Reactions are pouring into the announcement of the 30-member cabinet unveiled by incoming Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday.
Three of the new Cabinet ministers are representing ridings in B.C.—Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould (Vancouver Granville), Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan (Vancouver South) and Carla Qualtrough (Delta).
Don Johnston, the Liberal Party candidate for the Kootenay Columbia riding, says he is impressed with the diversity of the team.
“Although there are lots of people who are new to the cabinet that are also new to the political world, they’re also incredibly accomplished individuals in their other lives before they came into the political realm, so I think it’s one of the most talented, ambitious cabinets that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Johnston said.
The cabinet has gender parity—15 men and 15 women who have taken on the various portfolios and responsibilities. New ministers include political rookies and veterans, while the diversity of the cabinet postings feature a muslim minister, an Inuit minister and an aboriginal minister.
Johnston singled out praise for the selection of Wilson-Raybould as the Minister of Justice.
“She’s a highly accomplished lawyer in and of her own right and an accomplished Crown prosecutor who also brings great political leadership skills because she was a regional chief with the Assembly of First Nations,” Johnston said, “so she brings a really different personal background to the table as we begin to try to understand how we’re going to begin to deal with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and the inquiry into murdered indigenous women.”
Kootenay-Columbia NDP MP Wayne Stetski was also in the nation’s capital to be officially sworn is as the region’s federal representative.
Stetski said Trudeau’s team is well experienced in their areas of responsibility and that he plans to hold the government accountable.
“Our job as Members of the Opposition is to hold Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet accountable to deliver on all of the promises they made to Canadians during this election,” Stetski said. “I will do that in a spirit of cooperation while ensuring that I represent the interests of the people of Kootenay Columbia.”