Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to a press conference in Ottawa on October 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives to a press conference in Ottawa on October 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Path to Trudeau’s new cabinet hits final stretch ahead of swearing-in ceremony

There will be gender parity among the regionally balanced appointments

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s tricky task of crafting a new cabinet is hitting its final hours before the team of ministers is unveiled.

Any hints of who might be in cabinet could begin trickling out today as those taking on new positions may start arriving in the national capital ahead of Tuesday’s swearing-in ceremony.

Trudeau has said there will be gender parity among the regionally balanced appointments.

That means he had to find replacements for three female ministers who lost their seats in last month’s election — Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan, Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef and Seniors Minister Deb Schulte — as well as Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna who did not seek re-election.

Some ministers are likely to have an interest in remaining in their portfolios, but Trudeau has only publicly confirmed that Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland isn’t on the move.

Trudeau is under pressure to shuffle Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan to a new portfolio amid criticism for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations among the military’s senior ranks.

Once sworn in, any new faces in new places will quickly get a crash-course on their portfolios and try to soak up details ahead of Parliament’s return on Nov. 22.

The Liberals have said that high atop the agenda for MPs when the House of Commons returns is a $7.4-billion reshaping of federal pandemic aid, which the Liberals unveiled late last week.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021.

Justin Trudeau