Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Don Rusnak has been appointed the parliamentary secretary to Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott, the federal government announced Tuesday.
The Indigenous Services Ministry was created in a federal cabinet shuffle last month, when the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Ministry was split up.
Philpott was named minister of Indigenous Services, one of two new departments created in the shuffle.
The second, the department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs, is being headed up by Carolyn Bennett.
"This is very exciting," Rusnak told CBC. "This is what Canadians voted for — change on the Indigenous file."
"The bottom line is making sure that the services for Indigenous people are top-notch across the country," he said. "We know what we've been doing for so long hasn't been working, and we needed drastic change. It's really exciting to be a part of it."
Rusnak said his role is a varied one.
"The most visible thing is, when the minister isn't in the house, the parliamentary secretary, during question period, answers questions," he said. "I also serve as a liaison between our fellow MPs and the ministry and the minister, and oftentimes represent the minister for the department at events."
Rusnak was officially sworn in on Tuesday.