New Trudeau cabinet mostly retains status quo for British Columbians

The same four Liberal MPs will represent the province in cabinet

Credit: Harjit Sajjan on Twitter

Vancouver South MP Harjit Sajjan was moved from minister of national defence to minister of international development

The same four Liberal MPs will represent the province in cabinet

You know it’s a bit of a boring cabinet announcement when a slight demotion is the headline.

That was the case today as the new (old?) minority government under Justin Trudeau announced its cabinet placements for the 44th Parliament. Perhaps unfortunately for B.C. and its influence over government affairs, the demotion was delivered to Vancouver South MP Harjit Sajjan, who held the defence minister post for six years.

Sajjan got moved to minister of international development as rumours circled that the lower-profile post was in reaction to his handling of sexual misconduct in the military.

The other three B.C. MPs in cabinet will look familiar—they were also in the last edition. Delta’s Carla Qualtrough holds on to her previous appointment as minister of employment, workforce development and disability inclusion.

Meanwhile, North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson moved from the environment and climate change portfolio to natural resources.

Vancouver Quadra MP Joyce Murray’s old portfolio—digital government—was eliminated. While there’s probably an editorial to be written about why Trudeau appointed a 67-year-old as minister of that department, that’s neither here nor there. Murray will now be minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, much to (we assume) the chagrin of everyone in the Maritimes.

The glaring omission, if there is one? Once again, no cabinet members represent the Interior or Vancouver Island. But there’s also a good reason for that: the Liberals didn’t win any seats in either of those regions.