Canada: government & governance post 2015 election

Written by  //  December 28, 2016  //  Canada, Government & Governance  //  1 Comment

The inner circle: Inside Trudeau’s economic advisory team
Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries, Opposition Critics: The full list
Speech from the Throne transcript

throne-speech-word cloud

On balance not too shabby.
Canadian politics 2016: The year in 12 chapters
John Geddes returns with his annual month-to-month look back at Canada’s national affairs
(Maclean’s) This annual year-end feature cares only for the 12 months of the calendar, selecting just one story from each month in 2016 to sum up this waning year in Canadian federal politics.
Decrying poor old 2016 as a grim, unsettling excuse for a year has become something of a cliché. Perhaps it’s even true of the wide world. How might recent years in Canadian federal politics be ranked, though? One might compare and contrast this 2016 summary with my previous 12-chapter reviews for  2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010. But perhaps it would be better to just go see if there are any cookies and eggnog left.
20 December
Trudeau voted most valuable politician in 2016, despite some political setbacks: The Hill Times’ 20th Annual All Politics Poll
Transport Minister Marc Garneau, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, and Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale ranked the top three cabinet ministers in 2016.
(The Hill Times) Transport Minister Marc Garneau was voted the best cabinet minister in 2016, which may be a surprise because he is not flashy and keeps a relatively low profile, but respondents said he has a strong work ethic and is smart.
Canada’s first astronaut in space told The Hill Times that he loves his job “because it’s a technical portfolio and it’s one that I identify with, so I am genuinely highly motivated towards it. It’s the kind of stuff I like to dig my teeth into, so maybe it shows that I’m enthusiastic about my job.”
One senior official in Transport Canada said Mr. Garneau—who also served in the Canadian Navy, and was first elected to the House of Commons in October 2008— is “an exceptional communicator, is perfectly bilingual, and understands the importance of speaking plainly and directly.”
The official also said that Mr. Garneau is “up for anything,” and has been enthusiastic and open to the ideas of using new platforms and mediums, like Facebook Live events.
“He reads everything. He understands his portfolio really well,” said the official. After the launch of his Transport 2030 vision speech—which Mr. Garneau told The Hill Times was his proudest accomplishment this year.
3 October
Minister Garneau presents his strategy for the future of transportation in Canada: Transportation 2030
The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, is delivering on his commitment to create a safe, secure, green, innovative and integrated transportation system that supports trade and economic growth, a cleaner environment and the well-being of Canadians and their families.
Minister Garneau was at the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal today to present his strategy, Transportation 2030, to over 550 key transportation stakeholders from across the country. The plan is based on the five themes around which the Minister consulted with Canadians, stakeholders, provinces and territories, academics and Indigenous groups over the past six months.
21 October
Trudeau shakes up PS top ranks with more young blood
The latest round of appointments reflects Privy Council Clerk Michael Wernick’s push to rejuvenate the top ranks of the bureaucracy with a better mix of youth and experience. The prime minister is responsible for all senior appointments but they are typically made on the advice of the clerk.
The public service has aged over the years, including its senior executives compared to the 1970s and ‘8os when the public service grew rapidly and it wasn’t unusual for executives to get their first deputy appointments in their 40s.
The Trudeau government has made more than 30 senior public service appointments, and a significant number have been younger appointments than in previous years or were recruited from outside the public service.
18 October
Canada’s largest public sector trade union against the Prime Minister
(RCI) It’s called PSAC- the Public Service Alliance of Canada. It is one of the biggest labour unions in the country, and it’s members are not happy.
PSAC, with about 170,000 members, has begun a media campaign targeting Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The campaign is called “make good on your word”.
The union has been in contract talks for the past two years, first with the Harper Conservative government and since late last year with the Trudeau Liberal government.
PSAC members have also been dealing with substantial problems with a new pay system called Phoenix introduced in February.  Tens of thousands of members have either been underpaid, intermittently paid, or had no cheques at all.
PSAC has been urging the government to repair the system. Chris Aylward, vice-president of the Public Service Alliance of Canada, said in August, “This is a prime example of what happens when you over-rely on technology and try to replace humans with technology. It simply doesn’t work”.
The government said it will have the system repaired by October 31
25 September
The unglamorous life of a Member of Parliament: Jaime Watt
Life on the Hill, particularly for rookie and backbench MPs, can be a lonely, tedious and thankless life away from family and home — but we owe these men and women gratitude for their commitment to Canada
(TorStar) As Parliament returns, there is no shortage of issues on its agenda. These include setting targets on carbon emissions, agreeing to potentially dangerous peacekeeping roles in Africa, changing Canada’s approach to marijuana, decisions on the building of pipelines and on ratification of new free trade agreements, and the fundamental altering of the way Canadians vote in elections.
Amid these important debates, it is often lost on us that we will be represented by 338 members of Parliament, each with a unique point of view, and each with his or her own careers, family and lived experience.
16 September
Chief statistician resigns over government’s failure to ‘protect the independence’ of StatsCan
‘I do not wish to preside over the decline of … a world-leading statistical office,’ says Wayne Smith
Wayne Smith says the government’s decision to create Shared Services Canada and centralize all information technology services across government has compromised Statistics Canada’s ability to fulfil its mandate.
Shared Services was created by the previous government to centralize and standardize information technology across the federal government in a bid to save money. It has struggled to meet expectations with several agencies, including the RCMP and the Canadian Forces, which have complained of data centre crashes, red tape, bad customer service and unpaid bills.
Smith argued that Shared Services holds “an effective veto over many of Statistics Canada’s decisions concerning the collection, processing, storage, analysis and dissemination of official statistics through denial or constructive denial of essential services.”
11 August
Beverley McLachlin calls on Ottawa to solve ‘perpetual crisis’ of judicial vacancies
‘Something deeply wrong’ with current selection process for appointing judges, chief justice says
(CBC) There are currently 44 empty seats on Federal Court benches across the country and one vacancy on the Supreme Court of Canada.
