OTTAWA Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made his first major cabinet shuffle since being elected in 2015, putting a Russia critic on the front lines of working with the incoming U.S. Trump administration with the appointment of Chrystia Freeland as foreign minister.
Here are the changes announced Tuesday:
NEW FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER CHRYSTIA FREELAND
Freeland won praise for efforts in reaching the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union last year. She retains the Canada-U.S. relations file, including trade relations.
NEW TRADE MINISTER FRANCOIS-PHILIPPE CHAMPAGNE
A businessman, lawyer and specialist in international trade, Champagne was first elected to parliament in the 2015 election and has been the parliamentary secretary to the finance minister.
NEW IMMIGRATION MINISTER AHMED HUSSEN
Hussen immigrated to Canada from Somalia in 1993 and was elected as member of parliament in 2015. Hussen, a lawyer and community activist, will replace veteran politician John McCallum. The immigration file has garnered more attention of late as Canada has taken in nearly 40,000 Syrian refugees since November 2015.
NEW DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS MINISTER KARINA GOULD
Prior to her election in 2015, Gould worked as a trade and investment specialist for the Mexican Trade Commission. She has served as the parliamentary secretary to the minister of international development. Gould replaces Maryam Monsef.
Other changes include:
Dion is being removed as foreign minister. A long-time politician, he has held a number of positions over the years, including minister of environment and leader of the Liberal Party. In a statement, Dion said he was leaving active politics.
A Liberal member of parliament since 2000, McCallum will become Canada's ambassador to China. A former national defence minister, McCallum was also chief economist at Royal Bank of Canada before entering politics.
Monsef becomes minister of status of women. The rookie MP came under fire in December for her dismissal of a report on electoral reform. Monsef also faced controversy last year when a newspaper reported she was born in Iran, not Afghanistan as previously believed.
Hajdu goes from minister of status of women to minister of labour. She was previously the executive director of a homeless shelter and has worked in areas including poverty reduction and public health.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Alan Crosby)