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Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks at a press conference in Ottawa on October 20, 2015 after winning the federal election.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP / Getty Images

One of Justin Trudeau's first orders of business is to assemble the team that will help him manage the federal government. To construct this cabinet, the prime-minister-designate must select two or three dozen of the 184 Liberal MPs elected Monday night. These are the few considerations Mr. Trudeau will take into account.

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Former ministers

There are still a few members of cabinet around from the federal Liberal governments of 1993 to 2006, mostly from the Paul Martin era. These include former finance minister Ralph Goodale of Saskatchewan, former Liberal leader Stéphane Dion of Quebec, former public works minister Scott Brison of Nova Scotia, former fisheries minister Geoff Regan of Nova Scotia, former national revenue minister John McCallum of Ontario and former immigration minister Judy Sgro; former junior ministers of that era include Carolyn Bennett, Mauril Bélanger and Hedy Fry.

There are also those who served in provincial cabinets, such as British Columbia's Joyce Murray, or Judy Foote and Yvonne Jones of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Regional considerations

Regional representation is vital in a Canadian cabinet. Mr. Trudeau will be particularly anxious to ensure strong representation from Quebec, where the Liberals expanded their base, and the West, where the Liberals are relatively weak.

In Montreal, former mayoral candidate Mélanie Joly, who headed the Quebec advisory committee for Mr. Trudeau's leadership campaign, is a shoo-in. Other possibilities in the area include Anju Dhillon, a Sikh lawyer, and Emmanuel Dubourg, a former member of Quebec's National Assembly.

Any Liberal elected in a Prairie province is a strong contender for cabinet. One prominent Liberal candidate in the region is Jim Carr, a former provincial MLA and president of the Business Council of Manitoba. Another is Kent Hehr, a lawyer and former Liberal MLA who won in Calgary Centre. Mr. Hehr, who was left paralyzed in 1971 in a drive-by shooting, has been a prominent advocate for the rights of the disabled.

In British Columbia, contenders include Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, the former mayor of West Vancouver, Harjit Sajjan, a former police officer who did four tours of duty for the Canadian Forces, and Sukh Dhaliwal, a businessman and former MP.

There is also Dominic LeBlanc, the veteran MP from New Brunswick, who is a close friend of Mr. Trudeau's and will certainly be in cabinet, and Hunter Tootoo, a former Speaker of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly.


The new Liberal caucus includes many Canadians who were elected (or re-elected) to Parliament after distinguished careers. Those MPs include former astronaut Marc Garneau; former Toronto police chief Bill Blair; Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former Crown attorney and senior figure in the B.C. Assembly of First Nations; business executive Bill Morneau from Toronto Centre; journalist and Trudeau adviser Chrystia Freeland; and former Canadian Forces lieutenant-general Andrew Leslie in Ottawa.