OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canada’s Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweaked his cabinet on Friday, promoting a rookie female member of parliament to fill a gap left earlier this year by the resignation of a minister who sought treatment for addiction.
Bardish Chagger was sworn in as the new leader of the government in the House of Commons. She also retains her previous role as minister of small business and tourism.
Trudeau has emphasized the need for gender and ethnic diversity in his cabinet and Chagger’s appointment to the prestigious role further highlighted that.
Chagger, the daughter of Indian immigrants, first came to office in the 2015 election that swept the Liberals and Trudeau into power, ousting the previous Conservative government.
She replaces previous house leader Dominic LeBlanc, who took over as minister of fisheries and oceans after Hunter Tootoo resigned in May to seek treatment for addiction issues.
The mini cabinet shuffle comes a day after Health Minister Jane Philpott said she will repay taxpayers about C$3,700 ($2,875) for excessive costs related to work travel, including a C$1,700 limo ride. Opposition politicians have said the spending controversy is a reminder to voters of previous spending scandals that plagued the last Liberal government, which lost power in 2006.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr and Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Tom Brown)