OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau will swear in a new Liberal cabinet on Nov. 4 and he’s got an embarrassment of riches to choose from among his 183 newly elected MPs.
Cabinet making is one of the most difficult tasks facing any prime minister, who must strive to attain geographic, linguistic, ethnic and gender balance.
At the same time, he must find a way to placate the raft of disappointed MPs who find their ambitions thwarted so that they don’t become problems down the road.
Trudeau has complicated his task by committing to a relatively small cabinet that boasts an equal number of men and women.
Ralph Goodale is likely a shoo-in, as the only Liberal elected in Saskatchewan and a veteran of cabinets under three previous prime ministers, including Trudeau’s late father, Pierre. After that, the choices get more difficult.
Goodale is likely to be joined by a number of other experienced MPs, some of whom have served in previous federal or provincial cabinets. Among the veterans who might be tapped for a cabinet post are John McCallum, Judy Foote, Joyce Murray, Stephane Dion, Judy Sgro, Scott Brison, Dominic LeBlanc, Wayne Easter and Lawrence MacAulay.
But Trudeau will also undoubtedly want to include a lot of fresh faces, especially the “stars” he went to considerable trouble to recruit. Possible picks among the newcomers include:
— Jody Wilson-Raybould, former B.C. regional chief for the Assembly of First Nations.
— Harjit Singh Sajjan, a former Vancouver police detective and a highly decorated lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces who served three tours in Afghanistan and became the first Sikh to command a Canadian military regiment.
— Kent Hehr, a former Alberta MLA.
— Darshan Kang, another former Alberta MLA.
— Jim Carr, former Manitoba MLA and head of the Manitoba business council.
— MaryAnn Mihychuk, former Manitoba cabinet minister.
— Robert-Falcon Ouellette, one-time Winnipeg mayoral candidate, former director of aboriginal programs at University of Manitoba.
— Bill Morneau, head of Morneau Shepell, the country’s largest human resources consulting company, member of Trudeau’s economic advisory group.
— Chrystia Freeland, former business journalist and author who won a Toronto byelection two years ago, member of Trudeau’s economic advisory team.
— Adam Vaughan, former Toronto city councillor who won a byelection last year.
— Bill Blair, former Toronto police chief.
— Navdeep Bains, an accountant and former MP defeated in 2011.
— Jane Philpott, family doctor.
— Andrew Leslie, retired Canadian forces lieutenant-general and member of Trudeau’s foreign and defence policy advisory group.
— Catherine McKenna, international trade lawyer, former legal adviser and negotiator for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor, co-founder of Canadian Lawyers Abroad.
— Anita Vandenbeld, international expert on democracy and human rights.
— Marco Mendicino, former federal prosecutor, defeated Conservatives’ finance minister, Joe Oliver.
— Arif Virani, lawyer who helped prosecute genocide at the United Nations’ International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
— Greg Fergus, former Liberal national director.
— Steven MacKinnon, another former Liberal national director.
— Anthony Housefather, lawyer and former mayor of Côte-Saint-Luc, near Montreal.
— Marc Miller, lawyer and close friend of Trudeau’s.
— Melanie Joly, lawyer, runner-up in last Montreal mayoral race.
— Alexandra Mendes, former MP, defeated in 2011, former president of the Liberal party’s Quebec wing.
— Pablo Rodriguez, former MP defeated in 2011.
— Andy Fillmore, Halifax urban planner.
— Bill Casey, former Conservative MP who quit over what he perceived as Harper government’s betrayal of Atlantic Canada, won re-election as an independent before briefly retiring, now back as a Liberal.
— Seamus O’Regan, former broadcast journalist, former aid to one-time Newfoundland premier Brian Tobin.