Federal Cabinet Sworn-in: New ministers for International Development and for Women and Gender Equality

Today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, Governor General of Canada, presided over the swearing-in of the new federal cabinet selected by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau following the Liberal Party of Canada’s re-election in September. 

Notably, for members of the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH), the Equal Futures Network and their partners in global health, international development and gender equality, new ministers were announced for International Development and for Women and Gender Equality.

We congratulate the following Ministers:. 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan is the new Minister of International Development 

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan was first elected as Member of Parliament for Vancouver South in 2015. He served as Minister of National Defence from 2015 to 2021.

Minister Sajjan immigrated to Canada from India with his family when he was five years old. He grew up in South Vancouver. 

He is a former detective with the Vancouver Police Department, a former Lieutenant Colonel with the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own), and a long-time advocate for youth education and mentorship programs. As a member of the British Columbia Regiment, he participated in four operational deployments – one to Bosnia and three to Afghanistan.

Minister Sajjan has lived in Vancouver for many years with his wife and two children.

The Honourable Marci Ien is the new Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth

The Honourable Marci Ien has served as Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre since October 2020.

Minister Ien is a devoted community leader and a passionate advocate for vulnerable communities in Canada and around the world. Prior to being elected to the House of Commons, she had an award-winning career in journalism and television that spanned three decades. She has travelled internationally with Journalists for Human Rights and World Vision.

Minister Ien has worked as a mentor with underprivileged youth with Trust 15, an afterschool program based in the Etobicoke area of Toronto, and in La Loche, Saskatchewan, following the shooting at Dene High School in 2016. She has also supported students from these communities by co-founding a new scholarship at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University. A graduate of Ryerson, she later returned to the university as a distinguished visiting professor and served on its Board of Governors.

Minister Ien was born and raised in Toronto, where she lives with her children Blaize and Dash.

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos is the new Minister of Health

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos has been the Member of Parliament for Québec since 2015.

He has previously served as President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. Minister Duclos is a well-published author, conference speaker, and economics expert. Prior to 2015, he was the Director of the Department of Economics and a tenured professor at the Université Laval.

In addition to his professorial duties, Minister Duclos held the former Industrial Alliance Research Chair on the Economics of Demographic Change (now the Research Chair in Intergenerational Economics), served as President-Elect of the Canadian Economics Association, and was a member of the Institut sur le vieillissement et la participation sociale des aînés.

He was also Vice-President and Fellow of the Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations, Senior Fellow of the Fondation pour les études et recherches sur le développement international, and Fellow-in-Residence at the C.D. Howe Institute. He is also the co-founder of the Poverty and Economic Policy Research Network (Partnership for Economic Policy).

Minister Duclos earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics (First-Class Honours) from the University of Alberta, and master’s and doctoral degrees in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the new Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Honourable Mélanie Joly was first elected to represent Ahuntsic-Cartierville in the House of Commons in 2015. She has previously served as Minister of Economic Development, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, and Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Prior to entering federal politics, Minister Joly founded the Vrai changement pour Montréal party and ran for mayor of Montréal in 2013 under its banner.

Minister Joly holds an Honours Bachelor of Law from the Université de Montréal and a Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law from the University of Oxford. She is the author of Changing the Rules of the Game, in which she shares her vision for public policy and civic engagement. She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland remains in her position as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance. 

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland is Canada’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.

Ms. Freeland was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre in July 2013. She was elected as Member of Parliament for University—Rosedale in October 2015 and re-elected in October 2019 and September 2021.

From November 2015 to January 2017, Ms. Freeland served as Canada’s Minister of International Trade, overseeing the successful negotiation of Canada’s free trade agreement with the European Union, CETA. From January 2017 to November 2019, she served as Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. During this time, she was a leading advocate for democracy, human rights, and multilateralism around the world. As Foreign Minister, she led and successfully concluded the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) between Canada, Mexico, and the United States.

In November 2019, Ms. Freeland was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Canada and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. In this capacity, she led Canada’s united response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She was appointed Minister of Finance in August 2020.

An esteemed journalist and author, the Deputy Prime Minister was born in Peace River, Alberta. She was educated at Harvard University before continuing her studies on a Rhodes Scholarship at the University of Oxford.

After launching her career in journalism as a Ukraine-based freelance correspondent for the Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Economist, Ms. Freeland went on to various roles at the Financial Times of London. She then served as deputy editor of the Toronto-based Globe and Mail between 1999 and 2001, before returning to the Financial Times as deputy editor and then as United States managing editor.

In 2010, she joined Canadian-owned Thomson Reuters. She was a managing director of the company and editor of consumer news when she decided to return home and enter politics in 2013.

Ms. Freeland speaks Russian, Ukrainian, Italian, French, and English. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three children.

CanWaCH looks forward to working with Minister Sajjan, Minister Ien, the federal cabinet and all Parliamentarians in advancing the health, rights and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents in communities across Canada and around the world. We also look forward to collaborating with Parliament towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, particularly SDG 5 which is focused on achieving gender equality for everyone, everywhere. And as we collectively tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, CanWaCH will continue to stress the importance of an equitable global response to COVID-19 and the urgent need for access to vaccines in low-and-middle-income countries. 

It is anticipated that Prime Minister Trudeau will release Ministers’ mandate letters alongside the Speech from the Throne which will signal the government’s priorities for this Parliament and is scheduled to take place November 22nd.

CanWaCH will continue to monitor the selection of opposition party critics expected to be announced in the coming days and weeks.

A complete list of the new federal cabinet can be found here.


October 26, 2021