Trudeau turns to B.C. MP with Saskatchewan roots to helm tricky climate ministry

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is turning to his only cabinet minister with roots in Saskatchewan to carry this country’s climate action plan further down the field without tearing the nation apart.

Jonathan Wilkinson, a 54-year-old former cleantech CEO and Rhodes Scholar, is becoming the new environment minister today.

He is succeeding Catherine McKenna, whose four years in the portfolio were rife with conflict as she shepherded a carbon tax applying in any province that didn’t initiate an equivalent system of their own.

Wilkinson represents the riding of North Vancouver but grew up in Saskatoon and once was Saskatchewan’s lead negotiator in the Charlottetown Accord constitutional talks.

His abilities as a negotiator and his understanding of western alienation will be tested as his first assignment will be toughening Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions targets and climate action plan amid deep-seated anger in Canada’s oil and gas provinces.

Wilkinson is a second-term MP who served as parliamentary secretary to McKenna for nearly three years before being promoted to cabinet as the fisheries minister in July 2018.

The new cabinet is as follows:

• Chrystia Freeland becomes deputy prime minister and minister of intergovernmental affairs

• Anita Anand becomes minister of public services and procurement

• Navdeep Bains remains minister of innovation, science and industry

• Carolyn Bennett remains minister of crown-indigenous relations

• Marie-Claude Bibeau remains minister of agriculture

• Bill Blair becomes minister of public safety and emergency preparedness

• Bardish Chagger becomes minister of diversity

• Francois-Philippe Champagne becomes minister of foreign affairs

• Jean-Yves Duclos becomes president of the Treasury Board

• Mona Fortier becomes minister of middle-class prosperity and associate minister of finance

• Marc Garneau remains minister of transport

• Karina Gould becomes minister of international development

• Steven Guilbeault becomes minister of heritage

• Patricia Hajdu becomes minister of health

• Ahmed Hussen becomes minister of families, children and social development

• Melanie Joly becomes minister of economic development and official languages

• Bernadette Jordan becomes minister of fisheries, oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

• David Lametti remains minister of justice and attorney general

• Dominic LeBlanc becomes president of the Privy Council

• Diane Lebouthillier remains minister of national revenue

• Lawrence MacAulay remains minister of veteran’s affairs and associate minister of national defence

• Catherine McKenna becomes minster of infrastructure and communities

• Marco Mendicino becomes minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship

• Marc Miller becomes minister of indigenous services

• Maryam Monsef becomes minster of women and gender equality, and rural economic development

• Bill Morneau remains minister of finance

• Joyce Murray becomes minister of digital government

• Mary Ng becomes minister of small business, export promotion and international trade

• Seamus O’Regan becomes minister of natural resources

• Carla Qualtrough becomes minister employment, workforce development and disability inclusion

• Pablo Rodriguez becomes government House leader

• Harjit Sajjan remains minister of national defence

• Deb Schulte becomes minister of seniors

• Filomena Tassi becomes minister of labour

• Dan Vandal becomes minister of northern affairs

• Jonathan Wilkinson becomes minister of environment and climate change

Non-ministerial appointments include:

• Jim Carr becomes special representative for the prairies

• Kirsty Duncan becomes deputy House leader

• Mark Holland remains chief government whip

• Ginette Petitpas Taylor becomes deputy government whip

(Canadian Press)

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