“What I’m calling for in the most positive way is that we start a dialogue with the Justice Department to see how we can remedy what has been an ongoing problem under many, many regimes, many different governments, which has become almost a systemic feature of our judicial appointment process,” McLachlin said after her speech.
1 April
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is bringing senior bureaucrat Serge Dupont back from Washington to be deputy clerk of the Privy Council Office and associate secretary to cabinet.
The job has been vacant since January when Trudeau promoted Michael Wernick to become PCO clerk and the country’s top bureaucrat. Trudeau now has his own picks in the two most senior jobs in the public service.
The Conservative government appointed Dupont in June 2014 to the International Monetary Fund as executive director representing Canada, Ireland, and the Caribbean.
26 March
Crowley: The feds must step up on internal trade barriers
The provinces are too busy protecting local interest groups to protect Canadians’ rights in this area. Ottawa alone has the authority and legitimacy to do it, but not yet the will.
(Ottawa Citizen) These barriers are not a matter of intergovernmental bureaucratic negotiations. They touch the most fundamental rights of individual Canadians. How we earn our livelihood, the professions we choose, the goods we make, the commercial relations we establish are just as central to our identity and dignity as any others in the pantheon of liberal-democratic rights.
24 March
Why an extra $384M might not get Shared Services over the hump
We’re happy some of the funding cuts are being returned,” said one Shared Services official who spoke on condition of anonymity, “but we’re worried this money will be spent just in legacy (older data centres and telecommunications networks) keeping the lights on, and not to advance our consolidation mandates.”
The latter refers to Shared Services’ efforts to collapse 63 email systems into one, consolidate nearly 500 data centres into a handful and streamline the government’s telecommunications.
21 March
Rudny & McKinney: Making government information more accessible
(National Post) To be fair …  the Treasury Board Secretariat has done a laudable job of creating an open data program and the 2014 Directive on Open Government included a commitment to being open by default.
No one expects “open by default” to be implemented overnight. There are many steps to take — from reforming the ATI system to dealing with Crown copyright — and the road is long. Some information will also need to be kept within government for reasons of privacy and security.
But the first step is to assess where things stand and share that benchmark with Canadians. If the federal government is going to become more open, it needs to be transparent about the progress it is making on that front.
20 March
Journalists-turned-politicians playing key role in Commons’ media study
(National Observer) The study [by a House of Commons heritage committee] began in February amidst a wave of change in Canadian newsrooms.
What they’ve heard so far is not encouraging: a decision by the former government to stop advertising in community papers, for example, has seen some publications lose more than half their budgets. Three French-language community radio stations no longer have any paid staff. Since 2011, 20 out of 122 daily newspapers have closed, including two in 2016, according to a presentation to the committee from the Heritage department.
But the committee is also tackling bigger questions about the future of a free press in Canada and the impact digital-only publications have on the age-old question of who is a journalist, or who polices the quality and veracity of content both online and on the air.
21 February
Céline Cooper: Before any Constitution talk, let’s get to know young voters in Quebec
Just because young Quebecers seem less interested in sovereignty doesn’t necessarily mean they’re federalists, Celine Cooper writes
At some point, the Constitutional issue will need to be addressed. It’s true that public support for Quebec sovereignty appears to be on the decline, particularly among younger generations. Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard himself is on the record as saying that signing the Constitution would be a symbol of Canadian unity. It could also be important step in building relations between Canada and those in Quebec who feel Pierre Trudeau betrayed them on that night in November 1981.
My question is whether the current Liberal government led by Justin Trudeau should be the one to spearhead such an undertaking. I also wonder whether now is the right time to re-open the debate.
Resolving the Constitutional conundrum will take a new generation of leaders and thinkers well-versed in the nuances of the Quebec Question and invested in the issues, but lacking the scar tissue from previous Constitutional battles. For better or worse, Trudeau wears his father’s legacy. I wonder about the political impact this could have. Furthermore, his government has given no indication that re-opening the Constitution is among its priorities (in a first mandate, at least).
Still, [Robert] Libman is right to open this conversation. Resolving the question of Quebec’s place in Canada would allow us to move forward together on some of the more pressing issues facing the federation, including climate change, international security, energy policy, immigration, indigenous issues, and our national dependence on resource-based economies.
20 February
Trudeau government starting to live dangerously: Hébert
There is mounting evidence that Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has reached the point where it is living dangerously.
While the prime minister dithers, the national conversation deteriorates.
14 February
No more ‘gift’ appointments: A rare interview with Canada’s top bureaucrat
(Globe & Mail) Michael Wernick, recently installed as the new Clerk of the Privy Council and the Prime Minister’s most senior adviser from the public service, has been given an important assignment by the man who appointed him: to advise on how to make a wide range of cabinet appointments – including that of his own future replacement – subject to more scrutiny
11 February
Trudeau’s First 100 Days: All The Promises The Prime Minister Has Kept, And Broken, So Far
Justin Trudeau made 214 of them during last fall’s marathon election campaign, according to TrudeauMetre.ca, a non-partisan, citizen-driven website that tracks if and when the prime minister delivers on his commitments.
As his Liberal government prepares to mark its 100th day in power Friday, the website reckons Trudeau has so far delivered on 13 promises, started 29 more and broken at least two.
A number of big promises, such as a new child care benefit and massive infrastructure investments, are expected in the Trudeau government’s maiden budget late next month.
PROMISES KEPT
— A more open, accessible style of governance, working with provincial and municipal leaders and striking a less adversarial tone.
— A cabinet with as many women as men.
— A 20.5 per cent income tax rate for Canadians earning between $45,282 and $90,563, down from 22 per cent.
— A new 33 per cent tax bracket on income of more than $200,000.
— Restore the mandatory long-form census.
— Unmuzzle scientists.
— An arm’s-length advisory body to recommend merit-based nominees for the Senate.
— Withdraw Canadian fighter jets from Syria and Iraq. This week, Trudeau said the jets will be coming home by Feb. 22 while the government beefs up humanitarian aid and military support to train Iraqi ground forces.
— Improve access to and reduce the cost of prescription drugs. The federal government has joined the provinces in a cheaper bulk-buying scheme.
6 February
More on decision-making
Liberals Using Consultations As Cover To Avoid Making Decisions: Tory Critics
