As cabinet ministers head back to their ridings this summer, a senior government official says they can be secure in the knowledge that they won’t be shuffled out of their job before Parliament resumes sitting this fall.
Despite rumours of prorogation as the Liberal government nears the midway point of its mandate, the official says there are no plans to shake up the front benches this summer.
“No. Not at all. As in zero chance,” said the official, who spoke to CBC News on a not for attribution basis.
The official shot down speculation that a shuffle was coming, and dismissed rumours that top ministers — such as Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan — could be moved due to poor performance or controversies.
“All the major posts are doing well, and they have a lot left to do,” the official said.
Performance aside, a key factor in keeping the current cabinet roster is the delicate state of Canada-U.S. relations. The surprise election of Donald Trump led to the most recent cabinet shuffle in January, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reoriented his government to deal with the unpredictable president who has threatened to tear up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Among other moves, the January shuffle saw Chrystia Freeland take over as foreign affairs minister from the international trade post, with Stéphane Dion departing for Europe to be ambassador to Germany and special envoy to the EU.
Since then, a number of ministers have visited Washington, as well as state houses and city halls throughout the United States, to build a coalition of supporters for the free trade agreement. Top cabinet ministers have also been working to forge close relationships with their counterparts in the Trump administration to ensure the Canadian perspective is understood at the highest levels of power in…