Three more Canadian government ministers said on Tuesday (25 July) they would step down at the next election, freeing up room inside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's cabinet for a reshuffle that he will unveil this week.
Trudeau, who last carried out a major shake-up in October 2021, is looking to refresh his left-leaning Liberal Party team ahead of an election that must be called by October 2025 and could happen earlier.
"It is a significant shuffle in that most of the portfolios will have a new name or a new minister," said a senior government source who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak about the changes.
Senior figures like Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne look set to keep their jobs. One well-placed Liberal source said Defence Minister Anita Anand was in the running to take over at Treasury Board, which has overall control of government spending.
The Liberal source said seven ministers would be leaving the cabinet. The Canadian Broadcasting Corp, which also said seven would go, named Justice Minister David Lametti and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino as among the departees.
Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, 53, said he would leave the cabinet immediately and not run in the next election. Public Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek, 72, and Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray, 69, said they also would not run again.
Ministers who announce they intend to leave politics are usually dropped quickly from the cabinet. Mental Health Minister Carolyn Bennett, 72, said on Monday she would not be a candidate in the next election.
Liberal sources say the shuffle will happen this week and could be announced as early as Wednesday.
Trudeau won a parliamentary majority in 2015 but was reduced to leading a minority government after elections in 2019 and 2021. He relies on the support of the smaller, left-of-centre New Democrats, who have agreed to keep him in power until 2025, though that deal is not binding.
Alghabra took over the transport portfolio in January 2021. Opposition parties criticised him last year after travellers faced long delays at Toronto's main airport.
Jaczek had been in her cabinet position for less than a year.