MacAulay, Bibeau, Monsef involved in morning cabinet shuffle, sources say

  • thepeels
  • March 1, 2019
  • Comments Off on MacAulay, Bibeau, Monsef involved in morning cabinet shuffle, sources say

Three federal ministers have new job titles Friday morning as part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s efforts to shuffle his cabinet to fill the vacancy created by Jody Wilson-Raybould’s resignation over the SNC-Lavalin controversy.

P.E.I. MP Lawrence MacAulay, formally minister of agriculture and agri-food, will take over in Veterans Affairs, while Marie-Claude Bibeau, who until recently was minister of international development, will take over the agriculture file.

Minister for Women and Gender Equality Maryam Monsef will take on international development as part of her duties.

The ministers all took their oaths as part of a swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Wilson-Raybould resigned as minister of Veterans Affairs, a position she was moved to after first entering cabinet as justice minister, on Feb. 12.

Power & Politics host Vassy Kapelos began special coverage of the cabinet shuffle at 9:30 a.m. ET. CBCNews.ca will carry it live online.

From left: Maryam Monsef, Laurence MacAulay and Marie Claude Bibeau. (Justin Tang, Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press, Chris Wattie/Reuters)

Wilson-Raybould, former attorney general and justice minister, held the Veterans Affairs post for a month. She was moved there Jan. 14 after Scott Brison, former president of the Treasury Board, retired from federal politics. Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan had been acting minister of Veterans Affairs since Wilson-Raybould’s resignation.

Wilson-Raybould told a parliamentary committee this week she believes she was shuffled out of the Justice Department because she refused to buckle to pressure from 11 officials — from the Prime Minister’s Office and other departments — who wanted her to give SNC-Lavalin a way out of bribery and corruption charges.

The Quebec-based engineering and infrastructure company was seeking a deferred prosecution agreement, or DPA, that would allow the firm to avoid criminal prosecution, providing it met a number of conditions. Under the DPA, if those conditions aren’t met, criminal prosecution could be pursued.

Trudeau has maintained she would still be justice minister if Brison had not stepped down.

MacAulay becomes the fourth official Veterans Affairs minister since the Liberal government came into power in 2015. 

Kent Hehr held the role for just under two years before Seamus O’Regan took the reins. He was sent to Indigenous Services in the January cabinet shuffle.

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