MaryAnn Mihychuk disappointed by removal from cabinet

MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, says she's disappointed she lost her role as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet.

Manitoba MP had served as minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour since November 2015

Winnipeg MP MaryAnn Mihychuk was removed from her position as minister of labour in Tuesday's cabinet shuffle. She'll be replaced in the role by Northern Ontario MP Patty Hajdu. (CBC)

MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, says she's disappointed she lost her role as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet.

She had served as minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour since November 2015 — a position she was removed from in Tuesday's cabinet shuffle.

"I'm of course disappointed," Mihychuk said outside her Winnipeg office on Tuesday. "I've always been a strong advocate as a feminist, as a person who fights for jobs and I'll continue to do that."

Mihychuk's departure leaves just one Manitoban in cabinet, Winnipeg South Centre MP Jim Carr, who will stay on as natural resources minister.

Thunder Bay-Superior North MP Patty Hajdu will move from the status of women portfolio to replace Mihychuk as labour minister.

Mihychuk said she wishes Hajdu the best of luck with her new role.

MaryAnn Mihychuk, Liberal member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, says she's disappointed she lost her role as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet. 1:12

"It's a wonderful portfolio with a lot of challenges," she said.

Under her leadership as labour minister, Mihychuk said Canada joined an international commitment to ban child labour, set up a structure to protect the rights of temporary foreign workers and brought in pay equity rules.

"Finally, after 40 years, so that women workers will get the same pay as men," Mihychuk said.

'Time for a refresh'

Tuesday's shuffle reflects the fact many Liberal caucus members have assets to bring to cabinet, said Mihychuk. 

It's also partly about readying Canada for a Donald Trump presidency, she said.

"It's a new chapter with the Trump administration and I think it was time for a refresh."

While Mihychuk lost a seat in cabinet and the privileges that come with that, she said there are other benefits which come with acting solely as a member of Parliament.

"There's roles you can play in cabinet and there's roles you can play as a caucus member," she said. "I'm going to be very proud and you can be sure that I'll fight for Manitoba right to the end."

As for priorities, Mihychuk said she will advocate for more jobs and better infrastructure in Winnipeg's North End.

"For me it's another chapter," she said. "I've always looked at change positively."

with files from Angela Johnston