(HuffPost) There are consultations underway — or soon to begin — on everything from the pre-budget submissions (the department says there has been a record level of public participation), to CBC’s future, to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP), to Canada Post home delivery, to legalizing marijuana, to employment insurance reforms, to a full review of the environmental assessment process, to changes to the electoral system, to ending gender-based violence, to Canada’s official languages act, to consultations on what the inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women and girls should look like, to future child care delivery models in Canada, to a pan-Canadian climate change plan, to changes to the Access to Information system, to an open government plan, to the sustainability of fish stocks, and the list goes on.
Critics say the sheer number of consultations is an attempt by Trudeau to avoid making decisions that will displease some Liberal voters. The government defends the move by saying Canadians are thirsty to be involved in the decision-making process.
5 February
Don’t know if this decision had anything to do with the hiring of Dan Gardner, but I applaud it!
Mother Canada veterans affairsParks Canada cancels involvement in Mother Canada memorial
A controversial war memorial incorporating a seven-storey-high statue called “Mother Canada” that was championed by the former Conservative government of Stephen Harper will not be built on the rocky shores of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, says the head of Parks Canada.
Its cancellation comes less than two months after the new Liberal government downsized and moved the planned site of another contentious monument – that one to the victims of communism – from a prominent spot next to the Supreme Court building in Ottawa selected by the Conservative government. (National Observer) Parks Canada rejects Mother Canada memorial ; (CBC) Mother Canada project won’t go ahead in Cape Breton park (National Observer) Mother Canada statue spiralled out of control, design firm partner alleges
4 February
Trudeau hires decision-making expert to aid Prime Minister’s Office
(Globe & Mail) Dan Gardner, a former Ottawa Citizen columnist and, until yesterday, the editor of Policy Options.
“I’m going to bring, I hope, a critical perspective, where I look at the work that’s going on, the decision-making that’s going on, and I try to apply exactly the things which I talk about in Superforecasting and my other books.”
2 February
Harper government broke rules when transferring historic land: watchdog
The controversial deal, now under review by the Liberal government, transferred a chunk of federal land for a new hospital at the site of the Central Experimental Farm, used for government agricultural, climate and other scientific research in Ottawa since 1886.
30 January
Parliament is back and now the real fun begins
Meet the Commons committees of the 42nd Parliament
Whips for the three political parties with enough MPs for official party status — the Liberals, Conservatives and New Democrats — worked out the assignments this week and reported back.
Here are a few things to know about committees in this session ….
25 January
Justin Trudeau spars with Tories over economy and pipelines as Parliament re-opens (National Observer) ; Trudeau plans repeal of Tories’ union, citizenship laws as Parliament returns — Parliamentary oversight for Canada’s national security agencies also high on Liberals’ agenda (CBC)
Accused of ‘swanning’ around Davos, Trudeau called to mediate Energy East
Commons Sketch | Aaron Wherry offers his observations of the first question period of the new sitting
23 January
L. Ian MacDonald: This is not the way to treat a clerk of the Privy Council, Mr. Trudeau
(iPolitics) In his statement from Davos, Trudeau had the good sense to thank Charette “for her exemplary service to Canada”, as well as for guiding “the public service through an election year and my government through a seamless transition.”
But it’s not a seamless transition in PCO, far from it. In the normal course of events, Trudeau would have waited until the summer, allowing her more than just 15 months on the job. … Charette, highly popular with her staff and well regarded by the PS, has been left “pending”. The town has taken note.
20 January
Trudeau names new top bureaucrat to renew ‘non-partisan’ public service
Current Clerk of the Privy Council, Janice Charette, was appointed by Harper 18 months ago
Michael Wernick, who currently serves under Charette as the deputy clerk of the Privy Council, has held a number of top jobs in the bureaucracy. He was deputy minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development from May 2006 to July 2014 and a senior advisor to the Privy Council Office from July to September 2014.
During his tenure at Aboriginal Affairs, Wernick helped implement the Indian Residential Schools settlement, and concluded a number of modern treaties and new self-government arrangements with First Nations.
18 January
Trudeau cabinet retreats to New Brunswick to plot course for budget
Two-day gathering will allow colleagues to get acquainted and learn more about delivering on promises
All 30 members of Trudeau’s cabinet are attending the day-and-a half retreat, along with special guest Michael Barber, author of “How to Run a Government so that Citizens Benefit and Taxpayers Don’t go Crazy.”
This retreat is also the first opportunity for cabinet ministers to get to know each other a little better, especially those who must work together on some of the government’s larger and more complex commitments.The public inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, for instance, requires the close collaboration of the ministers of Justice, Indigenous Affairs and Status of Women. With busy and often conflicting schedules in Ottawa, officials in the prime minister’s office hope the seclusion of St. Andrews will give ministers valuable face time to work on several files.
9 January
All Pearson, no Pierre – Inside Trudeau’s inner circle
Aiming to open up the decision-making process, the Prime Minister is gambling that a free-flowing workplace will allow his new team to flourish – and still get the job done, reports Adam Radwanski
(Globe & Mail) it has been striking to hear some government insiders use the word “Pearsonian” to describe what Justin Trudeau is aiming for in his PMO.
… he is as much trying to stay in touch with the more fluid management practices of the Google era.
… he is pushing, harder than just about any prime minister since his father, for a less centralized and regimented, more open and collaborative decision-making process than Ottawa has been conditioned to expect. If it works, it will produce more innovative and well-considered policies than would otherwise be possible; if it fails, a lack of discipline could make things messy in a hurry.
With the PMO having reached roughly 100 members by the time he took over from Mr. Harper, it appears Mr. Trudeau will attempt to shrink it again – although by how much won’t be clear until hiring has been completed, early this year. More ambitious and fraught is an attempt at a mostly “flat,” non-hierarchical organizational structure for upper-level staff, facilitating the looser, more free-flowing working culture.
7 January
John Ibbitson: The Trudeau government is looking a lot like the Harper government
Progressive voters who hoped Justin Trudeau would abruptly shift the federal government to the left once he became Prime Minister must be in despair as the new regime announces one conservative-friendly policy after another – further proof that when it comes to the really big decisions, the imperative of protecting jobs and the economy trumps human rights, the environment and other concerns in these difficult days.

