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In today's Morning Brief, we look at who will be changing roles when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new cabinet is sworn in later today.

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Steven Guilbeault to be Canada's next environment minister as Trudeau unveils new cabinet

Long-time environmental activist Steven Guilbeault will be Canada's next minister of the environment and climate change, CBC News has confirmed.

Liberal sources told CBC News that Guilbeault, who has worked with groups such as Equiterre and Greenpeace, will be moved to the crucial portfolio from his previous post as heritage minister.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to reveal the makeup of his next cabinet today. The new group of ministers will be sworn in during a ceremony this morning at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Guilbeault's appointment comes just days ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow (COP26), which will draw leaders from around the world — including Trudeau — to discuss the climate crisis.

Liberal sources tell CBC News they are expecting a significant cabinet shuffle that will include the heads of multiple senior portfolios.

WATCH | What to expect from Trudeau's new cabinet: 

What to expect from Trudeau’s new cabinet

1 month ago

Harjit Sajjan, who has been serving as national defence minister amid a growing sexual misconduct crisis in the military, is expected to be among those headed to new jobs.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu, who took on that job just months before the pandemic, will also be moved to a new role. There are plans to add a second junior minister to the health portfolio.

Trudeau has said the cabinet will have both gender parity and what he has called "proper regional distribution." 

At least one senior minister will be keeping her job. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has agreed to remain in both roles, Trudeau has said. Read more on this story here.

Back to class

(Eranga Jayawardena/The Associated Press)

A school teacher sprays disinfectant on the palms of a primary student at the beginning of lessons at a school in Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Monday. Sri Lankan authorities recommenced all primary schools that had been closed more than six months as a measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.

In brief

The names of several hundred vulnerable Afghans seeking refuge from the Taliban were recently leaked in emails sent in error by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), CBC News has learned. The Afghans in question fear reprisals from the Taliban, who took over the country in August. Some are in hiding because of past roles in the Afghan government, armed forces, judiciary, or as human rights or women's rights activists. One email seen by CBC News listed 200 names. Not only did names and emails appear, but in some cases, faces could be seen. IRCC has been writing to the people in question to apologize. In one such email, sent Friday, IRCC director of client experience  Anne Turmel says the person's information was leaked on Oct. 18 when a unit within the department "sent four emails to multiple clients simultaneously regarding the Afghanistan situation." Read more about the email leak.

While Jean Chrétien was minister of Indian Affairs, his federal department received several reports — including one addressed directly to him — of mistreatment and physical abuse of children at residential schools, government records show. Chrétien, who was prime minister from 1993 to 2003, told a popular Radio-Canada talk show on Sunday that he never heard about abuse at residential schools while he was minister of what was then called the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development from 1968 to 1974. Historical records reveal that while Chrétien was minister, his department received at least four reports outlining allegations of abuse and mistreatment of children at St. Anne's Indian Residential School, which operated in the Fort Albany First Nation, along Ontario's James Bay coast. The department also received reports of abuse from other residential schools during his tenure, including two from one that sat about 130 kilometres north of his hometown of Shawinigan, Que., records show. Read more on this story here.

For some Canadians, working from home during the pandemic has created even more of a blur between work and home life as kitchens and dens have turned into remote offices. To help workers achieve better work-life balance, the Ontario government has introduced legislation that would force employers to develop policies allowing workers to unplug from the office after their shift. The legislation would require employers with 25 or more workers to develop disconnecting-from-work policies, which could include expectations about response time for emails and encouraging employees to turn on out-of-office notifications when they are not working. Monte McNaughton, the province's minister of labour, training and skills development, said he doesn't want Ontario to become a province of burned-out workers. But work-life balance expert Linda Duxbury said such legislation may actually contribute to the problem. That's because employees will still have to get their work done — even if they can't send emails after hours. Read more on the new legislation.

