Ottawa

Ottawa MPs Catherine McKenna, Mona Fortier appointed to Trudeau cabinet

Ottawa-area MPs landed seats at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet table, unveiled during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday. 

McKenna moves to infrastructure while Fortier takes on new role

Liberal MP Catherine McKenna arrives with family for the cabinet unveiling at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

Two Ottawa-area MPs landed seats at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet table, unveiled during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday. 

Ottawa Centre's Catherine McKenna is leaving her post as environment minister to serve as minister of infrastructure and communities. The move followed speculation she would be shifted to a new portfolio. 

McKenna is taking over the role from François-Philippe Champagne, who's moving to Foreign Affairs. 

Meanwhile, Ottawa–Vanier MP Mona Fortier was appointed minister of middle class prosperity and associate minister of finance, one of five new ministries added to cabinet.

Fortier's 1st cabinet post

Wednesday's appointment is a first for Fortier, who became the first female MP in Ottawa–Vanier following the riding's byelection in 2017.

The October election saw Fortier take 51 per cent of the vote in her riding, a Liberal stronghold since its creation in 1933.

Fortier arrives at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. The Liberal MP becomes the first minister of middle class prosperity. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

While celebrating her victory in the federal race, Fortier said a Liberal minority government offered a chance for politicians to work together. 

"I think that first, we have to try," she said. "I don't think anybody wants to go back [and have] an election right away."

McKenna hinted at departure

McKenna hinted at her departure from the environment and climate portfolio in a video posted several hours before ministers were sworn in at Rideau Hall.

"I thought I'd end on things that remind me of this job, and something that's really personal," McKenna said, flipping through a 10-day countdown her children made for her to mark the final days of the campaign. 

In the nearly three-minute-long video, McKenna reflected on "a hard election" that saw her ending each day on the campaign trail by crossing off the date on her calendar.

During her tenure as environment minister, McKenna faced a torrent of online abuse that resulted in the MP requiring a security detail when in public. Days after the federal election, the front window of her Richmond Road campaign office was spray-painted with a vulgar word

"Politics is hard sometimes, it's true," McKenna said in the Twitter video. "But it really matters. And it also matters to have the support of my kids." 

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