Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Newly-named Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland speaks following the swearing-in of the new cabinet at Rideau Hall in Ottawa on Nov. 20, 2019.

Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Justin Trudeau is leaning heavily on one of his star performers from his last cabinet, Chrystia Freeland, as he seeks to promote national unity, improve relations with China and address concerns over environmental and economic policies that cost the Liberals their majority.

Ms. Freeland is now Deputy Prime Minister, a clear No. 2 in the 36-member cabinet, and responsible for responding to regional issues such as alienation in some western provinces, and the resurgence of the separatist Bloc Québécois. Ms. Freeland will oversee a beefed up Intergovernmental Affairs portfolio and remain in charge of Canada-U.S. relations, including the ratification of the renegotiated free-trade agreement with the United States and Mexico.

Praising Ms. Freeland’s work as foreign affairs minister during the trade talks, the Prime Minister described her as a trusted confidante who will take the lead in attempting to quell anger in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where not a single Liberal MP was elected on Oct. 21.

Story continues below advertisement

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled his new cabinet during a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Wednesday. The cabinet, which includes old faces and new, is comprised of 36 ministers who will be responsible for running the country during the Liberals' minority mandate. The Canadian Press

“Chrystia and I have worked very closely on some of the biggest files facing Canada and the world ... and our ability to work together on these issues – that quite frankly touch on national unity, touch on energy and the environment, touch on relations with all provinces and regions of the country – is going to be extremely important at a time when we see some very different perspectives across the country,” Mr. Trudeau said.

As the government promises to do more to tackle climate change, Mr. Trudeau appointed a business-oriented Environment Minister in an attempt to signal to the oil patch that it won’t be sacrificed as Ottawa works to further cut carbon emissions.

Jonathan Wilkinson, a Vancouver-area MP who grew up in Saskatchewan, takes over at Environment at a crucial time. Canada is expected to miss its 2030 targets for emission reductions, but even the policies already in place have roused fierce opposition in Alberta and Saskatchewan. After the government imposed a carbon tax in Saskatchewan, and said it will do the same in Alberta, voters in the two provinces wiped the Liberals off their electoral map.

Trudeau’s new cabinet: The full list, the breakdown by region and more

Since the election, the Liberals have talked about the challenge of squaring demands from some parts of the country to tackle climate change more aggressively with the growing anger in Prairie provinces, where many people believe the Trudeau government is working against their interests.

Mr. Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday the two provinces are an “essential element“ of Canada’s move to a low-carbon economy.

Mr. Wilkinson will work closely with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan – who is from Newfoundland and Labrador, which has an off-shore oil industry – on files such as the new environmental assessment act.

Former Newfoundland and Labrador premier Brian Tobin said Mr. O’Regan will be a useful ally for Ms. Freeland in dealing with Alberta and Saskatchewan because he understands the importance of oil to the economy.

Story continues below advertisement

“He knows the industry, knows the importance of the regulatory environment and he knows that, with a fragile economic system, industry must develop with caution,” Mr. Tobin said.

Opinion: Can Champagne fix what Freeland broke?

Mr. O’Regan acknowledged his province’s industry is different from those of Alberta and Saskatchewan. He said he shares their concerns about accessing international prices for their oil, and he will meet with his Albertan counterpart, Sonya Savage, in Calgary on Thursday.

Montreal MP Pablo Rodriguez becomes government House Leader, and Quebec lieutenant, meaning he gets greater responsibilities in communicating the government’s message in the province.

Mr. Trudeau, who had resisted appointing a senior Quebec minister, said his government received a clear message when the Bloc more than tripled its seat count in the election. No other province has a senior minister in cabinet.

“I recognize that we have an opportunity and a need to ensure a clear and stronger voice among our great team of MPs from Quebec … that the messages we are hearing from and engagement with Quebeckers is done in the strongest possible way,” he said.

The Prime Minister has put together a new diplomatic team featuring François-Philippe Champagne as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mary Ng as Minister of International Trade and Karina Gould as Minister of International Development.

Story continues below advertisement

‘Chrystia Freeland does not represent Western Canada.’ What readers think of Justin Trudeau’s new cabinet

The appointments of Mr. Champagne and Ms. Ng are seen as signals to the business community that the Liberal government wants to repair relations with China and renew trade ties.

Canada’s arrest of senior Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. executive Meng Wanzhou at the request of the United States strained bilateral relations, and China subsequently detained two Canadians – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor – and blocked imports of Canadian agricultural products.

“Obviously, China is a growing global economy that has an impact on countries around the world in its trading dealings, and there are opportunities for Canadian businesses and Canadian exporters and Canadian investors to do well with better economic relations with China,” Mr. Trudeau said. “At the same time, Canadians expect us to stand up for our values and our rights, and we are going to do that.”

Mr. Champagne, a protégé of former prime minister Jean Chrétien and an international lawyer who has worked for major companies in Europe, takes over after a particularly bruising year between Beijing and Ms. Freeland, who developed a reputation as unafraid to speak her mind.

By the end of her tenure, University of British Columbia political scientist Yves Tiberghien said, “Freeland was not welcomed by China because some of the things that were said were so confrontational on both sides. ... So what you get with Champagne is a new start, a fresh start.”

Mr. Champagne said he is heading to the Group of 20 foreign ministers meeting in Japan this week and plans to speak to his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. He said he would raise the issue of the two detainees “first thing.”

Story continues below advertisement

The cabinet includes 10 ministers from Quebec and 17 from Ontario. Over all, it has 36 ministers, up from the previous total of 34, and once again features equal numbers of women and men.

Mr. Rodriguez, the new government House Leader, will have to work with the opposition parties in the new minority Parliament.

With reports from Marieke Walsh, and Steven Chase

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow the authors of this article:

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies