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This morning in Ottawa, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shook things up with a significant cabinet shuffle, replacing Canada’s health minister during a pandemic and naming a new environment minister just days before the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow (COP 26).

Fewer than 10 of the 38 ministers who held cabinet positions prior to the 2021 election kept their existing positions, including Justice Minister David Lametti and Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough – signaling the government’s sense of urgency to deliver on key priorities under this new minority government mandate.

It’s arguable, for example, that naming long-time climate change activist Steven Guilbeault as environment minister highlights the government’s intention to ramp up and double down on its climate change goals. Guilbeault replaces Jonathan Wilkinson, who moves to the natural resources portfolio.

Anita Anand, who’s savvy negotiations as public services and procurement minister helped to procure vaccines, will take over at National Defence, the second woman ever to hold that post.

Jean-Yves Duclos moved from head of the Treasury Board to the health portfolio and Melanie Joly, formerly economic development minister and recipient of a huge promotion today, was named the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The new roster totals 39 ministers, including Trudeau — which is two more than his last cabinet.

On Thursday of last week (October 21, 2021), Chrystia Freeland, who remains the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance following the shuffle, announced the Canadian government will allow its key income support programs for individuals and businesses, during the pandemic, to expire as planned, while introducing new targeted aid for the hardest hit industries such a tourism and hospitality.

Navigating what a renewed Trudeau minority government means for your business and the implications of this cabinet shuffle on the Canadian economy can be challenging. Our firm can provide strategic insight into what businesses can do to stay ahead of evolving government policy- including following this most recent cabinet shuffle.


At Mills & Mills LLP, our lawyers regularly help clients with a wide range of legal matters including business lawfamily lawreal estate lawestate lawemployment law, health law, and tax law. For over 130 years, we have earned a reputation amongst our peers and clients for quality of service and breadth of knowledge. Contact us online or at (416) 863-0125.

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