PM to reshuffle cabinet with Navdeep Bains stepping out of politics

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TORONTO – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is expected to make a small cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, triggered by the departure of Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.
Rumors of the impending reshuffle began circulating late Monday.

According to sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the moves, Bains informed Trudeau that he did not intend to run in the next federal election, which could occur as early as this spring.

Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne is expected to replace Bains.

Transport Minister Marc Garneau is expected to succeed Champagne at Global Affairs Canada.

Trudeau is expected to elevate Toronto-area MP Omar Alghabra to Cabinet to take over the transportation portfolio.

Alghabra served as parliamentary secretary to several ministers, including Trudeau.

Trudeau’s minority Liberal government could be overthrown if opposition parties unite against it – potentially after the next budget in the spring, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic has skyrocketed the federal deficit.

Bains’ ministry will play a key role in the government’s plan to revive the shattered economy once the pandemic ends.

Trudeau has made it clear that critical portfolios must be overseen by ministers who intend to be there for the long haul and who can sell the government’s agenda in the next election campaign.

He made this argument last August, when Bill Morneau abruptly resigned his post as finance minister and relinquished his seat in the House of Commons. Morneau has been replaced by Chrystia Freeland.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on January 11, 2021.

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