Trudeau's Reshuffled Cabinet

On July 26, Prime Minister Trudeau announced a major reorganization of his cabinet. There are currently 39 positions in the Cabinet, including the Prime Minister. Of these, only eight ministers' portfolios remain unchanged, besides that of the Prime Minister, while 30 were affected by the shuffle. Seven ministers were dropped from cabinet altogether. Four of these had previously announced that they will not be seeking reelection which means that three others suffer humiliation of one sort of another -- a less prestigious position here, a huge salary drop there, depending on whether they are shuffled into another post or go back to the benches. Seven MPs first elected in 2021 were given cabinet positions based on all accounts not on their worthiness but to secure their seats in the next election. All of them, according to gossipy media accounts, seem to come from ridings where the results in the last election were almost too close to call.

Before and after the shuffle, gossipy prognoses of those who call themselves politicians and political pundits focused on their calculations about which minister to put where, who to demote and who to promote. They speak of decisions taken by "the Trudeau team" which seems to be "behind the scenes" consultants who are paid a lot of money to run elections. For the Liberal Party to be considering the next election and deciding its agenda and personnel on this basis, reveals that nothing good will come out of such decisions in the coming period. The last election just took place in 2021 under the hoax of receiving a "COVID mandate." The government interpreted that "mandate" as approval of the "pay Big Pharma" policy and increased deficits and debts to pay the rich. Meanwhile, Canadians were persecuted to refund "overpayments," splits were engineered through the promotion of conspiracy theories of all kinds, to nobody's benefit, and the country spiraled into overt catering to the Biden administration's every demand.

The gender balance in the reshuffled cabinet gives Trudeau the opportunity to tout his purported feminist credentials once again, the refusal to provide justice to women and children who suffer violence, homelessness, poverty and addiction notwithstanding. A number of ministers are presented as "hyphenated Canadians" (characterized by the Hill Times as Hindu-Canadian, Sikh-Canadian, Filipino-Canadian and Jewish-Canadian). This attests to the extent to which religion, nationality and citizenship are all confounded. Doing so is to deprive Canadians of a modern identity based on forging a modern nation-state in the image of the working class which is one humanity, not a personality which deprives the polity of coherence and a common aim. Presenting them as "hyphenated Canadians" who are said to represent national minority communities, is aimed at courting the "ethnic" vote. Despite the fact that many black people were in the country way before Confederation and others come from distinct nations and nationalities, they are considered on a racist basis, as persons without citizenship, nationality or ethnicity. So too the identity of Indigenous Peoples within their nations is not recognized due to their characterization on a racist basis.

Opining on the appointment of Rechie Valdez as Minister of Small Business, a rookie MP first elected in 2021, the CBC said that until her appointment, the 960,000 members of the Filipino community in Canada have had no representative in Parliament since 2004. It really shows the dilemma facing what is called a representative democracy when even state media admits Canadians have no representation! CBC noted that "by comparison, Canada's 770,000 Sikhs were represented by four out of 40 ministers in Prime Minister Trudeau's first cabinet." Such calculations by cartel parties and the media reflect their own racist outlook and aim to sow racist divisions to undermine the need for the unity of the Canadian people to renew the democracy on a mass democratic basis. By doing so, the sovereign decision-making power is vested in them and the conception of rights inherited since the conquest of Canada by colonizers -- perfected in the Victorian parliamentary reform and morality in the 19th century, then reduced to everyone being allotted the role of "consumer in the 20th century" -- is discarded once and for all.

The Hill Times reported that "Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has 'doubled down' on choosing an overwhelming majority of his front bench from the Liberal 'red wall' consisting of Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces that brought him to power in 2015 and provided his two subsequent mandates, according to MPs, political insiders, and pollsters." A Liberal MP who spoke on a "not-for-attribution" basis, told the Hill Times, "I would describe the new cabinet as a battleground cabinet, where you have the new entrants who are either coming from ridings that are battleground ridings, or else they are shoring-up communities that are part of battleground areas."

Not a word is said about the fact that what is portrayed as a significant political event has nothing to do with addressing the problems that the people are facing. There is no mention of how the new cabinet plans to deal with the crisis in health care, the housing crisis and inflation, which is driving workers into poverty and making life literally impossible for families and individuals on fixed incomes, disability pensions and social assistance of various sorts. No mention at all about the war preparations and military spending, or destruction of the social and natural environment.

Instead the mainstream media repeat the vacuous messaging from the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) that the Liberals have done a great job and will do an even better job in the future. The PMO states that:

"Building on the work done since 2015 to invest in Canadians and to strengthen the middle class and those working hard to join it, the team will continue to move forward on housing and putting more money back in families' pockets. To deliver a better future for everyone, the team will also continue to fight climate change and walk the shared path of reconciliation."

No discussion is permitted on the direction of the economy or the need for a foreign policy that serves Canadians and not the demands of the U.S./NATO. Such cynical, self-serving manoeuvres of the party in power to stay in power, using the people and even its own MPs as pawns, are contemptible.

While these things are true, the questions is what to do? Where do the people go from there? Dropping out and trying to wash one's hands of all of it is not an option because the damage done to the country and human beings and nature is already too much.

For the list of the new cabinet, click here.

This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 8 - August 2023

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