7 GTA, Toronto MPs join Justin Trudeau's Liberal cabinet
New PM promised equal mix of men, women in appointments
Seven MPs from Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area are part of the new Liberal cabinet, including rookie politicians Bill Morneau and Dr. Jane Philpott who are taking on two of the most high-profile portfolios.
Morneau is Justin Trudeau's minister of finance, while Philpott will head the health ministry.
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University of Toronto political science professor Nelson Wiseman said that it's no surprise to see rookie politicians given prominent cabinet roles, especially since the Liberals gained 150 seats under Trudeau on election day.
"When a new government comes in, especially a party that had very few members before, you're going to see some new faces in cabinet," he said. "And I think that Bay Street probably feels very comfortable with [Morneau as Finance Minister] since he's been there and been known to everyone there for a long time."
Despite the fact that Ontario contributed 80 MPs to the Liberal's 184-seat majority, there was speculation that Trudeau's promise of gender, cultural and regional diversity would mean that just a few choice positions would be held by Toronto-area politicians.
But Trudeau picked seven Toronto-area ministers to his 31-member cabinet, including:
- MP for Toronto Centre Bill Morneau: Minister of Finance. Morneau has extensive experience and education in finance and the economy, with a Masters of Science in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MBA from international business school, INSEAD.
- MP for Markham—Thornhill John McCallum: Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. McCallum will have an extremely busy file, considering Trudeau's promise to relocate 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.
- MP for Toronto—St. Paul's Carolyn Bennett: Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. Bennett is a veteran Liberal politician, having held a seat in parliament since 1997. The former family physician has acted as Aboriginal Affairs critic in the past.
- MP for Mississauga—Malton Navdeep Singh Bains: Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Bains acted as the area's Liberal MP from 2004 to 2011, holding economic shadow portfolios during that time.
- MP for University—Rosedale Chrystia Freeland: Minister of International Trade. The Rhodes scholar had been the Liberal critic for International Trade since January 2014.
- MP for Markham—Stouffville Jane Philpott: Minister of Health. Dr. Philpott had been considered a front-runner for the post, thanks to her work as the Chief of the Department of Family Medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital from 2008 until 2014. She also spent most of the 1990s working as a doctor in the Niger.
- MP for Etobicoke North Kirsty Duncan: Minister of Science. Duncan may have been chosen for her work serving on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and teaching medical geography at the University of Toronto.