Trudeau Names Freeland Chief Envoy in Pre-Trump Cabinet Swap

2017-01-10 15:21:22

By Josh Wingrove, Bloomberg News

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is shuffling his cabinet ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration, promoting Chrystia Freeland to foreign minister as Canada prepares a push to maintain ties with the incoming U.S. administration.

Freeland, who as trade minister stick-handled a deal with the European Union over the finish line this fall, will replace Stephane Dion at foreign affairs, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office. Governor General David Johnston swore in the new cabinet ministers in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon in the first major shuffle since Trudeau took power 14 months ago.

Immigration Minister John McCallum will resign to become ambassador to China, while Dion will resign as a lawmaker and leave active politics. Both are some of the longest-serving lawmakers in Trudeau’s government.

In addition to successfully managing the EU trade file, Freeland led Trudeau’s cabinet committee on U.S.-Canada relations — ties that will be tested if the President-elect follows through on his pledge to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The 48-year-old is a former journalist, author and Rhodes Scholar.

Francois-Philippe Champagne, who served as parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau, will replace Freeland as the new trade minister, while McCallum will be replaced as immigration minister by Ahmed Hussen, a lawyer and Somali-Canadian lawmaker who was an immigrant to Canada himself. Patty Hajdu replaces MaryAnn Mihychuk as labor minister.

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