Cabinet Shuffle Decoded: Huge changes and New Minister of International Development 

By: Results Canada Published: 26/07/2023

At 10:30 this morning, Prime Minister Trudeau unveiled his new Cabinet. With seven new ministers joining and another 23 finding themselves in new roles, this is one of the largest shuffles in Canadian history. Only eight cabinet ministers are serving in the same roles today as they did last night, including Chrystia Freeland as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister and Mélanie Joly as Minister of Foreign Affairs.  

The size of the shuffle is an attempted reset for the Liberal government. With strong communicators like Sean Fraser and Randy Boissonnault taking on economic portfolios, the Government is trying to build its credibility on the cost of living and affordability – which are key ballot issues for Canadians.  

The shuffle also moved proven troubleshooters like Dominic LeBlanc to Public Safety and Anita Anand to Treasury Board to shore up important and recently difficult files.    

Most important for our work at Results, Ahmed Hussen is the new Minister of International Development, replacing Harjit Sajjan. First elected in 2015 and sitting in Cabinet since 2017, Minister Hussen has served as the Minister of Families, Minister of Immigration, and, most recently, Minister of Housing.  

Immigrating to Canada from Somalia as a refugee as a teenager, Minister Hussen is the first Somali-Canadian to serve as an MP and in Cabinet. Before entering politics, Minister Hussen worked as an immigration and refugee lawyer and served on several boards of directors, most notably the Global Enrichment Foundation, an organization that has enabled women in Somalia and East Africa to access post-secondary education.  

With strong personal and professional ties to humanitarian work and international development, we expect Minister Hussen to be a strong champion around the cabinet table for the rights, dignity, and well-being of people around the world.  

This cabinet shuffle represents the Government’s attempt to reset and refocus. Minister Hussen has an opportunity to be a #GameChanger by building on and going beyond the work of his predecessors by: 

  1. Ensuring predictable and sustainable increases to Canada’s international assistance envelope year-over-year,
  1. Leading ambitious reforms to global financial architecture,
  1. Establishing Canada as a leader in the global fight to eradicate TB,  and
  1. Building children’s resilience in emergencies around the world. 

While we wait for refreshed mandate letters, it remains unclear what the substance of the reset will be – and it’s far too early to see whether this reset will be successful in meeting the government’s goals. With an election certain in the next two years – and potentially sooner – this Cabinet will be the team Prime Minister Trudeau leads through the next two years as he seeks a fourth mandate. 

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