Saskatchewan MP Ralph Goodale sworn in as minister of public safety
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's 1st cabinet sworn in Nov 4, 2015
Ralph Goodale is Canada's new minister of public safety and emergency preparedness.
Goodale, who was re-elected in the Regina-Wascana riding in the federal election Oct. 19, was sworn in as a member of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet on Wednesday morning.
"It's a serious responsibility, a little bit daunting really," Goodale said about the new cabinet position on Wednesday.
"Priority number one is to learn this portfolio. It's a big one. It's a very foundational responsibility of government to keep Canadians safe and do so in a manner that respects Canadians' values and their civil rights and liberities."
Goodale is one of the Liberal Party's old hands, with previous stints in a number of portfolios, including agriculture, natural resources, public works and finance.
"What I'm really excited about is caliber and quality of this cabinet," Goodale said. "It's tempting to offer advice but I'm very confident of people."
University professor Tom McIntosh, from the University of Regina's political science department, said selecting
We are going to do our very best to show a positive approach in government and politics.- MP Ralph Goodale
Goodale for the role of public safety minister was interesting and noted that Goodale is part of Trudeau's inner cabinet of senior ministers who will determine government policy and set the political agenda.
Another professor, Charles Smith at the University of Saskatchewan, said the public safety post is important.
"Since 9/11 that file has taken on increasing importance in Canadian politics, in North American politics," Smith said. "Mr. Goodale will have to navigate I think very closely this debate around Bill C-51 and the the role of the Canadian government in spying and surveillance on Canadian citizens and it would take a very experienced politician to deal with that and I think Mr. Goodale is probably the most experienced to address those questions for Mr. Trudeau."
Goodale agrees the controversy surrounding Bill C-51 needs to be addressed.
"It doesn't get the balance right of security and civil rights and we need to get that balance," he said.
He said that balance will be hard to achieve, but will be dealt with early by the new government. Another order of business will be changing the tone of politics.
"We are going to do our very best to show a positive approach in government and politics," he said. "People say you are being naive, you got to be rough and tumble if you want to get things done."
Another issue on people's minds is the legalizing of marijuana. Goodale said that regulating and taxing the drug will improve public safety and keep the drug out of the hands of children.
"The challenges are significant and the expectations of Canadians are high but we've also very convinced that that platform is doable."