PM Trudeau shuffles his Cabinet, nine months before the federal election

On Monday, Canadian Prime Minister shuffled his Cabinet, moving three current Ministers into new portfolios and appointed two new Ministers to Cabinet. The shuffle puts the size of the federal cabinet at 36 members, including PM Trudeau. This is the largest number of seats around the cabinet table during this government's term in office. PM Trudeau’s adamance of an equal gender balance has been retained with the changes. The Prime Minister called the shuffle an "opportunity to put strong performers in important files and continue to demonstrate our capacity to deliver on a broad range of priorities for Canadians."

Ontario MP Jane Philpott

Minister Philpott moved into the newly-vacated role as President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, after long-time MP Scott Brison announced last week that he was resigning from Cabinet because he will not be seeing re-election in 2019. The priority for this portfolio is overseeing the federal public service and intergovernmental spending. Minister Philpot has been seen as a strong performer in Cabinet. PM Trudeau called her a "natural choice" for the new job given her experience as Vice-Chair of the Treasury Board Cabinet Committee.This is now her third cabinet post, starting as the health minister in 2015.

Newfoundland MP Seamus O'Regan

Minister O’Regan filled Minister Philpott’s vacancy as Indigenous Services Minister, a cabinet post created in 2017 as part of an effort to reset the nation-to-nation relationship with Indigenous people.He'll be continuing the work on delivering programs to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, including education and housing, as well as chipping away at clearing the drinking water advisories in First Nation communities. MinisterO’Regan is moving out of the Veterans Affairs portfolio, a job he's had since joining cabinet in that same 2017 shuffle.

British Columbia MP Wilson-Raybould

MP Wilson-Raybould was moved out of Justice and into Veterans Affairs. Minister Wilson-Raybould and PM Trudeau downplayed any suggestion that her move is a demotion. The Minister said she feels she accomplished most of her mandate letter tasks, from legalizing cannabis and putting in a new regime for physician-assisted dying, to advancing legislation to reform the criminal justice system.

Quebec MP David Lametti

Mr. Lametti was promoted to Cabinet and becomes the new Justice Minister and Attorney General. He has been serving as a Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation. In his new position the Minister will have the final decision on the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wangzhou. First elected in 2015, Minister Lametti said he's not sure how much law-making he'll be able to accomplish before the end of this Parliament in June.

Nova Scotia MP Bernadette Jordan

Ms. Jordan was also promoted to Cabinet in a newly created portfolio as Minister of Rural Economic Development. She had been serving as a Parliamentary Secretary for Democratic Institutions. Minister Jordan will be responsible for overseeing a new rural jobs strategy, implementing high-speed internet to more rural areas, and handling the infrastructure needs of these communities. Minister Jordan becomes the first female to represent a Nova Scotia riding in cabinet. She had previously been chair of the Atlantic Liberal caucus. Prior to being elected in 2015, she was a development officer for the Health Services Foundation of the South Shore in Nova Scotia.

Speaking to how the coming election factored in to Monday's changes, PM Trudeau said the shuffle is "an illustration of the depth of bench strength" that his majority caucus holds. "We're very excited about being able to show how we step up as a team," he said.

Twelve of the current Cabinet Ministers are in the original positions they were appointed to in 2015, or have very similar positions with a few modifications. Another dozen members were not on the first Cabinet roster but have been added in over the years; with the remaining eleven (excluding the Prime Minister) being members of the original Cabinet that have been moved into different roles over the course of this government.