2017 Cabinet Shuffle
2017/01/11 2 Comments
The above chart contrasts the original 2015 Cabinet with the changes announced Tuesday by the Prime Minister (will update when parliamentary secretary changes are announced to replace those who were promoted to minister).
Gender parity remains, visible minority representation increases to 20 percent, no change in the number of persons with disabilities, with only one Indigenous minister compared to two in the original Cabinet (Hunter Tootoo was later removed).
The choice of a neophyte Minister for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, is not without risk given the complexities and politics of the department’s issues (as Monsef’s difficulties attest).
Hussen is the third immigration minister to have been an immigrant, the first visible minority and non-European. (Joe Volpe, born in Italy, and Sergio Marchi, born in Argentina but of Italian ancestry, are the previous ones). As most of Canada’s current immigrants are visible minorities, he will bring that perspective and experience with him to the portfolio, as well his experience on security and radicalization issues.
Like McCallum, his riding is majority visible minority (54 percent compared to McCallum’s 82 percent) but with a different mix: York South-Weston is 21 percent Black, 9 percent Latin American whereas Markham-Thornhill is 35 percent Chinese, 31 percent South Asian.
Look forward to seeing the mandate letters for Minister Hussen (and others) to see if any new commitments compared to former Minister McCallum (largely achieved or in progress – list below):
- Lead government-wide efforts to resettle 25,000 refugees from Syria in the coming months.
- As part of the Annual Immigration Levels Plan for 2016, bring forward a proposal to double the number of entry applications for parents and grandparents of immigrants to 10,000 a year.
- Give additional points under the Entry Express system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.
- Increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada.
- Bring forward a proposal regarding permanent residency for new spouses entering Canada.
- Develop a plan to reduce application processing times for sponsorship, citizenship and other visas.
- Fully restore the Interim Federal Health Program that provides limited and temporary health benefits to refugees and refugee claimants.
- Establish an expert human rights panel to help you determine designated countries of origin, and provide a right to appeal refugee decisions for citizens from these countries.
- Modify the temporary foreign workers program to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers and work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families.
- Lead efforts to facilitate the temporary entry of low risk travelers, including business visitors, and lift the visa requirement for Mexico.
- Work with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to repeal provisions in the Citizenship Act that give the government the right to strip citizenship from dual nationals.
- Eliminate regulations that remove the credit given to international students for half of the time that they spend in Canada and regulations that require new citizens to sign a declaration that they intend to reside in Canada.