On Wednesday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau revealed his new cabinet. The now 36-member cabinet has been expanded to include seven new ministers and still maintains gender balance.
Looking forward to the new Liberal government, these are five ministers that will have significant influence in Canada.
Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
This is the first time someone has held the role of Deputy Prime Minister of Canada since 2006, a position that was originally instituted in Canada by Pierre Elliot Trudeau in 1977.
In this position, one of the most important domestic roles, Chrystia Freeland will chair the cabinet in the prime minister’s absence and will also oversee relations with the provinces. She will also work on relations with the U.S., in her capacity as minister of Intergovernmental Affairs.
This is a particularly important position to keep an eye on as Canada has been experiencing some clashes between provincial and federal governments. After the Liberals weren’t able to secure any seats in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Alberta-born Freeland is also an important representative of the province.
Pablo Rodriguez, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Quebec Lieutenant
The core role of the house leader, held by Pablo Rodriguez, is to work with opposition leaders in Canada’s minority government, which follows a particularly contentious election between the Liberal and Conservatives, led by Andrew Scheer, and an increased Bloc Quebecois presence in Ottawa.
Rodriguez will be responsible for negotiating and managing requests from opposition parties, which is significant when no party holds a majority in the House.
Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Taking over from Catherine McKenna as the new environment minister, all eyes will be on Jonathan Wilkinson to ease tension with some provinces in terms of climate change and environment measures.
Saskatchewan-raised Wilkinson, elected in Vancouver, has defended Trudeau’s climate plan in the past, openly in support of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.
He has already received support from Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow for his new position, who called Trudeau’s choice “excellent.”
Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Stepping into Freeland’s pervious role as foreign affairs minister is Francois-Philippe Champagne, elected in Quebec.
All eyes will be on Champagne to manage the sensitive relationships Canada has with the U.S. and China, particularly after Freeland’s success negotiating a new North American trade agreement and her work on easing tensions with China.
Jim Carr, special representative for the Prairies
Although technically not a member of Trudeau’s cabinet, Manitoba MP Jim Carr, who is currently being treated for blood cancer, will still play a role in easing disputes between the federal government and the Prairies.
With “Wexit” calls, and division between Canada and Western provinces becoming a significant concern, Carr will act as a conduit for the voices of people in the Prairies to be heard in Ottawa.