Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Brussels, Belgium on July 10, 2018. Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election. The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand, sources say.

The shuffle appears designed to ensure deft communicators are well-placed to spell out the government’s positions and defend policies on hot political issues leading up to the 2019 election campaign.

Insiders have indicated there’s a possibility Ottawa will appoint a minister dedicated to seniors, a post that once existed in past federal cabinets.

RELATED: Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

The mid-summer shakeup will give ministers a couple of months to get up to speed on their new portfolios before they return to Parliament this fall, and the Liberals will hope they can master their responsibilities ahead of the election. Nearly three years into its four-year mandate, the Liberal government has few remaining opportunities to rejig its cabinet lineup.

In some cases, Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio.

For instance, Kirsty Duncan, the minister of science and minister of sport and persons with disabilities, will likely see her duties divided back into two jobs. The prime minister could do the same for Bardish Chagger, who is both the government House leader and the minister of small business and tourism.

If Wednesday’s heavy ministerial schedule is any indication, many high-profile positions should be left untouched by the shuffle.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef all have events scheduled for Wednesday. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is preparing to leave for this weekend’s meeting with his G20 counterparts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The government could also look to replace ministers who have no plans to run again in 2019. So far, however, no ministers have publicly signalled that they intend to skip next year’s campaign.

As for potential new faces in cabinet, several names have been churning in Ottawa’s rumour mill in recent days. They include MPs Mary Ng, Joel Lightbound and Bill Blair.

With so much shuffle talk, worries have spread among political staffers who are contemplating how the moves will affect their own job security.

The political scenes in big provinces could also be part of the federal calculation behind Wednesday’s shuffle.

RELATED: Ontario asks Trudeau for resources to address influx of asylum seekers

Promoting Liberal MPs in Quebec may well be a consideration when Trudeau announces his changes. The Liberals hold 40 Quebec seats, including Trudeau’s, and the province will be critical to the party’s fortunes in 2019.

In Ontario, Trudeau’s cabinet changes may be designed to deal with trouble spots that could deteriorate over the coming months between his federal Liberals and the province’s new Progressive Conservative government led by Doug Ford.

Tensions between Ford’s government and Ottawa have deepened over the contentious asylum-seeker issue. Criticism from the Ontario government has come in addition to growing pressure from federal opposition parties on the Liberal government to share more about its plan to deal with the influx of irregular border crossers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Kelowna artist featured on furniture

Shandra Smith’s work is now available on credenzas

Destructive blaze in West Kelowna fatal for cat

The fire at a West Kelowna condo claimed the life of one tenant’s cat

Man pinned under metal tank in West Kelowna

Emergency personnel are on the scene

Mudslide sends debris into Highway

Highway 33 near Joe Rich had mud spilled on the highway from the slide

Kangaroo Creek Farm hops into season

Lake Country’s popular tourist site has opened its doors for the season

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Bobrovsky perfect as Blue Jackets blank Canucks 5-0

Vancouver shut out for 10th time this season

Sock Hop aims to send dancers back to another time

Writers’ Festival fundraiser in Salmon Arm springs into step for another year

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Penticton SAR team helicopters injured climber to safety

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

Kootnekoff: R v. Sidhu, was he asleep?

Driver in Humboldt crash wasn’t distracted at time of collision with bus,… Continue reading

Most Read