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Fighting Western Alienation as Trudeau Unveils Liberal Cabinet

Last updated on December 4th, 2019

Call it Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s lack of guile or interest, but the second-term has given Trudeau the chance to rectify his past mistakes and make Canada function as one. On Wednesday, unveiling a new cabinet, the minister showcased his will to prioritize the eradication of threats to national unity and fighting the climate change.

Liberal Party cabinet was handed new roles, as the minority government now looks to fight the political instability and the changing landscape because of growing western alienation. The term, which is often used in reference to those in Canada’s western provinces – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and British Columbia.

The people in the region demand backing for the struggling oil and gas industry, and Trudeau has given the task to Chrystia Freeland, who needs to ensure that provincial feud doesn’t convert into a national crisis.

Freeland was named as the deputy prime minister and will also help oversee the trade agreement ratification process, which is currently being debated in the US congress.

Trudeau also named former trade minister Jim Carr, who is suffering from cancer, to act as his special representative for Alberta. François-Philippe Champagne, an international lawyer from Quebec, is named as the new minister of foreign affairs. Montreal’s Pablo Rodríguez was named as house leader.

Meanwhile, Champagne’s promotion and Rodríguez’s appointment also suggest that there is a growing political consensus between Liberals and Bloc Québécois, a sovereigntist party whose 32 parliamentary seats will be important for Trudeau’s government.

Trudeau campaigned rigorously on a pledge to fight climate change, and the prime minister shifted Catherine McKenna from the environment ministry to minister of infrastructure. The role will see her focus on development of low carbon projects such as public transit. Jonathan Wilkinson, the former fisheries minister, will handle McKenna’s position.

However, this is only the first stage of the new initiative towards making the situation better, and how Liberal cabinet members perform their duties is yet to be seen. Also, if at any stage, it has to conclude that the prime minister is working towards his people, Ottawa’s ability to deliver on western alienation will play a key role.

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