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The Latest: Trudeau announces new cabinet after winning second minority mandate

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OTTAWA — The Latest on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's announcement of his new team of cabinet ministers. All times eastern:

4:35 p.m.

Dominic LeBlanc, the minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities, is rejecting Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's effort to remove equalization from the Constitution.

Alberta's referendum on equalization shows almost 62 per cent of those who voted want to see the principle removed from the Constitution.

LeBlanc says Kenney chose to hold a non-binding referendum in a municipal election.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said Kenney knows the Constitution can't be changed unilaterally and needs the input of Ottawa working with seven provinces or territories representing more than 50 per cent of the population.

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4:15 p.m.

Defence Minister Anita Anand says she will bring the same determination to her new military portfolio as she did in getting the vaccines needed to protect Canadians from COVID-19.

Anand says her previous work leading Canada's procurement of vaccines shows her work ethic, and the determination she plans to bring to her mandate directing the Canadian Forces as it faces widespread allegations of sexual misconduct.

She says she wants to make sure all military members feel safe and protected, as they devote their lives to protecting Canadians. 

She says she wants the Forces and the Department of National Defence to be well-respected.

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3:26 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he will lead the Liberal Party in the next federal election.

Trudeau answered with an emphatic "yes" when asked by a reporter whether he would do that at a news conference after he announced his new cabinet.

The reply sparked applause from his ministers who flanked him.

Questions about Trudeau's future have swirled since he failed to win a majority government in September's federal election, and instead won a second consecutive minority mandate.

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3:15 p.m. 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there is a "crisis in the culture" in the Canadian Armed Forces, and his new defence minister Anita Anand is the right person to address it.

Anand became only the second woman to be appointed as defence minister and will be tasked with dealing with sexual misconduct allegations in Canada's military.

Trudeau says that as Canada's "minister of vaccines," Anand has been extraordinarily effective in supporting Canada through a difficult COVID-19 pandemic as procurement minister.

He called Anand a world-class expert in governance, who will ensure the Forces are worthy of the men in women who serve in it.

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3:05 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says his team of familiar and new faces will deliver on real change.

Flanked by his new cabinet, Trudeau says the top-of-mind issue for Canadians is ending the pandemic for good.

He says the country is not out of the COVID-19 pandemic yet, despite high vaccination rates.

He says his government will move forward on legislation that specifically criminalizes harassment of health-care workers.

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1:45 p.m.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says it's remarkable to have a woman as minister of defence.

Anita Anand is Canada's second female defence minister, after Kim Campbell held the role in the 1990s, and Singh says it's important to highlight that.

But he says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government has had six years to bring in independent oversight of the Canadian Armed Forces and its failure to do so is a "big problem."

Singh also called for immediate action on Indigenous justice and climate change, urging the government to "truly walk the path of justice" and "stop fighting Indigenous kids in court."

The government has until Friday to decide whether to appeal a Federal Court ruling involving compensation to First Nations children and their families for being removed by child-welfare services.

Singh welcomed the creation of a mental health and addictions minister, a position that will be held by Carolyn Bennett.

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12:07 p.m.

The Trudeau government now has a cabinet member from Alberta.

Randy Boissonnault has taken his oath of office as minister of tourism and associate minister of finance.

Boissonnault was elected in Edmonton Centre in 2015, defeated in 2019 and re-elected in the most recent federal election in September.

He was one of only two Liberals elected in the province after the party was shut out in 2019.

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11:50 a.m.

The procession of ministers being sworn in to new roles continues at Rideau Hall.

The ministers so far sworn in to new roles include Anita Anand as defence minister, Carolyn Bennett as mental health minister, Ahmed Hussen as minister of housing and diversity, Karina Gould as families minister and Seamus O’Regan as labour minister. 

Steven Guilbeault has also officially taken the reins at Environment, Mona Fortier as treasury board president and Marco Mendicino at Public Safety.

Most exchanged a couple words and an elbow bump with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Gov. Gen. Mary May Simon, but said little else aside from the oath of office in English and French. 

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11:27 a.m.

Mélanie Joly has been sworn in as Canada's new top diplomat. 

Joly becomes the fifth foreign affairs minister in six years for Justin Trudeau, replacing Marc Garneau who is leaving cabinet.

Former defence minister Harjit Sajjan has moved to international development, replacing Karina Gould, who is becoming minister of families, children and social development.

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11:22 a.m.

Ministers are being sworn into new portfolios in the federal cabinet.

Carolyn Bennett has been sworn in to head a new ministry of mental health and addictions.

Marc Miller is taking up Bennett's former post at Crown-Indigenous Relations.

Former health minister Patty Hajdu takes over from Miller at Indigenous Services.

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10:58 a.m.

Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is taking over as Canada's environment minister.

He replaces Jonathan Wilkinson, who is moving to natural resources.

Three ministers have been dropped from cabinet, including Marc Garneau, who has been replaced as foreign affairs minister by Mélanie Joly.

The new faces at the cabinet table will included former broadcaster and Toronto MP Marci Ien, Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser, Edmonton MP Randy Boissonnault and Quebec MP and former union leader Pascale St-Onge.

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10:47 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to swear in a new larger cabinet of 39 ministers.

Trudeau has added nine new faces, dropped three and moved most other senior ministers to new posts with only 10 staying put.

Harjit Sajjan, heavily criticized for his handling of sexual misconduct allegations in Canada's military, is leaving the defence portfolio to take up a new post in international development.

He will be replaced by Anita Anand, who led the campaign to procure vaccines during the pandemic as public services and procurement minister. She becomes only the second woman to become defence minister.

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10:15 a.m.

Nova Scotia MP Sean Fraser has arrived at Rideau Hall, solidifying speculation that he will be added to the Trudeau cabinet.

Fraser said it was a "great day" and he was looking forward to doing the work ahead.

Other arrivals included the current heritage minister, Steven Guilbeault, who is expected to be moving to the environment and climate change portfolio.

Treasury Board President Jean-Yves Duclos and Health Minister Patty Hadju are among the current serving ministers who have also arrived.

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9:55 a.m.

Edmonton Centre MP Randy Boissonnault has arrived at Rideau Hall.

He was considered a shoo-in for cabinet as one of only two Liberals elected in Alberta in the last federal election.

Boissonnault was re-elected in September after being defeated in 2019. 

He was first elected in 2015. 

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9:50 a.m.

A parade of Liberal cabinet hopefuls is arriving at Rideau Hall for today's cabinet announcement.

Cabinet ministers Karina Gould, Mona Fortier, Dominic LeBlanc and Filomena Tassi have arrived.

It will be clear soon whether those ministers will hold their current portfolios or be shuffled.

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9:35 a.m.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has arrived at Rideau Hall for today’s cabinet announcement.

Trudeau has said that Freeland will be remaining in her current portfolios.

Freeland was accompanied by family members. 

She was followed by Montreal MP Pablo Rodriguez, who is currently serving as the government House leader.

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9:26 a.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Grégoire Trudeau have arrived at Rideau Hall. 

Trudeau said there is a lot of hard work ahead and that he is excited about today.

Trudeau will soon be announcing his new lineup of cabinet ministers after winning a minority government in the September federal election. 

Trudeau will be assembling a team that is intended to deliver on a half dozen priority commitments, including climate change, affordable housing and guiding Canada through the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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