Quantcast
Connect with us

Canada PM Justin Trudeau shuffles cabinet, seeks to reduce reliance on US

Published

on

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shuffled his cabinet on Wednesday ahead of a challenging 2019 election, stressing the need to diversify trade away from the United States while leaving key ministers in place.

Polls show the ruling Liberals are facing an increasing threat from the official opposition Conservatives and Trudeau made 11 changes to freshen up his front bench.

ADVERTISEMENT

In a significant move, trade minister Francois-Philippe Champagne was promoted to the infrastructure portfolio, where he will oversee plans to spend billions of dollars on major projects.

This should allow Champagne – one of the government’s dynamic performers – to spend more time in his home province of Quebec, where Liberals say they must gain seats to stand a chance of keeping their Parliamentary majority in October 2019.

A Nanos Research poll released on Tuesday put the Liberals at 37 percent and the Conservatives at 35 percent, indicating that if an election were held now, Trudeau would end up with a weakened minority government. He would have to rely on opposition parties to govern, undermining his political position.

This would crimp his agenda, which focuses on issues such as increased governmental spending, environmental initiatives and boosting gender equality.

Champagne’s move will have little immediate impact on trade policy, which is dominated by the possibility of U.S. auto tariffs and the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is in charge of ties with the United States, including NAFTA.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trudeau says the strains with Washington show the danger of relying so much on the United States, which takes 75 percent of all Canadian goods exports.

Champagne’s former department has therefore been renamed as the ministry of international trade diversification. It will be led by Jim Carr, previously minister of natural resources.

In the last year Canada has signed free trade deals with the European Union and 10 Asia-Pacific nations.

ADVERTISEMENT

Freeland and Finance Minister Bill Morneau are staying in their positions, as reported by Reuters on Tuesday.

Trudeau also appointed close ally Dominic LeBlanc to the intergovernmental affairs portfolio. He will be in charge of ties with the 10 provinces, which are increasingly uneasy with some of Ottawa’s policies.

ADVERTISEMENT

The new right-wing government in Ontario – which accounts for 36 percent of seats in the House of Commons – says Trudeau has botched the job of handling migrants streaming across the U.S. border.

In Wednesday’s shuffle, Trudeau also created a minister in charge of border security and irregular migration.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Catherine Evans and Dan Grebler

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

Published

on

On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

Published

on

A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Mike Pompeo asks Egypt to stop harassing US citizens

Published

on

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday welcomed Egypt's release of a US citizen but urged the ally to stop harassment of others.

Mohamed Amashah, 24, was freed Monday, nearly 16 months after he was arrested in Cairo's Tahrir Square for holding up a sign seeking the release of prisoners, according to human rights campaigners.

A dual US-Egyptian citizen who lives in New Jersey, he had gone on a hunger strike this year to protest his conditions.

"We thank Egypt for securing his release and his repatriation," Pompeo told a news conference.

"But at the same time, we urge Egyptian officials to stop unwarranted harassment of US citizens and their families who remain there," he said.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image