natural resources minister, will move to the renamed post of minister for worldwide trade diversification.

But if Wednesday's heavy ministerial schedule is any indication, many high-profile positions, including finance and defence, will be left untouched by the shuffle.

Ng, the daughter of Chinese restaurant owners, is the first Canadian of East Asian descent to serve in Trudeau's cabinet.

The past year had its share of challenging moments for Trudeau, including a public spat with the USA president, NAFTA talks that have essentially stalled, an embarrassing trip to India and questions about a groping allegation made 18 years ago against him.

He said he had not spoken to his U.S. counterpart, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Joly was shuffled after she faced some controversy in her home province of Quebec for defending the government's decision not to apply sales tax on digital services like Netflix.

Rosenstein defends charging Russians as a deterrent
Rosenstein said Russian Federation has long used malign influence operations to attack the United States and other countries.

Dominic LeBlanc leaves his position as fisheries minister to become the minister of intergovernmental affairs and internal trade.

The new team was introduced at a swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday at Rideau Hall, the governor general's residence in Ottawa.

As for Trudeau describing conservatives in Canada and around the world as fearmongers, including, apparently, the 5.6 million Canadians who voted Conservative in the 2015 federal election, since Trudeau didn't draw a distinction between conservative politicians and conservative voters, this is standard operating procedure for Liberal politicians in Canada. Additionally, a spike in gang-related gun crime in Toronto has raised public concerns.

Bill Blair, now Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, becomes Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.

Wilkinson has been a loyal foot soldier in the Commons in the face of entrenched NDP opposition to the project, touting the government's carbon pricing plan as one that gives social licence to construct a major natural resources project like the $7.4-billion pipeline that will soon be nationalized by Ottawa.

As Natural Resources minister, Mr. Carr led trade missions to China, India and other countries to win better access for forest products and energy exports, while encouraging foreign companies to invest in Canada.

Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet in a shuffle created to showcase new faces and to address increasingly troublesome files - from border security, to trade promotion, to the potential for bare-knuckle scraps with the provinces.

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