Here’s who is at risk of being reshuffled in the imminent cabinet reshuffle

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premier Justin Trudeau his cabinet is expected to reshuffle soon, as a raft of political controversies and the rising cost of living leave him vulnerable to attacks from his main opposition rival.

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The rejig is one of his last chances to shake up his team ahead of elections likely to take place in the next two years. Trudeau has faced a bruising first half of 2023, and observers say he needs his strongest communicators in key roles on his front bench.

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“You want people there who can not only tell the government’s story or sell the government’s message, but people who can really connect with Canadians who have that kind of authenticity,” said Jeni Armstrong, a former chief speechwriter for Trudeau who now works as an instructor at Carleton University in Ottawa.

While the headline annual inflation slowed to 2.8 percent In June, many Canadians felt no relief: Food and housing costs rose much faster. Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre laid the blame at Trudeau’s feet, helping the Tories gain a lead of several points in most polls.

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So far, most of the discussion about the cabinet reshuffle has focused on the ministers who have struggled to respond effectively to these attacks, including those responsible for housing and public safety. Trudeau is not expected to replace key ministers responsible for finance, industry and defense.

On housingThe lack of supply in the country, combined with record population growth, has led to a huge increase in rents and the cost of buying a home. Poilievre, a populist who won the leadership of his party almost a year ago, is blasting Trudeau for it.

By doing so, the Conservative leader is trying to win the votes of young Canadians, said Dan Arnold, who oversaw the Liberals’ research management program during Trudeau’s 2015, 2019 and 2021 election victories and now serves as chief strategy officer at Pollara Strategic Insights.

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Big-city voters were key to Trudeau’s rise to power and his ability to stay there. But his Liberal Party has seen support slip in its strongholds of Toronto and Montreal, trailing the New Democratic Party among women under 35, according to the polling agency’s latest data.

Younger voters are “a demographic the government needs to think about before the election, and housing is probably the biggest issue for them right now,” Arnold said. But it’s a challenge because the federal government only has so much power to lower housing prices, and any radical policy that causes values ​​to drop dramatically would upset homeowners.

Whoever the housing minister is, “they’re not going to solve the housing crisis,” Arnold said. The minister’s job is to show he understands what Canadians, especially young people, are going through and talk about what the government has done, such as introducing new tax breaks and loan and savings programs, he said.

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To this end, Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen may be vulnerable in the shuffle. Hussen tried to encourage more construction by offering extra money to cities that plan to build dense housing. But he recently wrote that the housing supply is “not a political issue,” drawing backlash from frustrated millennials.

Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen may be vulnerable in the shuffle.
Housing Minister Ahmed Hussen may be vulnerable in the shuffle. Photo: Tony Caldwell/Postmedia

Another minister at risk of demotion is Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino. Poilievre called for his resignation after saying he was unaware of plans to move notorious serial killer Paul Bernardo to a medium-security prison, despite numerous emails from the Correctional Service informing his office of the move.

Labor Minister Seamus O’Regan, who appears close to resolving the strike at West Coast ports, and Gender Equality Minister Marci Ien may be in line for promotions. Both have broadcasting experience and are aware that “listening is at least as important as talking,” Armstrong said.

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Immigration Minister Sean Fraser is also seen as a rising star in cabinet, while Social Development Minister Karina Gould may be rewarded for negotiating deals with provinces to provide $10-a-day childcare and clear a backlog of passport applications.

But sometimes it’s better to leave your strong communicators where they are to maintain the relationships they’ve built with stakeholders rather than starting from scratch with a new minister, Arnold said.

While Mendicino, who is in charge of national security agencies, may bear some of the blame for the simmering Chinese election meddling scandal, there are no signs that Trudeau will move his top diplomat in the row. Weak ties with Beijing preceded the appointment of Melanie Jola as foreign minister.

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