Canada PM Trudeau to shuffle cabinet, name new foreign and innovation ministers - sources, media


FILE PHOTO: Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks during a news conference at Rideau Cottage, as efforts continue to help slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada January 5, 2021. REUTERS/Blair Gable

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to shuffle his cabinet on Tuesday and name new ministers of foreign affairs, transport and innovation, sources and domestic media said on Monday.

Three sources directly familiar with the matter said Trudeau would carry out a limited shuffle on Tuesday morning.

The sources, who declined to be identified given the sensitivity of the issue, said Trudeau was acting after long-serving Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains decided to quit politics after the next election.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. and Global News both said Bains would be replaced by current Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne. Transport Minister Marc Garneau would take over from Champagne, they said.

Trudeau, who retained power in an October 2019 election but only has a minority of seats in the House of Commons, relies on other parties to govern.

He said last week there could well be an election this year but stressed he wanted to stay in office to focus on the coronavirus epidemic.

Canadian prime ministers traditionally shuffle their team if a member of cabinet announces he or she will not run in the next election.

The offices of Trudeau, Bains and Garneau did not respond to requests for comment. A Champagne spokesman said he had heard nothing about a shuffle.

Bains, 43, has been innovation minister since Trudeau first took power in late 2015. One of his responsibilities is deciding whether to allow China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd to supply next-generation equipment for 5G networks.

Liberal sources said last year that Ottawa would ban Huawei gear from being used but was keeping silent so as not to worsen a diplomatic dispute with Beijing.

CBC and Global said Garneau would be replaced by backbench legislator Omar Alghabra. The transport minister must soon decide on whether to allow Air Canada to buy rival Transat A.T. Inc.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren in Ottawa; Editing by Michael Perry)

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