Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who returned to power at the head of a minority government after the Oct. 21 election, unveiled his new team on Wednesday. In particular, he assigned new tasks to his former foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland.
Chrystia Freeland, number two
The star of the previous government, Chrystia Freeland, who successfully renegotiated the free trade agreement with the USA and Mexico, will be replaced as foreign minister by François-Philippe Champagne. This Quebec elected official is getting a promotion after already holding the position of Minister of Infrastructure and International Trade.
At 51, Chrystia Freeland will become Canada's deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs, number two in the new Trudeau cabinet. A key position at a time when the Canadian government is facing a revolt against its carbon tax from two provinces in western Canada led by conservative governments, as well as a strong return to parliament of Bloc Québécois separatists.
New Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne must resolve the unprecedented diplomatic crisis between Canada and China since the arrest of an executive of Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei almost a year ago in Vancouver at the request of the United States, which is demanding his extradition.
In the days following that arrest, Beijing arrested a former Canadian diplomat and businessman on suspicion of espionage, a detention Ottawa described as “arbitrary.”
Conservation of Alberta and Saskatchewan
Another notable change: Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will be replaced in the position by Jonathan Wilkinson, who previously headed the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Ms McKenna has benefited from police protection in recent months following a wave of insults and threats linked to her positions on climate change, an extremely rare measure in her country.
Former environmental activist Steven Guilbeault, who was expected to take office, was re-elected in a Montreal constituency and eventually became Minister of Canadian Heritage.
According to analysts, Justin Trudeau appears to want to avoid a run on the oil-dependent provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, which are rebelling against his government's climate change program.
The prime minister did not elect a member of his Liberal Party in the October general election in those two provinces, and Mr. Guilbeault spoke out against the Trudeau government's nationalization of an oil pipeline between Alberta and Columbia. British.
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