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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes a selfie with members of the public as his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau, left, looks on after attending a swearing in ceremony of his cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Wednesday, November 4, 2015.FRED CHARTRAND/The Canadian Press

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By Jane Taber (@JaneTaber1)

What's in a name?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trying to project a modern, different and fresh image for his Liberal government - and he's wasting no time, from ditching the ministerial limos and making his cabinet ministers walk up the long driveway to Rideau Hall for their swearing-in ceremony, to appointing half his cabinet women, and if that's not enough, he's modifying the names of cabinet portfolios and some cabinet committees.

Is this the beginning of his promise for real change? Or are these name adjustments just change for the sake of change?

For example, there's the Cabinet Committee on Inclusive Growth, Opportunities and Innovation. Stephen Harper used to call that Economic Prosperity.

Then, there's the old Priorities and Planning Committee, which is considered the most powerful of all committees as it sets the government's agenda. It's now called Agenda and Results - and will likely be shortened to A and R - and its membership is almost entirely rookie cabinet ministers, including Mr. Trudeau (who is the only Liberal Prime Minister who has never served in cabinet). Ralph Goodale, the new Public Safety Minister, and Judy Foote, the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, are the only members with previous cabinet experience.

For ministerial portfolios, meanwhile, Mr. Trudeau is also tweaking the Environment portfolio, calling it "Environment and Climate Change." Industry is now Innovation, Science and Economic Development and half of the former department of Employment and Social Development is now Families, Children and Social Development.

And then there's Citizenship and Immigration that has become Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, reflecting a promise to bring in 25,000 refugees from Syria and Iraq by the end of the year. The new minister, John McCallum, told reporters Wednesday that he is working toward that deadline, and not abandoning it.


By Chris Hannay (@channay)

> Finance Minister Bill Morneau is a former pension executive and policy wonk, and Bay Street is a fan (subscribers link).

> Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former Crown prosecutor and aboriginal leader in B.C., could be tasked with rolling back Conservative laws and improving relations with First Nations.

> Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion, no stranger to Canadians as he is a former leader, will bring climate change to the top of the foreign-policy agenda (subscribers link).

> Health Minister Jane Philpott, a family doctor from Markham, Ont., will face challenges (subscribers link) in working with provinces - and on the thorny issues of assisted suicide and legalizing marijuana.


> Investment Canada scrutiny of foreign takeovers of Canadian companies will be reduced under the terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal released Thursday.

> Conservatives will have a caucus meeting this afternoon at which Stephen Harper will speak, then MPs will choose an interim leader.

> The NDP, now billing itself as Ottawa's "progressive opposition," will strike a panel to figure out why they lost the election.

> New Members of Parliament will be attending their bootcamp (OK, "administrative orientation sessions") in the morning.

> And how to fix up a house like 24 Sussex.


"How long this honeymoon will last must remain unknown, but with a majority in Parliament, the government will find itself in the happy position that few Canadians will care much what the opposition parties say for quite a while. " – Jeffrey Simpson (subscribers) on the Liberals' first days.

Campbell Clark (Globe and Mail - subscribers): "There are two types of ministers in Justin Trudeau's cabinet: those who will face out, to the future and the public, and those who will face in, to solve government problems."

Alexandra Kotowski (Globe and Mail): "Unlike most world leaders, Justin Trudeau isn't afraid to identify himself as a feminist."

David Parkinson (Globe and Mail - subscribers): "Only one thing is missing [from Bill Morneau's resume]: Experience in government."

Barry Campbell (Globe and Mail): "Congratulations, you are a backbencher. Now get over yourself."

This newsletter is produced by Chris Hannay and Steve Proceviat.

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