2015

Mauril Bélanger to be honorary Speaker for House of Commons
Ottawa-Vanier MP withdrew from Speaker’s race Nov.30, revealing his diagnosis with Lou Gehrig’s disease
(CBC) Fellow Ottawa MP and Government Whip Andrew Leslie presented a motion Thursday following question period, as family members and friends of Bélanger looked on from the visitor’s gallery..
8 December
How often should Prime Minister Trudeau be at QP?
(Maclean’s) Justin Trudeau is suggesting a Prime Minister’s question period. But Tom Mulcair worries that will mean less accountability
Though the Liberal proposal has not yet, to my knowledge, been comprehensively detailed, the reference to a “Prime Minister’s question period” suggests something like the British approach, whereby the prime minister appears in the House every Wednesday to take questions from MPs, both opposition leaders and backbenchers.
7 December
Liberals ask 33 Harper appointees to step aside ‘voluntarily’
Letter says recipients are welcome to reapply under new appointments process
Trudeau confident in Question Period debut as Prime Minister. But there’s room for improvement
John Ibbitson
His tone was poised and confident, if at times a bit breathless. His biggest problem is his syntax: “Ongoing, right now, continue to be air strikes. We have committed to end those air strikes and to transform our engagement in a different way, equally militarily, to ensure that Canada continues to be a strong member of the coalition fighting against ISIS.”
The substantive question is, what does “equally militarily” mean? What is equal to firing missiles at the enemy? In terms of sentence structure, Mr. Trudeau’s answers will doubtless become more assured over time.
4 December
Throne speech promises new tone, tax cut and turning point for First Nations
Conservative Opposition pans ‘big government and big spending’
The Liberal government has promised a new tone for Parliament in a throne speech that sets an “ambitious” agenda of tax cuts for the middle class, a more robust peacekeeping role and a new health-care deal with the provinces.

