Trudeau shuffling the deck to realign cabinet
Up to a third of the positions in play as Canada prepares for the Trump universe
Among those who could be shuffled is International Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland, who is believed to be a likely choice to replace Stephane Dion at Foreign Affairs.
Freeland is credited with stickhandling through some last-minute hurdles that recently jeopardized the Canada-European Union free trade agreement – an experience that could be valuable in dealing with the incoming Donald Trump administration.
Trump, who will be sworn in as US president on Jan. 20, has pledged to adopt an America-first policy on trade, even going as far as re-opening or even tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
There have been rumours that Dion might become ambassador to France but sources suggest he may be named ambassador to the United Nations.
Immigration Minister John McCallum is also expected to leave cabinet and sources say he might be named ambassador to China.
The shuffle is also expected to see Status of Women Minister Patty Hajdu take over labour from MaryAnn Mihychuk, who could be dropped from cabinet altogether, while Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef is expected to take over Status of Women.
Potential cabinet rookies could include Francois-Philippe Champagne, the parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, as well as Ontario MPs Adam Vaughan, Marco Mendocino and Karina Gould.
This shuffle may serve as a preview to a larger cabinet realignment expected this summer at the midway point of Trudeau’s first mandate.