October 26, 2021

By Steve Scherer and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) -Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday carried out a major cabinet shuffle, putting long-time green activist Steven Guilbeault into the environment portfolio and appointing new ministers of defense and foreign affairs.

Trudeau, who took power in 2015, won a third term last month but had to act after he lost three ministers and another quit before the election. Fewer than 10 of the 38 ministers kept their existing positions.

His Liberals hold 159 seats in parliament but do not have the 170 needed to pass legislation without the support of an opposition party. Minority governments do not usually last a full four-year term in Canada.

Trudeau has said addressing climate change is a major priority. His government already has imposed a carbon tax and has said it will curb harmful emissions in the energy sector.

Guilbeault worked for green groups for more than 20 years before entering parliament in 2019. He became heritage minister, but was widely criticized for proposing broadcast legislation that critics said would harm freedom of speech.

He replaces Jonathan Wilkinson, who moves to the natural resources portfolio. Melanie Joly becomes Canada’s fifth foreign minister under Trudeau and Anita Anand takes over at defense.

(Additional reporting by David Ljunggren, Editing by Peter Cooney, Will Dunham and Timothy Heritage)

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