Friday’s 15-minute address, titled “Making Real Change Happen,” also commits to building a new relationship between Canada and First Nations based on respect and a recognition of rights.
The promise to renew, nation-to-nation, the relationship with Indigenous Peoples comes with commitments to improve education, to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and to implement recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
The throne speech also promised to usher in a new tone for Parliament, which has been marred by partisan bickering in recent years.
Throne speech heralds hope of new relationship with Aboriginal Peoples
(iPolitics) The speech, delivered in the Senate chamber by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, presented in broad strokes the government’s plans and priorities for the 42nd Parliament.
delivered in the Senate chamber by Gov. Gen. David Johnston, heralded the start of a new partnership with First Nations, Metis and Inuit people.
“Because it is both the right thing to do and a certain path to economic growth, the government will undertake to renew, nation-to-nation, the relationship between Canada and indigenous peoples — one based on recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership,” Johnston said.
The government will work jointly to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which explored the dark legacy of Canada’s now-defunct residential school system.
3 December
Liberals announce process to choose new independent senators
(CTV News) The federal government is creating an independent advisory body to recommend nominees for appointment to the Senate, promising to choose candidates based on their merit, not their political leanings.
The new advisory board will consist of five members: one federal chair, two permanent members, and two 2 ad hoc members chosen from the provinces or territories where the Senate has vacancies.
Candidates will be chosen based on their merit, including a “demonstrated record of service to their community, the public, or their chosen field of expertise,” [Democratic Reform Minister Maryam] Monsef said.
(Maclean’s) … a transition advisory board will move to pick five senators right away: two from Ontario, two from Manitoba and one from Quebec, in order to restore a better regional balance in the standings.
House Leader Dominic LeBlanc says one of the new independent senators will be named the government representative in the Senate.
And he says Sen. George Furey will be the new speaker, replacing Conservative Leo Housakos.
And of course, Liberal plan to pick ‘non-partisan’ senators draws quick criticism
B.C. Premier Christy Clark slams reforms; NDP calls plan an ‘inadequate fix’ – so much for the warm and fuzzy Paris pictures.
Kyle Matthews: Is Canada ‘back’? Not quite, but here’s how it can get there
Though change is already palpable, here are seven steps the Trudeau government can take to re-engage Canada in the world.
(Open Canada) The first is to invest in and support Canadian youth. The government should seize the moment and increase internship opportunities for young Canadians in international organizations and non-governmental organizations by re-establishing the “International Youth Internship Program,” which was shut down by the past Conservative government.
Second, help and support young Canadians to enter and have a career in the UN system. While everyone noticed the Conservative government was not a great fan of multilateralism, nobody took notice that the Canada closed the door on the JPO program, which effectively blocked young Canadian diplomats from working for UNICEF, the World Food Program, the UN Development Program and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
Third, re-establish important Canadian institutions that were shut down over the past decade to the detriment of Canada’s role in the world.  Rights and Democracy, the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, and the North South Institute were defunded and shuttered, depriving Canada of numerous world-class institutes and think tanks, while simultaneously weakening our collective influence in the world.
Martin Patriquin: Meet the new partisans. Same as the old partisans.
Attacking the media over ‘Nannygate.’ Silence on the hiring of former oil execs. Turns out Liberal partisans are a lot like Conservative ones.
(Maclean’s) During the election, the Liberals turfed Liberal campaign adviser Dan Gagnier when it came out that he was simultaneously on the payroll of TransCanada, the energy infrastructure giant currently lobbying to put various pipelines into Canadian soil. “The finance minister will be critical” for TransCanada fortunes, Gagnier wrote in a letter to the company. Coincidence or not, among the first hires by Finance Minister Bill Morneau: senior special assistant Sharan Kaur, a former communications specialist with … TransCanada.
And yesterday, as Liberal partisans decried so-called nannygate, came the news that Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr had hired a former vice-president with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers as his chief of staff.
2 December
Trudeau Names 35 Parliamentary Secretaries, Including 3 To Work With Him
(HuffPost) Considered junior ministers, high-performing parliamentary secretaries often get promoted to the front bench. It’s also a pretty decent consolation prize for those passed over for cabinet.
Celina Caesar-Chavannes, a rookie MP from the Ontario riding of Whitby, has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister. The appointment means Caesar-Chavannes will likely have to answer for Trudeau when he is outside of the Commons — and possibly even when he is.
Peter Schiefke, a new MP from the Quebec riding of Vaudreuil–Soulanges, has been named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister (youth). Schiefke, who is in his 30s, co-founded Youth Action Canada, an organization that encourages young people to fight climate change.
Vancouver MP Joyce Murray, a former British Columbia environment minister who ran against Trudeau for the Liberal leadership in 2013, will be parliamentary secretary to Scott Brison, the president of the Treasury Board.
First-time MP Karen McCrimmon, who represents the Ottawa riding of Kanata-Carleton, will be parliamentary secretary to Kent Hehr, the minister of veterans affairs and associate minister of national defence.
1-2 December
Really, really bad optics – doesn’t go with all the good governance talk,  but should be soon forgotten
Trudeau nanniesTrudeau’s Nanny Controversy: Liberals Says PM Will Adjust Staff Complement — the Trudeau caregivers are not additional full-time hires at the prime minister’s residence — news that seems to have deflated some of the criticism.
The PM’s nannies: In politics, people remember the little things
(Globe & Mail editorial) After saying in the last election campaign that upper-income people like him should pay their own freight when it comes to child care, and after winning on a platform of bulking up taxpayer assistance for middle-class parents while slimming it down for the wealthy, it emerges that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has hired two government-paid nannies. Sorry, “special assistants” who will also act as “secondary caregivers” for his three young children.
Matt Gurney: Two nannies? I’m sorry, Prime Minister, but no
30 November
New code of conduct introduced for political aides
(Ottawa Citizen) Karl Salgo, formerly of the Privy Council Office and now executive director of public governance at the Institute on Governance, said the guide doesn’t break new ground, but is the first attempt to pull together the rules — written and unwritten — in a single code that will be enforced as a condition of employment. Treasury Board, for example, has long had policies on communications and ministers’ offices.
“This is not a change in rules but rather a codification of established principles that has not previously been brought together as comprehensively nor as authoritatively,” he said.
Salgo said the code is now the most “authoritative” statement on the boundaries around the relationship between political aides and public servants, and puts the onus on staffers to know and live by those rules. He argued more structure should improve compliance.
29 November
Trudeau era to start with sweeping parliamentary reforms, empowerment of MPs
(National Observer) The Justin Trudeau era begins in earnest Friday with all the pomp of a traditional speech from the throne.
But thereafter, the new Liberal government is aiming to break from tradition, promising to transform the way Parliament operates to empower backbenchers, diminish partisanship, restore civility, make government more accountable, be more family friendly and create a more independent Senate. …
The shift will start with the text of the throne speech itself – expected to be a short, factual recitation of the government’s priorities, recapping the highlights of the Liberal election platform with minimal rhetorical flourishes.
The House of Commons will sit for a week before taking an extended Christmas break, just long enough to pass a motion putting into effect two of the central platform planks: a tax cut for middle-income earners and tax hike for the wealthiest one per cent.
The sweeping democratic reforms promised by Trudeau will take longer to implement but government House leader Dominic LeBlanc intends to set the wheels in motion immediately so that changes can go into effect soon after the Commons returns in late January.
Pierre Trudeau’s desk retrieved from storage for his son to use
Former prime minister Stephen Harper’s desk dismantled, moved to warehouse
The desk was made around 1880 and was used not only by Pierre Trudeau, but by former prime ministers Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Lester B. Pearson, Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin as well.
26 November
Segal resigns from advisory committee on public service – but still offers advice
(Ottawa Citizen) At the top of Segal’s list is undoing the reforms of the Conservatives’ signature Federal Accountability Act, which he called “over-the-top, excessive and destructive” of the capacity of the public service to get things done while complying with all rules and controls.
It has reached the point, Segal says, where senior executives don’t have as much authority or discretion as a front line border guard who is expected to use on-the-spot judgment when screening those crossing the border.
He said the Liberals should reinstate a long-standing rule, which allowed political staffers access to the priority list for jobs in the public service if they spent three years in a ministers’ office. The Conservatives abolished it in the accountability act, which Segal said helped create a highly partisan corps of political staffers working for Conservative ministers.
He argues a career option of joining the public service could have tempered the behaviour of these staffers, better balancing issues other than the political interests of their bosses.
Harper’s poisoned gift puts Trudeau government in a bind
(National Observer) With the 2015 election approaching in October, Harper packed boards, agencies and courts in June with a flurry of patronage appointments extending years ahead in many instances.
Out of the more than 70 appointments Harper made, he particularly loaded up the courts and the National Energy Board (NEB) with extensions to four board members’ terms in the latter instance.
The extension of the terms to the NEB could cause potential problems for Jim Carr, the Natural Resources Minister, as he moves forward with his mandate to “modernize the board.”
Petition calls on Trudeau to cancel Harper’s ‘future appointments’
(iPolitics) A new online petition is calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to cancel 49 “future appointments” made by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government, saying they were a blatant attempt to maintain Conservative influence over several government bodies after the Conservative government was defeated.
The petition comes after iPolitics revealed that Harper’s cabinet quietly stacked government agencies and crown corporations with dozens of “future appointments,” and early appointment renewals in the final weeks of its regime. While some had been due to come up for renewal in November and December, others were renewed up to a year in advance of when they had been scheduled to expire and made effective the date the appointees’ current term was due to end.
In the case of the National Energy Board, which regulates the construction of pipelines and the import of oil and natural gas, the move means the Trudeau government won’t be able to appoint anyone to the board for years.
6 November
DFATD gets a new name: Global Affairs Canada
(Embassy) Not all of the changes were as aesthetically pleasing: Industry Canada was changed to Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada. Other changes included:
Citizenship and Immigration Canada to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada;
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada;
Public Works and Government Services Canada to Public Services and Procurement Canada; and
Environment Canada to Environment and Climate Change Canada
4 November
Meet eight Liberal ministers with the toughest jobs in government: delivering on an electorate’s sky-high hopes

