Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Brussels, Belgium on July 10, 2018. Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election. The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand, sources say.

The shuffle appears designed to ensure deft communicators are well-placed to spell out the government’s positions and defend policies on hot political issues leading up to the 2019 election campaign.

Insiders have indicated there’s a possibility Ottawa will appoint a minister dedicated to seniors, a post that once existed in past federal cabinets.

RELATED: Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

The mid-summer shakeup will give ministers a couple of months to get up to speed on their new portfolios before they return to Parliament this fall, and the Liberals will hope they can master their responsibilities ahead of the election. Nearly three years into its four-year mandate, the Liberal government has few remaining opportunities to rejig its cabinet lineup.

In some cases, Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio.

For instance, Kirsty Duncan, the minister of science and minister of sport and persons with disabilities, will likely see her duties divided back into two jobs. The prime minister could do the same for Bardish Chagger, who is both the government House leader and the minister of small business and tourism.

If Wednesday’s heavy ministerial schedule is any indication, many high-profile positions should be left untouched by the shuffle.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef all have events scheduled for Wednesday. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is preparing to leave for this weekend’s meeting with his G20 counterparts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The government could also look to replace ministers who have no plans to run again in 2019. So far, however, no ministers have publicly signalled that they intend to skip next year’s campaign.

As for potential new faces in cabinet, several names have been churning in Ottawa’s rumour mill in recent days. They include MPs Mary Ng, Joel Lightbound and Bill Blair.

With so much shuffle talk, worries have spread among political staffers who are contemplating how the moves will affect their own job security.

The political scenes in big provinces could also be part of the federal calculation behind Wednesday’s shuffle.

RELATED: Ontario asks Trudeau for resources to address influx of asylum seekers

Promoting Liberal MPs in Quebec may well be a consideration when Trudeau announces his changes. The Liberals hold 40 Quebec seats, including Trudeau’s, and the province will be critical to the party’s fortunes in 2019.

In Ontario, Trudeau’s cabinet changes may be designed to deal with trouble spots that could deteriorate over the coming months between his federal Liberals and the province’s new Progressive Conservative government led by Doug Ford.

Tensions between Ford’s government and Ottawa have deepened over the contentious asylum-seeker issue. Criticism from the Ontario government has come in addition to growing pressure from federal opposition parties on the Liberal government to share more about its plan to deal with the influx of irregular border crossers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 14

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, October 21, 1893 Revelstoke Station is rapidly… Continue reading

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

B.C. has only one bricks-and-mortar marijuana store

New bus route to ‘replace’ Greyhound along Trans-Canada Highway

Rider Express Transportation says they will soon begin a bus service from Winnipeg to Vancouver

Okanagan RCMP detachment hosts recruiting, exam sessions

If you’ve contemplated a career with RCMP, register for sessions at West Kelowna detachment

VIDEO: First legal cannabis purchases as midnight strikes in eastern Canada

Newfoundland and Labrador was the first province to kick off the sale of cannabis, just after midnight local time

Don’t be dazed and confused about legalization

Sitting down with an Okanagan lawyer to clear the haze of marijuana rules

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Demand for legalized cannabis in early hours draws lineups, heavy web traffic

Government-run and privately operated sales portals went live at 12:01 a.m. local time across Canada, eliciting a wave of demand.

Killer-rapist Paul Bernardo set to make parole pitch today

Paul Bernardo, whose very name became synonymous with sadistic sexual perversion, is expected to plead for release on Wednesday.

Hero campaign raises $24,000 for Okanagan non-profits

Lowe’s Canada Heroes campaign was held throughout September

Legal pot shops in the South Okanagan still months in the future

Penticton still working on retail cannabis regulations

Scope of Hurricane Michael’s fury becomes clearer in Florida Panhandle

Nearly 137,000 Florida customers remain without power from the Gulf of Mexico to the Georgia border

Streamlined pardon process for pot possession convictions in Canada

Feds say legalization is first step towards objectives of getting pot out of the hands of kids and eliminating black market

Most Read