Quebec MPs given prominent posts in new Liberal cabinet
Stéphane Dion gets Foreign Affairs, Mélanie Joly named Minister of Canadian Heritage
Quebec MPs figure prominently among Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new 31-member cabinet, which was sworn-in today at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.
- Quebecers have high hopes for Justin Trudeau's first Liberal cabinet
- Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet
- Mélanie Joly, Montreal MP, named minister of Canadian heritage
Here's a brief look at each of Quebec's new federal cabinet ministers:
Stéphane Dion, Foreign Affairs
Riding: Saint-Laurent (Montreal)
Dion has represented the riding of Saint-Laurent since 1996. He served as Intergovernmental Affairs Minister under Jean Chrétien, Environment Minister under Paul Martin and won the Liberal Party of Canada leadership in 2006.
His experience with the environment will serve well in this new role, says Bruce Hicks, a political science professor at Concordia University.
"Foreign Affairs is also involved in the environmental file, because it's the United Nations that's hosting the [climate change] conference in Paris," he said
Marc Garneau, Transport
Riding: Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount (Montreal)
An engineer by training, Garneau was the first Canadian to go into outer space. He led the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 until 2006 before turning his attention to politics. He was first elected for the Liberals under the old riding of Westmount–Ville-Marie in 2008.
Hicks thinks Garneau was likely appointed in part because of the Champlain Bridge project.
"That's probably the biggest headache that's facing this government because the Conservatives have been planning the entire thing in secret," Hicks said.
"When a government changes, you're not allowed to pass on secret files from one government to the next. So they're hitting the ground with no background on this."
Mélanie Joly, Heritage
Riding: Ahuntsic-Cartierville (Montreal)
A lawyer by training, Joly first stepped into the political ring as the leader of Le Vrai Changement pour Montreal in the city's 2013 mayoral race, finishing a close second to former Liberal MP Denis Coderre. She is a family friend of Justin Trudeau and entered the 2015 federal election race after originally saying she would not.
The Heritage department is in charge of culture, and Joly's appointment was welcomed by Gilbert Rozon, the founder of Just for Laughs.
"Thank God we have someone from Montreal. Montreal needs love. It's a place where there's a lot of creative people," Rozon said.
"Having a minister from Montreal who understands what's happening, and who can promote it and leverage it, is great news."
Jean-Yves Duclos, Families, Children and Social Development
Jean-Yves Duclos, one of only two Liberals elected in Quebec City, has served as Director of the Department of Economics and a tenured professor at the Université Laval.
He was president-elect of the Canadian Economics Association prior to accepting the Liberals nomination for the riding of Quebec.
Diane Lebouthillier, National Revenue
Lebouthillier served as warden of the regional municipality of Rocher-Percé since 2010 and owned an outfitting business. She served on the team of Gaspé Liberal MNA, the late Georges Mamelonet.
Marie-Claude Bibeau, International Development and La Francophonie
Riding: Compton–Stanstead (Eastern Townships)
Bibeau has an extensive resumé outside politics, including time spent at the Canadian International Development Agency, and she has served on local governing boards and museums.