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Trudeau’s pre-election cabinet

['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']
['Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely']

Frankly Speaking with Frank Likely

Prime Minister Trudeau has clearly shown us his new priorities in the makeup of his latest cabinet. He's choosing power over principles in his new mandate.

The most obvious indicator of this is the elimination of the ministry dealing with Democratic reform. This was a post created by Trudeau in his first mandate supposedly to fulfil his promise that 2015 would be the last election fought under first-past-the-post. But almost immediately the PM backtracked from this initiative and the new ministry became one in name only with no significant legislative changes brought forward.

Now the department has been eliminated completely. Mr. Trudeau clearly saw the benefits to him of first past the post in keeping him in power with the slightest majority, so he's not going to change a thing about the system.

While he has been reduced to a minority in the Commons, the PM has expanded the size of his cabinet by three positions. Counting electoral losses, and ministers dropped from cabinet, there will be seven new faces sitting around the cabinet table now, most of them chosen from the Toronto and Montreal areas.

In fact, a full half of the cabinet members come from the major urban areas of the country. This is where he can win and that's his prime goal now.

In fairness, Nova Scotia has fared well in the latest shuffle. Minister Bernadette Jordan has received a promotion to the post of Fisheries and Oceans Minister. This is an important portfolio and will increase Nova Scotia's voice in cabinet.

In addition, the new minister of Public Services and Procurement, Anita Anand, is a native of Windsor. Her portfolio is another important one given the ships procurement packages now underway and having a minister with local roots can only be a benefit in this ministry.

This cabinet looks much more like a pre-election one, rather than one set to begin a new mandate. The PM is clearly in it for the short haul.

Frank Likely is a retired Anglican minister who lives in Springhill.

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