Canada’s new cabinet promises environmental leadership across multiple ministries

Statement by Aaron Freeman

TORONTO - The new cabinet named by Prime Minister Trudeau yesterday has exciting potential for environmental leadership.

We would like to congratulate Catherine McKenna on being appointed Minister of Environment and Climate Change. We join other Canadian environmental groups in applauding ‘climate change’ being added to the Environment Ministry’s title, and look forward to McKenna bringing her impressive legal and international experience to bear on the UN climate negotiations in Paris this month.

It is also exciting to see a number of new cabinet ministers in other portfolios who have strong environmental track records, presenting excellent opportunities for collaboration between ministries. 

We are very pleased to see that two of the 18 environmental champions that GreenPAC endorsed in the recent election have been named to cabinet.  Etobicoke North MP Kirsty Duncan is Canada’s new Minister of Science.  Duncan is an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) author, and it is exciting that a minister with expertise in climate change science will take the lead on this new portfolio. Winnipeg South Centre MP Jim Carr has worked on climate change issues at the provincial level and advocated for a national Canadian energy strategy, and will bring an environmental perspective to resource development as the new Minister of Natural Resources.

We are also thrilled to see long-time environmental policy advocate Stéphane Dion named as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo named as Minister of Oceans, Fisheries, and the Canadian Coastguard, bringing insight into environmental challenges facing Canada’s North.

The wealth of environmental expertise in our new cabinet is good reason to be optimistic that Canada is poised for a renewed commitment to environmental leadership at the national and international levels. With a number of environmentally concerned MPs in opposition parties holding the new government to account, we hope that this new government will follow through with much-needed action on environmental issues.

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