OTTAWA — Three cabinet ministers already in place, including the Québec Marie-Claude Bibeau, had exchanged portfolios, on Friday, in a game of musical chairs caused by the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould.
The minister Bibeau, who was at the helm of the international Development since the coming to power of the liberals in 2015, becomes the first woman to find herself at the helm of the ministry of Agriculture and Agri-food.
It will be required to sell from the farmers of the commercial treaties concluded in recent months, including the Agreement United States-Canada-Mexico (ACEUM), who have opened breach after breach in the system of supply management.
The member for Compton-Stanstead, in Estrie, has been granted press conference at Rideau Hall that she was a little “torn” to give its records, and to leave his team “tightly woven”.
But she stressed that she was “very excited” to take the reins of his new department. “You know that my county is a rural county, particularly dairy, so there was already a certain portion of the records that I master quite well,” she argued at the microphone.
The minister Bibeau replaces to this position Lawrence MacAulay, who took command of the department of veterans affairs.
This is sort of a homecoming for the old road of the policy, since he has been secretary of State for veterans affairs under the government of Jean Chrétien. It will also serve in the role of associate minister of national Defence.
As for the other minister affected by this redesign, Maryam Monsef, she takes the braid.
The one who had been demoted after the withdrawal of the electoral reform, a folder she was carrying, as a minister, retains his position on the status of women (later renamed the ministry of Women and gender Equality), and it inherits, in addition, the portfolio of international Development.
The consolidation of these two departments under the responsibility of the same person is in tune with the philosophy of the liberal government in the field of international development, which is greatly focused on the promotion of the rights of girls and women to the international.
This is the second time in the space of less than two months that Justin Trudeau — who, contrary to his habit, did not respond to questions after the ceremony at Rideau Hall — proceeds to a rebrassage of cards. The one of Friday was caused by the resignation of Jody Wilson-Raybould of the cabinet, 12 February.
The latter had been demoted to the ministry of Justice to the veterans during the cabinet reshuffle of January 14 last.
In committee, this week, Ms. Wilson-Raybould has established a link between his dismissal from that post and his refusal to intervene to help SNC-Lavalin to avoid a trial, the first Trudeau denied it, saying that if the former president of the treasury Board, Scott Brison, had not resigned, he would not have had an overhaul, and Ms. Wilson-Raybould would not have moved.
If the member of the British Columbia no longer sits in the cabinet, she is still a member of the liberal caucus until further notice.
In this regard, the ministers Bibeau, MacAulay and Monsef have all said they would rejoin the verdict of the prime minister, who said he was always thinking, Thursday.
A slight discomfort is installed when they were asked if they were personally comfortable with the presence of the one that has plunged the Trudeau government even more in turmoil with his explosive revelations in the committee – especially as it has not renewed its confidence to the prime minister, this week.
The minister Monsef was at the lectern when a reporter asked this question by inviting all to respond, and she dodged. His two colleagues have refused to provide a response.
“Next question?” was launched by Marie-Claude Bibeau arriving at the microphone.
To the defence of SNC-Lavalin
The québec minister was more talkative when the time came to vote on the plan prosecution agreement suspended, as the firm SNC-Lavalin seeks to get before the courts.
The government has included in its omnibus bill on the budget by 2018 this amendment to the criminal Code which provides for the suspension of criminal proceedings against organizations that an offence of an economic nature is imputed to them.
In exchange, they agree to pay a financial penalty salty and cooperate with the authorities.
“I believe that yes, it is a good law. We chose to adopt it,” said Ms. Bibeau.
“This is not a free game, there. It is a restorative justice, so this is really a way of punishing otherwise the individuals who are responsible, the company, while protecting the parties innocent”, she stressed.
Would be so affected employees, and retirees of the firm in quebec, as well as sub-contractors.
“When you include sub-contractors in the equation, we speak of up to 100,000 people across Canada that could be affected,” stressed the minister.
The firm in quebec, is accused of fraud and corruption in connection with the payments of bribes in Libya, under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, between 2001 and 2011.
A finding of guilt for such offences will result in a ban from bidding on government contracts in Canada for 10 years.
The minister François-Philippe Champagne has also been advocating for these agreements to repair a little earlier this week.