New Liberal cabinet 2015

Adam Goldenberg: The subtle Americanism of Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet
Should accomplished Canadians who aren’t career civil servants have to win seats in Parliament to serve in government?
(Policy Options) … if we view ministerial expertise, influenced as it may be by partisanship, as a potential asset in making and implementing sound public policy, then is it really such a leap to suggest that we might tolerate the appointment of subject-matter experts with the right political connections to other senior roles? We’d expand the pool of talent available to fill positions in government, and we wouldn’t even come close to emulating the U.S. model in its entirety. Should an accomplished Canadian who isn’t prepared to be a career civil servant really have to win a seat in Parliament before our government can benefit from his or her experience?
Defenders of the status quo will bristle at the mere suggestion of appointing partisans – be sure to sneer when you say it – to senior roles in government outside of ministers’ offices. There certainly are good reasons to resist reform. Canadian governments more easily build and benefit from institutional memory than U.S. administrations do, and all the expertise and professional experience in the world can’t replace a deep understanding of how to navigate bureaucratic processes and roll out a government’s priorities across dozens of departments and agencies. There may also be some areas of public policy that we should want to keep out of political hands – though the extent to which we actually do so now is hardly clear.
In selecting certain Cabinet members for their subject-matter expertise, however, Mr. Trudeau has opened the door to a broader discussion about how senior positions in our government are filled. At this point, all he’s done is signalled a subtle shift in the way ministers are made; his choices may yet only reflect a desire to show off the depth and breadth of his Liberal team. But they might also represent the beginning of a change in how we staff the senior ranks.
That’s a conversation that many in Ottawa would prefer not to have, but perhaps its time has come. After all, it’s 2015.
6 November
Justin Trudeau’s 5 female ‘ministers of state’ are full ministers after all
(CBC News) It’s just a matter of the Treasury Board statutes catching up to reality.
Previous cabinets have offered a mix of “full” ministers and lower-ranking ministers of state. Wednesday’s oath-taking swore in 30 men and women who used the word “minister” only. … Some of the Treasury Board statutes pertaining to cabinet roles, however, have to be changed to give all these roles full ministerial status and salaries, retroactive to Wednesday.
Those changes can’t just happen overnight, the source said, but will happen pretty quickly.
The new president of the Treasury Board, Scott Brison, was, after all, only sworn in a few minutes before the female ministers in question.
4 November
Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal cabinet: full list and bios
Newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is championing equality and diversity.
Just check out his cabinet, which reflects the diversity of a nation
. (Upworthy video)
Your Cabinet
Who’s in cabinet: Trudeau and his 30-member team sworn in
(Ottawa Citizen) Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched a new era in Canada federal politics Wednesday as his majority Liberal government took office and a cabinet of political veterans and rookie MPs was sworn in.
Trudeau appointed 30 members to his cabinet, half of them women. Eighteen of the newly minted ministers are rookies who won election for the first time on Oct. 19.
The new prime minister has turned to experienced hands for some of the most senior portfolios, while also putting his trust in newcomers to run other departments.
First-time MP Catherine McKenna, from Ottawa Centre, has been appointed environment minister. The other new Liberal star from the area, Orléans MP Andrew Leslie, a former lieutenant general in the Canadian military, was not appointed to cabinet.
Update:
Heritage minister Mélanie Joly will be responsible for the NCC
A day after Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet was sworn in at Rideau Hall, newly appointed Minister for Canadian Heritage Mélanie Joly was named as the minister responsible for the National Capital Commission and its troublesome political files.
With a board of political appointees, the NCC has often been a lightning rod for controversy, most recently when it approved a plan to build the Memorial to the Victims of Communism on a site west of the Supreme Court of Canada.
Get to know Justin Trudeau’s first cabinet
The ministry includes parliamentary rookies and veterans of governments past
(Maclean’s) One is a 30-year-old refugee from Afghanistan who’s brand new to the House of Commons. Another is a P.E.I. farmer who was first elected to Parliament 27 years ago. Nobody can dismiss Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s 31-person cabinet as a boring group of political hacks. Trudeau had to pick his ministry from a caucus rich with rookies and, thankfully for those newbies, stocked with survivors of cabinets past.
We dug into each cabinet minister’s biography and learned a few things: where they’ve from, how they made a living before Parliament, and even some oddball facts that add a little colour. (Guess which newly anointed Government House Leader was once Trudeau’s babysitter.)
Browse through this interactive group photo and learn a little bit more about the faces of the Trudeau era
Justin Trudeau’s new Liberal cabinet: full list and bios
From veteran MPs to political newbies, CTVNews.ca has compiled some facts and biographical information about everyone chosen to be part of Justin Trudeau’s cabinet.
Justin Trudeau présente un Conseil des ministres paritaire et diversifié
(RCI) Près de 50 ans après son père, Justin Trudeau a été assermenté à titre de premier ministre du Canada. L’homme de 43 ans est ainsi devenu le 23e premier ministre de l’histoire canadienne.
M. Trudeau a prêté serment devant deux anciens premiers ministres libéraux et ministres sous son père : Jean Chrétien et John Turner. Assis à la première rangée des dignitaires, les deux hommes ont assisté à l’assermentation du fils de celui qu’ils ont servi dans les années 1970, Pierre Elliott Trudeau.
Cabinet swearing-in ceremony to be shown on outdoor screens at Rideau Hall
Public invited to be part of historic day at Rideau Hall to install Justin Trudeau as 23rd prime minister
The office of Gov. Gen. David Johnston has issued a “public invitation” to Wednesday’s historic event. Grounds will be open as of 9 a.m. ET so members of the public can watch as prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau and his appointed cabinet ministers arrive.
Instead of the line-up of private cars that typically arrive one-by-one to drop off incoming ministers, Trudeau and his team will arrive together, then walk up the driveway to the governor general’s official residence.
Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper will meet privately with the governor general to officially resign.
While the grounds to Rideau Hall have been open to the public for past cabinet swearing-in ceremonies, this is the first time an open invitation has been issued to Canadians, according to Rideau Hall.

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (second from left) wearing dark glasses, arrives with members of his new cabinet for swearing in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa, July 6, 1968. Saturday. Left to right are: James Richardson, minister without portfolio, D.C. Jamieson, (partly hidden), minister without portfolio, Trudeau, Justice Minister John Turner, Jean Marchand, Forestry Minister, and Gerard Pelletier, State Secretary. Ten years after his death, and more than four decades after it was taken, the photo of Pierre Trudeau striding up the drive at Rideau Hall - flanked by his dark-suited cabinet-to-be - still packs a blast of movie-star, hipster cool. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ball

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (second from left) wearing dark glasses, arrives with members of his new cabinet for swearing in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa, July 6, 1968. Saturday. Left to right are: James Richardson, minister without portfolio, D.C. Jamieson, (partly hidden), minister without portfolio, Trudeau, Justice Minister John Turner, Jean Marchand, Forestry Minister, and Gerard Pelletier, State Secretary. Ten years after his death, and more than four decades after it was taken, the photo of Pierre Trudeau striding up the drive at Rideau Hall – flanked by his dark-suited cabinet-to-be – still packs a blast of movie-star, hipster cool. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Doug Ball

Trudeau’s Swearing-In Was So Badass In 1968
Justin Trudeau is set to be sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister on Wednesday.
And the big question is: will he stroll up to Rideau Hall looking like a character out of “Reservoir Dogs,” like his father before him?
Wednesday will mark the first time in Canadian history that a prime minister’s son will hold the office.
The occasion will surely stir some memories of Pierre Trudeau’s time in the role (1968 to 1979 and 1980 to 1984).
Like this picture, in which he and members of his cabinet arrived at Government House for swearing-in ceremonies in 1968.
Many New Liberal MPs Have Compelling Resumes, Eclectic Credentials
(HuffPost) Much has been made of Justin Trudeau’s hand-picked star recruits, newly minted MPs who may be in line for a cabinet post.
They include: aboriginal leader Jody Wilson-Raybould; millionaire businessman Bill Morneau; former Manitoba business council head Jim Carr; retired general Andrew Leslie; former Toronto police chief Bill Blair; former Alberta legislators Kent Hehr and Darshan Kang; retired lieutenant-colonel and combat veteran Harjit Singh Sajjan; Montreal mayoral runner-up Melanie Joly.
But there are dozens of lesser-known new MPs with impressive and eclectic credentials, some of whom could also wind up in cabinet, leading influential parliamentary committees or serving as parliamentary secretaries.
Why Cabinet Quotas Are Good For Canada
(HuffPost) The past couple days have seen plenty of pundits declaring the merits of “meritocracy” in the face of Justin Trudeau’s dastardly plan for “politically correct” cabinet quotas that call for gender parity and more minority inclusion.
The point Trudeau was trying to make, and which meritocrats are refusing to acknowledge, is that there are incredible candidates from not only across Canada but who also look like Canada.
And a cabinet that actually reflects our country would be real change.
2 November
Liberals to restore mandatory long-form census
New Liberal government will make restoring long-form census one of their first acts after taking office Wednesday.
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau and his cabinet are expected to move quickly on the formal decision to reinstate the mandatory questionnaire that was axed by the Conservatives in 2010, the Star has learned.
The move, seen as vital by those who rely on the census data, is an important symbolic one, too, for the Liberals, demonstrating a commitment to science-based policy while taking the first steps of undoing the legacy of almost a decade of Conservative rule.
“It will be fairly easy because it doesn’t take legislation. All it requires is cabinet saying so,” said Ivan Fellegi, who served as Canada’s chief statistician for 23 years and retired in 2008.

