Meet the new ministers
OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought three not-so-familiar faces into his federal cabinet Tuesday and placed them in key roles. here’s a closer look:
Francois-philippe Champagne — International Trade
The liberal MP representing the Quebec riding of saint-maurice-champlain had made no secret of his desire to be in cabinet one day.
“it’s for Mr. Trudeau to decide, but i know the people on his economic team,” Champagne said soon after his election victory in 2015.
That did not happen right away, but Champagne built up a profile as the parliamentary secretary to Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
he has now been granted a much bigger role, taking over international trade from Chrystia Freeland — a key economic portfolio at a time when the Canadian government is grappling with how to handle the protectionist promises of u.s. president-elect donald Trump. Champagne, who has a background as a lawyer, businessman and international trade specialist, has held senior positions at several companies, including amec, a global engineering and project management firm. The World economic Forum named him a “young Global leader” in 2009.
Ahmed Hussen — Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
ahmed hussen came to Canada as a refugee from Mogadishu, somalia, when he was a teenager.
a lawyer and community activist, hussen became the first somali-canadian to be elected to the house of Commons in 2015.
he won his seat in the Toronto riding of york southweston by defeating ndp rival Mike sullivan.
hussen served as national president of the Canadian somali Congress, where he worked on integration and boosting the civic engagement of that community.
While studying at york university in the 1990s, hussen co-founded the regent Park Community Council and served as its president. The group advocated for the residents of the oft-troubled Toronto neighbourhood he lived in as it went through a $500-million revitalization project.
Karina Gould — Democratic Institutions
The liberal MP for Burlington gets a promotion after serving as parliamentary secretary to international development Minister Marie-claude Bibeau. she worked as a trade and investment specialist with the Mexican Trade Commission before entering politics, but also has a background in international development.
she spent a year volunteering at an orphanage in Mexico, for example, and also organized a fundraising campaign for the victims of the 2010 earthquake in haiti when she was an undergraduate student at Mcgill university.
she also worked as a consultant with the migration and development program at the Organization of american states in Washington, d.c., before heading to do a graduate degree in international relations at the university of Oxford.