WATCH | Ontario proposes right-to-disconnect legislation for workers: 

Ontario proposes right-to-disconnect legislation for workers

1 month ago

It could take up to seven years for the Canadian military's recruitment efforts to recover from the fallout of both the sexual misconduct crisis and the pandemic, says the country's acting chief of the defence staff. Speaking Monday at the Kingston Conference on International Security, Gen. Wayne Eyre said he's increasingly worried about the decline in the size of both the regular and reserve forces. He said he's particularly alarmed at the number of experienced leaders — officers and noncommissioned officers — who are putting in their release notices and quitting the service. Eyre said he's encouraging his senior leaders to stay and asking them to urge others to do the same. "We need our mid-level leaders to dig deep and do this for the institution, to put service before self, not to retreat into retirement but to advance forward and face the challenges head-on," Eyre said in answer to a question about leadership during the virtual forum. Read the full story here.

In the middle of the village square in Bhatali, in central India's coal-rich Chandrapur district, a lone well sits, steps from a massive open-pit mine. The well is dug 10 times deeper than previous ones, which all ran dry years ago, and the water spurting from it is not safe to drink. "Our lands have gone to waste," said village leader Subhash Gaurkar, pointing to the surrounding coal mining activity. Mining of the highly polluting fossil fuel in Chandrapur, like in many other coal-rich regions of India, has siphoned most of what was, at one time, a plentiful water supply. India is the world's second largest producer of coal, behind China. Critics worry that fossil fuel will be the centrepiece of the country's energy production for several decades yet, along with the environmental and health consequences that come with it. Read more on this story from CBC's India correspondent Salimah Shivji.

WATCH | Residents' suffering won't end India's reliance on coal: 

Residents’ suffering won’t end India’s reliance on coal

1 month ago

Now for some good news to start your Tuesday: From ukuleles and guitars to harmonicas and kazoos, the basement of Ron Mercer's Edmonton home is stuffed with a musical collection that's been 35 years in the making. "I keep going through and I always get lost around 1,700 or something," Mercer said about how many instruments he has crammed in his home. "My wife and I travelled a lot and whenever I went to a different country, I picked up an instrument or something from there," said Mercer, who has focused on his collection and taken up teaching music since retiring from his job with the RCMP. The collection features a Ukrainian section, a Middle Eastern section and even a hillbilly section. Check out the photo gallery of Mercer's collection here.
WATCH | Edmonton's music man has too many instruments to count: 

Edmonton's music man has too many instruments to count

1 month ago


Front Burner: Behind the Amazon union drive

Amazon's profits soared during the pandemic, but inside its warehouses was a growing crisis. Rampant spread of COVID-19, exhausted employees, drivers racing to make delivery deadlines — unable to even stop to use the bathroom. Workers, unimpressed with a half-hearted "thanks!" from boss Jeff Bezos only fought harder for better pay, benefits and job security. 

Today on Front Burner, The Fifth Estate's Mark Kelley takes us inside Amazon to show us the real cost of those profits and how the company has crushed every effort by workers in North America to try to bring in a union.

Today in history: October 26

1984: New Brunswick Premier Richard Hatfield is charged with possession of 26.5 grams of marijuana. The charges were laid after RCMP officers discovered the drug on Sept. 25 in Hatfield's luggage while he was accompanying the Queen during her visit to New Brunswick. Hatfield was later acquitted.

1992: The Charlottetown Accord, which would have drastically altered the Constitution, is defeated in a national referendum. Canada-wide, the No vote garners 54 per cent, compared to a 45 per cent Yes vote.

2009: Health officials launch a vaccination program targeting the pandemic H1N1 virus.  It was the biggest vaccination program in Canadian history until being eclipsed by the vaccination campaign against COVID-19.

2018: The family of billionaire philanthropists Barry and Honey Sherman offer up to $10 million for information that would solve the December 2017 killings of the Toronto couple.

With files from The Canadian Press, The Associated Press and Reuters

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