TRUDEAU’S FIRST CHALLENGES
LEGAL REFORM || ENVIRONMENT || FOREIGN AFFAIRS
GOVERNANCE || THE ECONOMY || HEALTH CARE
(Globe & Mail) … an impatient and conflicted electorate will expect the incoming administration to move swiftly to meet those promises. Hope and change can quickly curdle. Just ask those who expected Barack Obama to calm the waters and bind his nation’s wounds overnight.
The good news is that many of the Liberal promises, especially in the areas of public-service reform and social policy, don’t cost any real money.
For some issues, such as missing and murdered indigenous women, voting reform, and legalizing marijuana, appointing a task force or commission and giving it a deadline to deliver recommendations can buy the government time to manage its agenda.
The bad news is that in areas such as health care, environmental policy and infrastructure spending, the challenges are complex and the solutions expensive. And those solutions must be reached in collaboration with stakeholders – business, labour and environmental leaders, nonprofits and NGOs, and premiers. Above all, premiers. 23 October 2015

Justin Trudeau’s electoral reform plan needs to ‘get going’
Holding a referendum on the issue would likely thwart reform, professor says
There are benefits to the current plurality system. It produces more stable governments, more parliamentary majorities — which in turn make governing more effective and productive. A switch would likely create more coalitions and increase the frequency of elections.
But advocates for reform … say the current system distorts election results, since the share of seats a party wins is seldom proportional to its share of the votes.
(CBC) While it may not seem like one of his more pressing issues, Trudeau has said he would introduce legislation on voting reform within 18 months of forming a government, based on the recommendations of an all-party parliamentary committee to study alternative voting systems, including proportional representation and ranked ballots.
That timeframe may be overly ambitious, suggests David McLaughlin, who was deputy minister to the New Brunswick Commission on Legislative Democracy.
But a change to Canada’s voting system does not necessarily require any constitutional considerations — only an amendment to the Canada Elections Act through Parliament. Trudeau’s majority government has the votes to pass this, but the amendment would still likely entail parliamentary hearings and face opposition from the other parties, in particular the Conservatives.
If a new system is chosen, new electoral boundaries would likely have to be drawn, a process, depending on the change, that could take a year. Not to mention the time Elections Canada would need to launch an information campaign.
30 October
Justin Trudeau’s First Cabinet: The Top Contenders To Join His Inner Circle
The task of crafting a cabinet is not enviable. Trudeau has 183 MPs, elected from every province and territory of the country. He must balance regional representation, ethnicity, religion, language, and gender.
Trudeau has already committed to having an equal number of men and women. He has also pledged to have a smaller cabinet. Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper‘s cabinet currently has 39 members. Trudeau is expected to announce 28 to 30 ministers.
“Cabinet making is very difficult, because you have to say no to loyal soldiers, you have to say no to people you know full well are highly qualified but they don’t fit,” said Donald Savoie, the Canada research chair in public administration and governance at the Université de Moncton.
With a pledge for a smaller cabinet, Savoie told The Huffington Post Canada, he is certain there will be Liberal MPs with immense talent left out.
29 October
emay_june2014Fixing what Harper broke: A to-do list for the incoming government
By Elizabeth May
(rabble.ca) We need a stock-taking. A “to-do” list. Some of what the Harper administration broke will be easy to fix; much will be very hard indeed.
What we must do is insist the damage be reversed. There is an equally long list of steps to take moving forward — but we need to repair immense damage to nearly every aspect of federal law and policy.
Here’s a start:
1) Fixing security law:
Repeal Bill C-51. As a compromise, the Liberals could amend part 2 (No Fly lists) while repealing Parts 1 (info sharing), 3 (terrorism in general propaganda), 4 (the most dangerous, unleashing CSIS as covert disruptors) and 5 (allowing evidence obtained by torture).
Repeal C-44 — allowing CSIS agents to operate over-seas.
Repeal C-38 — with a section eliminating the Inspector General for CSIS.
Repeal C-3 (2007 legislation that introduced unconstitutional security certificates).
Instead — build security law drawn from advice from the Arar and Air India Commissions of Inquiry.
2) Rebuilding our criminal law system: … Read on. It’s a long list and worth preserving
23 October
Justin Trudeau faces crucial test in picking finance, environment ministers: Hébert
Justin Trudeau’s picks for the finance and environment portfolios are the ones that stand to define his rookie government.
The cabinet Justin Trudeau unveils on Nov. 4 will have to hit the ground running.
On Tuesday, Trudeau said he expected his future ministers to be “actual deciders.” Time will tell how much real autonomy that job description will entail. What is certain is that the men and women who make up the first Liberal cabinet in a decade will all have their work cut out for them clearing an overloaded policy agenda.
Over and above all other cabinet choices, Trudeau’s picks for the finance and environment portfolios are the ones that stand to define his rookie government. Here’s why.
By definition, the finance minister comes second only to the prime minister in the cabinet pecking order. There is no margin of error in selecting the right person for the job, for one cannot change finance ministers like one changes shirts.
If Trudeau is serious about dusting off the climate change file he will reappoint Stéphane Dion to his previous ministerial brief.
It won’t be hard for Trudeau to find a more inspiring finance minister than Joe Oliver turned out to be in the dying years of the Harper reign. But on his choice of an environment minister, the Liberal prime-minister-elect will be held to a higher standard.
Off to a good start!
Trudeau’s Invite To Paris Climate Summit Accepted By Canadian Premiers
Canada’s premiers huddled by teleconference call Thursday and agreed that everyone not facing an election campaign will attend December’s climate change summit in Paris with prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau, The Canadian Press has learned.
PM-designate Trudeau using the Canadian Press Gallery. First time it’s been used in 7 years.

