Hamilton MP Filomena Tassi gains new portfolio in Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle

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Published October 26, 2021 at 12:42 pm

On Tuesday, MP for Hamilton West —Ancaster — Dundas, Filomena Tassi, was sworn in as the Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement. — photo courtesy Tassi's Facebook page

Hamilton’s Filomena Tassi, MP for Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas, has been sworn in as the Federal Minister of Public Services and Procurement.

Tassi, formerly the federal Minister of Labour, is among those MPs affected by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet shuffle announced on Tuesday (Oct. 26).

Seamus O’Regan, MP for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, takes over Tassi’s previous portfolio.

Burlington MP, Karina Gould, who was serving as minister of international development since 2019, is the PM’s new Minister of families, children and social development.

The cabinet sworn in Tuesday is also a slightly larger lineup that adds nine new faces, drops three and moves most other senior ministers to new posts.

In one of the biggest moves, Harjit Sajjan, heavily criticized for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations in Canada’s military, is leaving the defence portfolio to take up a new post in international development.

Anita Anand, who led the charge to procure vaccines during the pandemic as public services and procurement minister, will take over at National Defence, only the second woman to head that post.

Three ministers have been dropped from cabinet altogether: Marc Garneau, who has been replaced as foreign affairs minister by Melanie Joly; Bardish Chagger, who had been diversity and inclusion minister, and Jim Carr, who had been serving as Trudeau’s special representative for the Prairies after being diagnosed with cancer.

Trudeau’s new cabinet includes a new ministerial post to tackle his election promises on mental health and addictions.

Carolyn Bennett, who served recently as minister of Crown-Indigenous relations, has been tapped to take on the new minister of mental health and addictions role.

The role has been separated from the rest of the health portfolio, which will be helmed by former Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos.

Duclos takes over as health minister from Patty Hajdu, who became the face of the federal government’s response in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberals’ platform promised a new federal transfer of $4.5 billion over five years to provinces and territories to provide accessible, free mental-health services.

Bennett will also be tasked with the development of a strategy to end the opioid crisis.

Only 10 ministers in Trudeau’s last cabinet are staying put, including Justice Minister David Lametti, Employment Minister Carla Qualtrough and Innovation Minister François-Philippe Champagne.

Trudeau had announced earlier that Chrystia Freeland would remain in her dual roles as deputy prime minister and finance minister.

The new roster adds up to 39 ministers, including Trudeau — two more than his last cabinet. It maintains Trudeau’s commitment to appoint an equal number of men and women to cabinet.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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