Welcome to Ottawa’s new cabinet.
The #YeeeeeahPrimeMinister’s cabinet is 11% female, up from about 9%. The largest increases are in media and environment, increasing from 2% to 5% and from 1% to 3% respectively.
Looks pretty good to me.
The new cabinet is more diverse in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, and geography as well as more people from Alberta.
But beyond the numbers are the new things Trudeau’s cabinet does. For one, there are fewer Quebec-appointed ministers than there have been in the past, which may mean that more of the federal government’s messaging will take place in the rest of the country. Second, there’s the fact that nearly half the ministers are based outside Quebec, a handful of them from outside Ontario. For the past five years, Quebec has made up about 40% of the cabinet — a number the Prime Minister’s Office says the number of ministers outside of Quebec should help keep down. And as you might expect, about half of the ministers are from Ottawa or are closely connected to it, including Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, who once called Ottawa home.
The size of Trudeau’s cabinet appears to be higher than before, and is the most centrist cabinet since 2011.
There are several interesting players in this shuffle. For example, there’s Lawrence MacAulay, the new federal MP for Elmira, who knows Trudeau personally, is one of the party’s four official candidates in this year’s election and has served as an advisor to Trudeau. The new Environment Minister is Catherine McKenna, another adviser to Trudeau and considered one of the party’s strongest fundraisers in this year’s election. And the new transport minister is Marc Garneau, who came to national prominence last year by winning a court case against the Trudeau government over a plane that broke its tail wing.
Why did Trudeau make such a big change to the team? Maybe because no one was really liking the old cabinet, or because there have been so many departures in this cabinet. Or maybe because the party and party leaders never got around to picking the cabinet. Harper felt like he had to pick the cabinet because it took a lot of time to line it up with the expectations of the Liberals who opposed the 2008 campaign, or because Liberals tended to make cabinet appointments around the Christmas holiday, a particular demarcation that looked particularly wrong given the snap election Harper called. And maybe it was all of the above.
But Trudeau is right: these new ministers look pretty good.