OTTAWA – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has conducted a small shuffle of his ministers before holing up later in the day for a cabinet retreat to plot strategy for the resumption of Parliament.
The shuffle is due to the departure of Navdeep Bains, who stepped down as innovation minister Tuesday and is not intending to run again in the next election.
In the first virtual swearing-in ceremony in Canadian history, Francois-Philippe Champagne shed his title as foreign minister to take up Bains’ former role, while ex-transport minister Marc Garneau moved into Champagne’s old job.
@MarcGarneau moves to Foreign Affairs, @FP_Champagne moves to Innovation/Science/Industry, @OmarAlghabra becomes Transport Minister, and @jimcarr_wpg is back in cabinet as Minister without portfolio as special representative for the prairies #cdnpoli
— Cormac Mac Sweeney (@cmaconthehill) January 12, 2021
Toronto-area MP Omar Alghabra took over the Transport portfolio, which has seen 10 months of turbulence since the pandemic prompted a travel industry collapse and controversy over refunds for flight cancellations.
Jim Carr also returned to cabinet as minister without portfolio and special representative to the Prairies.
The former minister for international trade diversification stepped down after announcing his diagnosis with multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, in October 2019.