OTTAWA May 25 Canadian Prime Minister Justin
Trudeau looks set to shuffle his cabinet and trigger a new
session of Parliament to help refocus a flagging agenda in the
run-up to an election in late 2019, say political insiders.
Trudeau's Liberals took power in November 2015 with
ambitious plans but have abandoned some high-profile electoral
commitments and are struggling to push others through
"Things are dragging. We need a reboot," said one
One option is prorogation - ending the Parliamentary session
and starting a new one, which allows Trudeau to formally unveil
a new agenda and inject a sense of purpose in the run-up to the
"Prorogation is most likely going to happen. The only
question is whether it's in the next few months or early 2018,"
said another veteran Liberal.
Trudeau's challenges started in January amid questions about
a New Year's vacation he took at a private island. He now faces
an ethics probe.
In February, he had to scrap plans to overhaul the electoral
system. He has also abandoned a vow to run small budget
deficits, citing the need to stimulate the economy, and critics
say Ottawa botched the creation of a national infrastructure
bank, another major electoral promise.
Officials fret that time is running out to meet priorities
such as drafting legislation to legalize marijuana and creating
a new system to assess major natural resource projects.
Signs of urgency are visible. Unusually, the government is
extending the sitting hours of Parliament to midnight until the
legislature rises for the summer in late June.
Another way to inject life into government is to shuffle the
cabinet. Trudeau wants to promote newcomers such as Mary Ng, a
former aide who was elected to Parliament last month, said two
people familiar with the matter.
Potential candidates to be moved include Defence Minister
Harjit Sajjan, who has been under constant opposition attack
after admitting he exaggerated his role in a major offensive in
Several cabinet members are in their late sixties or older,
including Farm Minister Lawrence MacAulay, who turns 71 in
Trudeau's office declined to comment.
Although polls show the Liberals well ahead of their rivals,
strategists say that is in part because neither of the two main
opposition parties have permanent leaders.
The Conservatives, who will elect a new chief on Saturday,
have raised C$5.3 million so far this year compared to C$2.8
million for the Liberals.
(Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Bernadette Baum)