Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives in Brussels, Belgium on July 10, 2018. Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election. The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Justin Trudeau will shuffle his front benches Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

The changes will expand the prime minister’s cabinet by adding new posts to showcase up-and-coming MPs and to broaden the profile of a party that has long pinned its fortunes to the Trudeau brand, sources say.

The shuffle appears designed to ensure deft communicators are well-placed to spell out the government’s positions and defend policies on hot political issues leading up to the 2019 election campaign.

Insiders have indicated there’s a possibility Ottawa will appoint a minister dedicated to seniors, a post that once existed in past federal cabinets.

RELATED: Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

The mid-summer shakeup will give ministers a couple of months to get up to speed on their new portfolios before they return to Parliament this fall, and the Liberals will hope they can master their responsibilities ahead of the election. Nearly three years into its four-year mandate, the Liberal government has few remaining opportunities to rejig its cabinet lineup.

In some cases, Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio.

For instance, Kirsty Duncan, the minister of science and minister of sport and persons with disabilities, will likely see her duties divided back into two jobs. The prime minister could do the same for Bardish Chagger, who is both the government House leader and the minister of small business and tourism.

If Wednesday’s heavy ministerial schedule is any indication, many high-profile positions should be left untouched by the shuffle.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay, Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor and Status of Women Minister Maryam Monsef all have events scheduled for Wednesday. Finance Minister Bill Morneau is preparing to leave for this weekend’s meeting with his G20 counterparts in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The government could also look to replace ministers who have no plans to run again in 2019. So far, however, no ministers have publicly signalled that they intend to skip next year’s campaign.

As for potential new faces in cabinet, several names have been churning in Ottawa’s rumour mill in recent days. They include MPs Mary Ng, Joel Lightbound and Bill Blair.

With so much shuffle talk, worries have spread among political staffers who are contemplating how the moves will affect their own job security.

The political scenes in big provinces could also be part of the federal calculation behind Wednesday’s shuffle.

RELATED: Ontario asks Trudeau for resources to address influx of asylum seekers

Promoting Liberal MPs in Quebec may well be a consideration when Trudeau announces his changes. The Liberals hold 40 Quebec seats, including Trudeau’s, and the province will be critical to the party’s fortunes in 2019.

In Ontario, Trudeau’s cabinet changes may be designed to deal with trouble spots that could deteriorate over the coming months between his federal Liberals and the province’s new Progressive Conservative government led by Doug Ford.

Tensions between Ford’s government and Ottawa have deepened over the contentious asylum-seeker issue. Criticism from the Ontario government has come in addition to growing pressure from federal opposition parties on the Liberal government to share more about its plan to deal with the influx of irregular border crossers.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

North Island Eagles minor rep ockey organization hand out year-end awards in Port McNeill

It was quite the season and then some for minor rep hockey here in the North Island.

North Island resident to campaign on climate, economy for Liberal Party seat in Ottawa

Peter Schwarzhoff joins race for the second time in North Island-Powell River riding

Press release: Port Alice Health Centre service model announced

“a sustainable and dependable model of health care service delivery in Port Alice is a priority”

First annual Pride Day coming to Port Hardy in August

Pride contributes to a more inclusive and safe community for LGBTQ+ identifying individuals.

Blaney plan helps seniors late with taxes

Simple solution to important issue: North Island-Powell River MP

‘Teams that win are tight’: B.C. Lions search for chemistry at training camp

The Lions added more than 50 new faces over the off-season, from coaching staff to key players

Growing wildfire prompts evacuation of High Level, Alta.

Chuckegg Creek fire has been burning for several day, but grew substantially Sunday

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Rescue crews suspend search for Okanagan kayaker missing for three days

71-year-old Zygmunt Janiewicz was reported missing Friday

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Most Read