Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet earlier today. The move was made necessary by the resignation of Judy Foote as Minister of Public Services and Procurement.
Foote was replaced by Carla Qualtrough, who moves from Sport & Persons with Disabilities. Other changes shift Kent Hehr from Vetrans Affairs into Qualtrough’s former ministry. The cabinet adds Newfoundland M.P. Seamus O’Regan who replaces Hehr at Veterans Affairs.
The shuffle splits Indigenous & Northern Affairs in half. Carolyn Bennett remains in cabinet as Minister of Crown-Indigenous Affairs, while Jane Philpott moves from Health to Minister of Indigenous Services responsible for providing services for non self-governing communities. The split is part of a 1996 Report from the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.
Trudeau spoke to reporters after the ceremony calling the changes a “next step in the reconciliation process. “This is part of the transition,” he said according to CBC. Legislation to officially create the split is likely coming this spring.
Replacing Philpott as health minister is New Brunswick MP Ginette Petitpas Taylor. Qualtrough is expected to face some of the bigger challenges with the problem-ridden Phoenix pay system.