Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday announced significant changes to his Cabinet, moving around several current Ministers, appointing four new ones and creating three new portfolios.
Amarjeet Sohi has been moved from the Infrastructure portfolio to Natural Resources, succeeding Jim Carr, who has been moved to International Trade Diversification.
“Sohi will support Canada’s important resource industries and help them innovate to support long-term economic growth and export to new markets around the world. He will oversee important pipeline projects, including the completion of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project,” Trudeau said.
The Mining Association of Canada (MAC) welcomed the appointment of the new Natural Resources Minister, with president and CEO Pierre Gratton saying that the organisation would work with Sohi to finalise and launch a pan-Canadian strategy.
Gratton said that Sohi brought to the Natural Resources portfolio strong knowledge of the importance of new infrastructure to attracting mining investment, and that he had an understanding of the importance of Edmonton, in Alberta, as a northern hub for mining supplies and services, notably to the oil sands and diamonds sectors.
Gratton further said that MAC valued the relationship it had with Carr over the past several years. During his tenure, Carr oversaw the launch and development of a new federal-provincial Minerals and Metals Strategy.
"Minister Carr brings to his new role an appreciation for the fact that Canada's mining sector is a global leader and one of the country's largest international investors," he said. ”We are pleased to continue to have the opportunity to work with him in his new position, given its relevance to our sector."
The MAC also congratulated Jonathan Wilkinson on his appointment to Cabinet as Fisheries and Oceans Minister, having worked closely with him in his previous position as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change.
The mining industry contributes about C$57.6-billion to national gross domestic product and was responsible for 19% of the value of Canadian goods exports in 2016.
Trudeau said that the changes to the Cabinet would place a greater focus on diversifying international trade, supporting and growing small businesses, expanding tourism, promoting exports, and improving trade within the country’s own borders.
Other changes include:
Dominic LeBlanc, currently Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, becomes Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade.
Mélanie Joly, currently Minister of Canadian Heritage, becomes Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie.
Carla Qualtrough, currently Minister of Public Services and Procurement, becomes Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility.
François-Philippe Champagne, currently Minister of International Trade, becomes Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
Pablo Rodriguez, currently Chief Government Whip, becomes Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism.
Bill Blair, currently Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, becomes Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction.
Mary Ng becomes Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion.
Filomena Tassi, currently Deputy Government Whip, becomes Minister of Seniors.