Prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau smiles as he leaves his first news conference since winning the election

Trudeau to emphasize team, openness

Presentation of new cabinet team to contrast with Harper's one-man style

  • Nov. 2, 2015 12:00 p.m.

By Joan Bryden, The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau intends to formally open the new Liberal era with an emphasis on teamwork and openness — in stark contrast to what he’s characterized as the secretive, one-man rule of Stephen Harper.

The prime minister-designate and his new ministers will arrive together, on a bus, for Wednesday’s swearing-in ceremony at Rideau Hall.

Rather than a parade of private cars depositing soon-to-be ministers one at a time on the Governor General’s doorstep, the Trudeau gang will walk together up the long, tree-lined driveway.

They’ll no doubt be cheered on by a throng of onlookers.

While the Rideau Hall grounds have been open during swearing-in ceremonies in years gone by, this is the first time an open invitation has been issued to the general public.

What’s expected to be a sizable crowd will be able to follow the proceedings on large-screen TVs to be set up outside the Governor General’s mansion.

“It is sort of showing how much more open and transparent the new government intends to be,” said Trudeau spokeswoman Kate Purchase.

As for the new ministers arriving and departing as a group, Purchase said: “We’ve been talking for two years about building the team, and this is the team.”

The composition of Trudeau’s cabinet will similarly be aimed at demonstrating the “real change” the Liberal leader promised to provide throughout the marathon election campaign.

He has vowed that half his ministers will be women and that his cabinet will be smaller than Harper’s 39-member ministry. Insiders expect the total number to be just under 30 members.

Moreover, Trudeau is expected to bypass some experienced veterans to give precedence to newcomers, sending the message that this is a new government, not a return to an old Liberal government.

Hand-picked star recruits expected to be included in Trudeau’s cabinet include B.C. regional aboriginal leader Jody Wilson-Raybould; retired general Andrew Leslie; millionaire businessman Bill Morneau; former Toronto police chief Bill Blair; Montreal lawyer Melanie Joly; journalist and author Chrystia Freeland; former Manitoba business council head Jim Carr; Laval University economist Jean-Yves Duclos; and family doctor Jane Philpott.

Among the veteran MPs likely to win cabinet spots are Dominic LeBlanc, Judy Foote and Marc Garneau, along with former federal ministers Ralph Goodale, Stephane Dion and Scott Brison.

More than 150 of the 184 Liberals elected on Oct. 19 will not make it into cabinet and there are likely to be some bruised egos among them. Some will be mollified by being named parliamentary secretaries to ministers, while insiders hope others will be assuaged by Trudeau’s promises to empower backbenchers and bolster the clout of parliamentary committees.

And there could well be more committees for Liberal MPs to chair. For one, Trudeau has promised a special all-party committee to recommend alternatives to the first-past-the-post electoral system. He could similarly create a special committee to deal with medically assisted dying or other difficult, pressing issues.

Just Posted

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority to fall fake eagle tree at Ogden Point

Last year a fake tree was installed to try to entice eagles to stay in the area, without much success

Ambitious B.C. Aviation Museum need $10M to get iconic Lancaster back in the air

Volunteers flock to work on bomber, restoration expected to take 10 years

Saanich to potentially host first hydrogen fuel station on Vancouver Island

Station proposed for corner of Quadra Street and McKenzie Avenue

Three children to run Victoria as ‘Mayors’ on Tuesday

Local kids will be honorary mayors for a day

Langford man sentenced to 15 months for child pornography collection

Andre Mollon sentenced for posession of more than 1,000 child pornography images and 70 videos

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Inspirational Vancouver Island youngster dies after battle with brain cancer

Kaiden Finley ‘was seriously the strongest 11-year-old’

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Indecent caller handed 18-month conditional sentence

Vancouver Island man pleaded guilty to making indecent phone and video calls to women across B.C.

Sources say Trudeau rejected Wilson-Raybould’s conservative pick for high court

Wilson-Raybould said Monday “there was no conflict between the PM and myself”

First Nations public art piece stolen in Nanaimo

Spindle Whorl went missing over the weekend, according to Nanaimo RCMP

Father-son duo at B.C. Children’s Hospital helps new dads fight depression

The pair teamed up to introduce the only known research-based mindfulness workshop for new dads

Mexican restaurant in B.C. told to take down Mexican flag

General manager of Primo’s Mexican Grill in White Rock: ‘I’ve never heard of anything like this’

B.C. NDP moves to provide tax credits, tax cut for LNG Canada

Provincial sales tax break of $596 million repayable after construction

Most Read