22 October
Cleo Paskal: Trudeau Election Marks New Start for Canada
Canada’s partners are about to see a sea change in policy from the new Liberal government on a range of issues, especially relating to energy and the environment.
(Chatham House) The Liberal Party likes to think of itself as ‘Canada’s natural governing party’. Though they have been out of power for 10 years, and newly elected prime minister Justin Trudeau is relatively inexperienced, the party has deep and old networks across the country. The backroom is full of experienced old hands, including former prime ministers who have known Trudeau since he was a toddler. With a number of bold shifts promised in Canadian foreign policy, and a willingness to be fiscally expansive (Trudeau has said he is willing to run deficits for three years to implement their policies), the change is likely to be dramatic, fast and unrelenting.
Martin Lukacs: Trudeau’s bold change pledge was a ruse. But Canada now has a fighting chance
Liberals took up a progressive mantle when the NDP failed to project a vision of environmental and social justice – now it’s up to the public to bend them to their will
(The Guardian) This is the task for the millions in Canada who hunger for a different kind of country: force the Liberal government to turn their feigned progressivism into actual policy. It will not be easy, but nor is it impossible. Unlike the Conservatives, the Liberals are not unyielding: they bend in the winds of popular pressure. For a start, hold them to account where they have pledged to do good: rolling back Conservatives measures; ensuring that electoral reform means proportional representation; implementing an inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and the UN declaration on rights of Indigenous peoples.
But we need to go further. Canada’s electoral politics have been captured by an ideological consensus that has lowered our political expectations and diminished our ability to dream. Major governmental policy has been ceded to the market. But a vision to build a better economy through climate action – launched during the election by a coalition of artists and social movements in the Leap Manifesto – can unleash our imagination once again. A new leader of the New Democrats – whom party members must demand, if Mulcair refuses to step aside – should bring this sort of vision into the party.
Andrew Cohen: Canada’s return to the politics of the past
It is as if 2011 never happened. The NDP was never in official Opposition, dreaming of power. The Liberals were never in third place, dreaming of official Opposition, let alone winning government – a comeback that Liberal strategists insisted would take two elections.
shape of The House 1An interactive exploration of the 42nd Parliament
Canadians have made their decision after one of the longest and most important election campaigns in this country’s history, and they have overwhelmingly chosen change. But change is about much more than the parties swapping seats, it’s about who the men and women are that Canadians have elected to represent them in Ottawa. To help you understand exactly how the makeup of Parliament has changed, Maclean’s has built the Shape of the House, an interactive tool to let you explore how Parliament has been transformed—by gender, experience, age, ethnic diversity and aboriginal representation.
10 Concordians head to Parliament
The slate includes eight Liberal politicians in Quebec, a Conservative in Alberta and an NDP member in Manitoba

Justin Trudeau to appoint new cabinet with equal gender balance
Liberals to begin transition of government with assistance of political and policy advisers
Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau said he was still committed to a number of promises he made during the campaign, but would not be pinned down on timelines, committing only to naming a new cabinet on Nov.4

Justin Trudeau faces challenging inbox as Canada’s new prime minister
The Liberal leader promised a positive, ambitious and hopeful vision with sweeping policy changes on drug laws, tax, climate change and electoral reform
And while much of Trudeau’s plan marks a sharp shift from the policies of his predecessor, he is expected to follow through on Harper’s push to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal and continue Canada’s support for the proposed Alberta-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline project.
The Liberals have also committed to keeping Harper’s controversial C-51 anti-terror legislation, though they have said they will implement a series of amendments including bringing in three-year sunset provisions on some of the most contentious parts of the bill.
Trudeau’s introduction on the world stage will come in a matter of weeks, with a packed international agenda in November that includes a G20 meeting in Turkey, and an Apec summit in the Philippines, a Commonwealth meeting in Malta, and the upcoming climate change summit in Paris.

Trudeau looks to form cabinet, face challenges
The incoming prime minister faces some pressing issues, requiring immediate attention. He must decide whether Canada will ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 12-country trade deal that could mean major changes for the country’s supply-managed agricultural sector, auto industry and digital economy. During the campaign, Mr. Trudeau said he needed to see the text of the agreement before deciding on a position – his decision may be helped by the fact U.S. President Barack Obama may not have the support needed to win approval in the U.S. Congress.
He … has promised to work with the provincial premiers to send a message to the world that Canada fully embraces the battle against global warming and will have a more ambitious strategy. However, Mr. Trudeau said Ottawa will not set any new targets until he has had a chance to meet with premiers after the summit. John Ibbitson: If Trudeau wins, these Liberals could be in his cabinet
If the Liberals were to win the election, would there be enough quality timber in the caucus to form a solid cabinet? (17 October)

Harper will continue to serve as the prime minister until Trudeau is sworn in, likely in time to attend the G-20 summit in Turkey, which is on 15 November. Meanwhile, Canada will remain under a “caretaker convention”, as it was during the election cycle, while the new liberal government is formed.

Packed agenda will define Trudeau
In government, the first question about the team will be who, as in which MPs will be named as cabinet ministers, but then there is also how, as in how he works with his cabinet. Mr. Harper was known for central control, and Mr. Trudeau called himself more collaborative. But prime ministers usually try to assert authority. Now, Mr. Trudeau, while pledging to act as a first among equals, will find himself at the top making the final decisions.
14 October
God Forbid We Give Harper Another Opportunity To Pursue His Nightmare
(HuffPost) Caucus discipline has gone too far
Parliament, that is to say MPs, must be supreme again. When you think about it, nearly all our problems can be attributed to the unrestrained dictatorship of the prime minister. We don’t intend to elect a Supremo, but that’s what we in fact do.
Electoral reform’s time has come
The change must be, in the first stage, to reform of the electoral system. The Senate can wait. I believe that some sort of proportional representation (PR) – perhaps mixed with first past the post — is essential. But there are many options to be debated, after which a political decision must be made. Perhaps options can first be put to referendum as in New Zealand. Most importantly, change must be seen to be coming – there must be progress at all times.

One Comment on "Canada: government & governance post 2015 election"

  1. Diana Thebaud Nicholson November 5, 2015 at 5:07 am · Reply

    Post by Sandy Wolofsky on Facebook
    So here’s my take away message. The Minister of Defense — fought in our armed forces. The Minister for Health — is a doctor. The Minister for Justice is — wait for it: An aboriginal lawyer. She is the first to ever serve as Justice Minister. Our Minster of Transport? He was the first Canadian Astronaut to serve on the ISS, so I guess he knows a little bit about transporting people. Our Minister of Veterans Affairs and associate minister of national defence — he’s in a wheelchair cuz he was paralyzed in a drive-by shooting. The Minister for Climate Change — OK.. she’s a lawyer. But she worked in East Timor, I’ve met her and she represents my bro and sis-in-law’s riding. So she gets a pass. Our Minister for Science — is actually a scientist. Our Minister of Sport and Disability — is a blind para-olympian. Status of Women Minister? She used to run a women’s shelter. BUT — My absolute FAVOURITE appointment? Our Minister for Democratic Institutions (I have NO CLUE what that means) .. wait for it Stephen Harper — was an Afghan refugee!
    Not in a BILLION YEARS would Stephen Harper have ever appointed people that look like those in the picture below.
    The jaded cynic in me is still there, but I have to admit, I’m pretty enthralled with all of Justin Trudeau’s choices today. I really want to have hope that good things are going to happen in this country.
    (And no, I have no comment about Chrystia Freeland being appointed as International Trade, except, she was always the smartest kid in the room, she speaks 4 languages perfectly and her book Sale of the Century is still the smartest anything that has ever come out of 1990s Russia.)

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