Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet Monday, replacing his justice minister for the first time, as the government gears up for a federal election later this year.

Jody Wilson-Raybould, who had been Trudeau’s justice minister since 2015, will become minister for veterans affairs, replacing Seamus O'Regan. Wilson-Raybould also becomes associate minister of national defence.

The cabinet shuffle was announced at a ceremony at the Governor General's residence at Rideau Hall on Jan. 14.

Wilson-Raybould, who worked as a prosecutor in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and then as regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations for British Columbia, comes from the Musgamagw Tsawataineuk and Laich-Kwil-Tach of northern Vancouver Island, who are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw.

She has stickhandled several tricky files for Trudeau, including successful cannabis legalization in Canada and changes to the criminal justice system, but also took some heat, for example for a controversial reaction to the Colten Boushie verdict.

"The work done by Jody on major issues was exceptional, and we really need someone now, who is very strong and can deliver for our veterans," said Trudeau on Monday, explaining his decision. "I am fully confident that she will do an exceptional job as minister for veterans affairs."

Justice is considered a high-profile federal ministry, along with foreign affairs, defence and finance. Wilson-Raybould rejected suggestions she was being demoted. "I can think of no world in which I would consider working for our veterans in Canada as a demotion," she said.

The minister said she was very proud to introduce 13 pieces of legislation during her time as attorney general, on a wide range of complex issues like medical assistance in dying and impaired driving.

She also said she was confident in releasing principles related to Indigenous litigation, and that this "opened up the role of the attorney general, and provided a window into how attorneys general make decisions."

Montreal MP David Lametti, who was a law professor at McGill University, was elevated to cabinet to replace Wilson-Raybould and become Trudeau’s new attorney general.

The shuffle was spurred by the announcement on Jan. 10 by Scott Brison that he has decided not to seek re-election this fall, and was stepping down from his post as president of the Treasury Board.

Jane Philpott, who has been Trudeau’s Indigenous services minister, takes over from Brison, while O'Regan takes over Philpott’s post. Philpott also gets the title of minister of digital government.

South Shore - St. Margaret's MP Bernadette Jordan will become minister for rural economic development, a new position. Trudeau's office described her role as overseeing the creation of a "rural development strategy," and bringing high-speed internet to more rural households.

She will also replace Brison as the lone federal minister from Nova Scotia.

Other key ministers, including Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna, Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, remained in their portfolios.

Comments

After being totally against Site C prior to her Justice Ministry position, she stickhandled around that too. I guess power does that.

JT is a puppet master of his MP's.

South Shore - St. Margaret's MP Bernadette Jordan

Will the electorate wake up to the reality of Mr. Trudeau....in time. Monday October 21, 2019. Record numbers will turn out to exercise their democratic right. Good on them.

I have very little sympathy for another political careerist who was prepared to ignore her own people's rights (Site C, Transmountain) if it would further her personal ambitions.

Karma?

The only reason JT shuffled her out of being the Fed Attourney General is due to her not agreeing with himself, Prince Twerp...& shuffling his right hand man now into that position instead.

I am rather disappointed in the pallid and shallow analysis by Carl Meyer of this Cabinet shuffle.

First, to buy into the fashion of ranking the "importance" of a cabinet post and then delcaring Ministerial movements as career promotions or demotions is facile and unhelpful in reflecting on governmental performance.

As long as nation states continue to wage wars, throwing the energy and potential of their youth into the meat grinders that all wars produce, then those of us who benefit from that sacrifice, owe the survivors of our geo-political spats the best we can muster to make up for their ruination. Minister Wilson-Raybould expresses our obligation quite succinctly. As for the complaining comments from our (indigenous?) voices that the former Justice Minister failed to halt the site C dam they sound like the petulant whining of pampered adolescents weaned on a diet of Marvel comics where the super-powers unleash thunderbolts, in lieu of justice. Site C will go down in the annals of Canadian history as a boondoggle of the first water (no pun intended) The complexities of its origins and progress are scarcely to be solved by one Minister, be she never so indigenous, or opposed. Being Justice Minister does not give one super powers!

Mr. Meyer also glosses over the revelation that there is now, an actual Minister in charge of Digital Government! A recognition and action that is decades overdue. It is unfortunate that the PM chose to add this responsibility, like a dangling participle, on to the Presidency of the Treasury Board. Any reasonably competent and politically astute person can muddle through the Treasury Board - but it will take an extraordinary effort of coordination, collaboration and organization to wrestle into some coherent shape Canada's woefully belated responses to the Digital Age. Despite ample evidence of the brilliance of Canadian researchers and entrepreneurs, our governments have, so far, pursued a criminally negligent lassaiz faire course in policy making for Canada's digital age. Anyone who watched the CBC interview with the founder of Research in Motion ought to be appalled by our failure to provide frameworks, legislation and support for dealing with the issues that have now erupted like volcanos beneath our democracy.

Minister Philpott, willy-nilly, has been handed the most potentially explosive issue of our times. I trust that this under-appreciated government workhorse is up to the challenge. She will need the help of all the skills and energy of Canada's best in wrestling with this portfolio. "Digital Government? is that the PM's euphemism for the mess of the Phoenix project? Phoenix is only one visible face of the hydra-headed monster that confronts us. It's oligarchic transnational structures are well advanced in shaping their world dominating strategies. Can they, finally, be brought to some semblance of ethical behaviour? Can Dr. Philpott craft any remedies? Now THIS, really, IS the stuff of Marvel superheroes and villains!

"Digital Government! A recognition and action that is decades overdue."
Yes indeed!...& ya think we could get internet access down here everywhere in Nova Scotia? NOPE.
Still in the dark.

What does this mean?
She also said she was confident in releasing principles related to Indigenous litigation, and that this "opened up the role of the attorney general, and provided a window into how attorneys general make decisions."

Montreal MP David Lametti, who was a law professor at McGill University, was elevated to cabinet to replace Wilson-Raybould and become Trudeau’s new attorney general.
BECUZ IT'S QUEBEC !

Today's must read