By Jack Wilson
Local Journalism Initiative
A major cabinet shuffle July 26 saw seven new ministers, seven departures from cabinet, 23 ministers taking on new responsibilities and just eight ministers staying in the same job. In the Townships, Compton-Stanstead MP Marie-Claude Bibeau ended her tenure as Minister of Agriculture, becoming Minister of National Revenue. Brome-Missisquoi MP Pascale St-Onge is no longer Minister of Sport, taking on the high-profile Minister of Heritage position.
Bishop’s Canadian politics professor Jacob Robbins-Kanter called Wednesday’s shakeup “a larger shuffle than you would typically expect.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is “really trying to signal a change in direction,” he added.
Liberals have seen a recent slump in polling, with poll aggregator 338Canada showing the party’s popularity at 31 per cent to the Conservatives’ 35 per cent. “Governments can get stale over time,” and see their popularity fall, Robbins-Kanter said, which might motivate such a largescale shuffle.
Because of the number of ministers changing positions, Robbins-Kanter said it was difficult to read into the reasoning behind the changes. One minister taking a new position requires an existing minister to take on another position. “Once you start shuffling a few people, you kind of have to do a bit of musical chairs.”