Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is expected to be among numerous cabinet ministers headed to new jobs when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reveals the makeup of his next cabinet tomorrow.
Liberal sources tell CBC News they are expecting a significant cabinet shuffle which will include the heads of multiple senior portfolios.
Two to three current ministers are expected to be dropped from the cabinet entirely, sources also say.
The next cabinet will be sworn in Tuesday morning during a ceremony at Rideau Hall.
Trudeau has said the cabinet will have both gender parity and what he has called “proper regional distribution.”
At least one senior minister will be keeping her job. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland has agreed to remain in both roles, Trudeau has said.
While Sajjan will no longer oversee the embattled Department of National Defence — now embroiled in a sexual misconduct crisis in the military’s leadership — he is expected to remain in cabinet with a new portfolio.
Sajjan, a former lieutenant-colonel in the army, has been minister of defence since 2015. The Conservatives and NDP have called for his resignation over accusations that he has failed to respond to the military’s sexual misconduct problems.
Trudeau is expected to select a woman as Canada’s next defence minister. Anita Anand, the current minister of public services and procurement, is considered a top candidate for the job.
Former prime minister Kim Campbell is the only woman ever to serve as Canada’s defence minister. She held the title for the first five months of 1993.
Anand has raised her profile while leading Canada’s vaccine procurement efforts during the pandemic.
Time for some new faces?
Sources say Sean Fraser, who has represented Central Nova since 2015 but has never served in cabinet, is likely to be among those named to cabinet tomorrow.
Marci Ien, the former CTV journalist who now represents Toronto Centre, and Randy Boissonnault, who reclaimed the riding of Edmonton Centre after a defeat in 2019, are also seen as top prospects for cabinet.
Pascale St-Onge, elected in Brome—Missisquoi, is considered one of the few rookies with a chance at nabbing a minister’s role. St-Onge recently worked as a union leader in Quebec’s cultural sector.
The last version of the Liberal cabinet had 37 ministers, including Trudeau. When Trudeau took office in 2015, he named a cabinet of 35 people. The cabinet was shuffled last on Jan. 12, 2021.
Trudeau’s commitment to gender parity and the loss of four women ministers may necessitate several of the changes expected to be revealed tomorrow.
Ministers Maryam Monsef, Bernadette Jordan and Deb Schulte were all defeated in the recent election.
Catherine McKenna, the current minister of infrastructure and communities and the former environment minister, did not seek re-election.