Cabinet shuffle suggests government 'reacts to change' instead of changing itself, says columnist
Susan Delacourt says past Liberal cabinet shuffles have been a response to world events
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's latest cabinet shuffle on Monday demonstrates how the federal Liberal government "reacts to change," rather than changing itself, says a Toronto Star columnist.
"There were two big shuffles in this government — I wouldn't call this one of the big ones," the Star's Ottawa bureau chief, Susan Delacourt, told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.
The first was in 2017, when Chrystia Freeland replaced Stéphane Dion as foreign affairs minister in an attempt by the prime minister to align ministerial duties with U.S. President Donald Trump's approach to trade.
Freeland went on the play a critical role in the renegotiated NAFTA trade deal, the Canada-U.S.-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA).
"The second one was last summer, to deal with Doug Ford's government," she said.
Monday's political shakeup was triggered after Nova Scotia MP Scott Brison, who was appointed to cabinet as president of the Treasury Board of Canada, announced he was leaving politics to spend more time with family.
And as the newly-rejigged cabinet gathers in Quebec later this week, this year's looming federal election is sure to be on the agenda.
Taking stock of lessons learned
But Delacourt said she is surprised the federal government has only delivered one speech from the throne during its four-year term.
"Throne speeches, you have new ones mid-mandate to show what you've learned in government, and when I asked Trudeau about this in my year-end interview with him in December, he said we had enough to go on when we got elected to last us four years," she said.
"It shows the government that came in in 2015 believes it's still the same government, and that the world has changed and it [the government] has not."
To discuss the cabinet shuffle, what it says about the current federal government, and what it means for the fall election, Tremonti spoke with:
- Katie Simpson, senior reporter with CBC News, covering federal politics in Ottawa.
- Susan Delacourt, national columnist and Ottawa bureau chief with the Toronto Star.
- Tanya Talaga, Toronto Star columnist and author of Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City.
Click 'listen' near the top of this page to hear the full conversation.
Produced by Idella Sturino and Imogen Birchard.