Published: Wed, January 11, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Canada foreign minister replaced in cabinet reshuffle

Chrystia Freeland, formerly the minister for global trade, was named Foreign Affairs Minister, taking over Stéphane Dion in a cabinet shuffle today.

Freeland, an author and former reporter who has been a top performer in Trudeau's cabinet, replaced Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion but also retained the Canada-U.S. relations portfolio, including the trade relationship.

Ahmed Hussen, a Somali refugee, was named Canada's new immigration minister.

Maryam Monsef will transfer from democratic institutions to status of women. Mr. Dion is expected to be named as the ambassador to France.

A person with knowledge of the matter said on Monday that Dion was set to be removed as foreign minister. Freeland was trade minister when she oversaw last year's ratification of the Canada-European Union free trade agreement after initial concerns Europe wouldn't approve it. His prickly demeanour could also be ill-suited to dealing with the unpredictable Trump, who has demonstrated a tendency to easily take offence.

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Trump, whose inauguration takes place January 20, has vowed to adopt an unapologetically protectionist, America-first policy on trade, including re-opening or even tearing up the North American Free Trade Agreement.

She will be replaced as trade minister by François-Philippe Champagne, an experienced trade lawyer who was parliamentary secretary to the finance minister.

Trudeau also paid tribute to McCallum, calling his work in the immigration portfolio on behalf of Syrian refugees "an inspiration to Canadians and an example to the world".

Conversely, Winnipeg MP MaryAnn Mihychuk lost her job as labour minister for what is being bruited as a poor performance in the job.

This week's modest shuffle may well be a prelude to a larger reset expected midway through Trudeau's first mandate.

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