Denis Coderre calls Liberal cabinet a win for Montreal

Officials from around Quebec Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet and its six ministers from the province, including three from Montreal.

Officials from around Quebec express hope as new federal cabinet unveiled; Francophone group voices concern

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre is confident the city's needs will be better supported in Ottawa, with three Montrealers in cabinet plus a prime minister who represents the riding of Papineau. (Paul Chiasson/Canadian Press)

Officials from around Quebec Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new cabinet and its six ministers from the province, including three from Montreal.

Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre, who served as the Liberal MP for Bourassa from 1997 to 2013, said the city came out "a winner" in a statement released shortly after Canada's new Liberal government was sworn in.

I can tell you every province wants to have this spirit of collaboration.- Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs

"[Montreal] is well represented in the new cabinet, which leads us to believe the city's needs will be better supported in Ottawa and a new partnership can take root between the federal government and Canada's second-biggest city," he said.

The three Montreal-area MPs appointed to cabinet are Saint-Laurent MP Stéphane Dion (Foreign Affairs), Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount MP Marc Garneau (Transport) and Ahuntsic-Cartierville MP Mélanie Joly (Canadian Heritage).

Trudeau also represents the Montreal riding of Papineau and will be responsible for Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth.

'New spirit of collaboration'

The Union of Quebec Municipalities welcomed the new cabinet and voiced its hope for renewed federal action on issues including infrastructure, public transit, the transportation of hazardous materials, homelessness and the renewal of home delivery by Canada Post.

"Prime Minister Trudeau's openness to working as a team for the good of all Quebecers and Canadians will contribute to a new spirit of collaboration with municipalities," UQM president Suzanne Roy said.

Roy also highlighted the cabinet's 50/50 split between men and women ministers as a positive first for Canada and Quebec.

Jean-Marc Fournier, Quebec's Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, said Trudeau's pledge to work with the provinces is significant.

"I can tell you every province wants to have this spirit of collaboration. In fact, it is the spirit a federation should have," he said.

Official languages left out

Not everyone was thrilled with the composition of the new Trudeau cabinet.

The Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities issued a press release questioning the cabinet's lack of a minister responsible for Canada's official languages.

"For the first time in more than a decade, nobody has the title of minister of official languages," the federation said.

The organization asked the Liberals to clarify who would be responsible for ensuring the federal government respects Canada's Official Languages Act.


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