Philippe Couillard unveils new Liberal cabinet

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard unveiled his cabinet Wednesday afternoon, naming Carlos Leitao to the key post of finance, Gaétan Barrette to Health and Social Services and Lise Thériault to Public Security.

Philippe Couillard becomes 31st Premier of Quebec, names cabinet of 26

Liberal leader Philippe Couillard is sworn in as Quebec's 31st premier Wednesday afternoon in the National Assembly. (Radio-Canada)

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard unveiled his cabinet of 26 ministers Wednesday afternoon, naming Carlos Leitao to the key post of finance, Gaétan Barrette to Health and Social Services and Lise Thériault to Public Security — making her the first woman to be named as head of that ministry.

The cabinet was announced at a swearing-in ceremony presided over by Quebec's Lt.-Gov. Pierre Duchesne at the National Assembly in Quebec City. 
Economist Carlos Leitao, elected in the West Island riding of Robert-Baldwin, was sworn in as Quebec's finance minister. (National Assembly)
Anjou MNA Lise Thériault is the first woman to be named Minister of Public Security. (National Assembly)

Couillard was the first take the oath of office, which confirmed him as the 31st premier of Quebec.

Here are the new ministers and their portfolios:

  • Carlos Leitao : Minister of Finance
  • Lise Thériault: Deputy-Premier and Minister of Public Security
  • Jean-Marc Fournier : Minister of Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs, Minister of Canadian Francophonie, and Minister responsible for the reform of democratic institutions and access to information
  • Pierre Moreau: Minister of Municipal Affairs, Minister responsible for the Montérégie
  • Martin Coiteux: Treasury Board President and Minister of Government Administration
  • Jacques Daoust: Minister of Economic Development, Innovation and Exports 
  • Sam Hamad: Minister of Labour and Minister responsible for the Quebec City region
  • Pierre Paradis: Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Minister responsible for the Eastern Townships
  • Francine Charbonneau: Minister responsible for Seniors and the Family, Minister responsible for the fight against bullying, and Minister responsible for Laval.
  • Stéphane Billette: Government whip
  • Nicole Ménard: Chair of the Liberal caucus
  • Hélène David: Minister of Culture and Communications, Minister responsible for the promotion and protection of the French language
  • Stéphanie Vallée: Minister of Justice, Minister for the Status of Women and Minister responsible for the Outaouais Region
  • Christine St-Pierre: Minister of International Affairs and Francophonie
  • ​Yves Bolduc: Minister of Education, Leisure and Sports, Minister of Post-Secondary Studies, Research and Science, and Minister responsible for the North Shore
  • Kathleen Weil: Minister of Immigration, Diversity and Inclusion
  • Gaétan Barrette: Minister of Health and Social Services
  • David Heurtel: Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the fight against Climate Change
  • Dominique Vien: Minister of Tourism and Minister Responsible for Chaudière-Appalaches
  • Robert Poeti: Minister of Transport and Minister Responsible for Montreal
  • Pierre Arcand: Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Minister for the Plan Nord and Minister responsible for the Lanaudiere and Laurentians 
  • Francois Blais: Minister of Employment and Social Solidarity
  • Laurent Lessard: Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, and the Minister responsible for Central Quebec
  • Geoffrey Kelley: Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
  • Jean D'Amour: Minister of Transport and Maritime Strategy Implementation, and Minister responsible for the Lower St. Lawrence, Gaspé and Îles-de-la-Madeleine​.
  • Lucie Charlebois: Minister responsible for the rehabilitation and protection of youth, and Minister of Public Health
  • Luc Blanchette: Minister of Mines and Minister responsible for Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Northern Quebec​
  • Jean-Denis Girard: Minister of Small and Medium-sized Businesses and Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Mauricie

Cabinet ministers were chosen from among the 69 Liberals who were elected alongside Couillard on April 7 and sworn-in as MNAs last week.

"You are now ministers, but you must remember that you are MNAs first, elected by Quebecers. We are the government of all Quebecers. We must never forget that," Couillard told the members of his newly-named cabinet.

Couillard also  said a few words to his cabinet in English, speaking of the province's anglophone community.

"We have built Quebec together ... We are all proud Quebecers — there are so many things that unite us. It is time to work together again, as we have been doing in the last 350 years."

At 26 members, Couillard's cabinet is larger than the 23-member cabinet of the outgoing Parti ​Québécois. Former Liberal premier Jean Charest named 17 ministers after his election in 2007.

A cabinet minister receives a total remuneration of $157,413 a year.

Couillard promised to hit "parity zone"

During the election campaign, Couillard said his cabinet would reflect what he said was the standard “parity zone” of between 40 to 60 per cent women.

With only 18 women among the 70 Liberals elected on April 7, meeting this promise was not possible.


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