Transport minister will become second Sikh in cabinet, after Rudy Borgard left in 2013 for nursing position
Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has dropped the junior transport minister Marc Garneau from his cabinet in a move that his office says is unrelated to the resignation of Garneau’s colleague Marc Garneau as astronaut in October.
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Garneau, who is scheduled to make his own announcement about the make-up of his cabinet in the next few days, is expected to become Canada’s second Sikh cabinet minister, after former astronaut Rudy Borgard, who resigned in 2013 to take up a position as nursing director at McGill University.
Garneau, 70, was defeated in the 2015 election to become a cabinet minister under Trudeau’s Liberal Party. He was first elected in 1976, and in 2012, while still an MP, became Canada’s first Canadian astronaut, travelling to the International Space Station in 2010. He then returned for a second mission, which ended in 2013.
The prime minister is relying heavily on his ministerial’s international experience as Canada prepares to host a meeting of world leaders next month on the Montreal summit and has promised to invest in new projects like high-speed rail connections to cities across the country.
On Saturday afternoon, Trudeau confirmed that Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale will move from interior to transport to fill Garneau’s spot in his own cabinet. Goodale, a prominent former lawyer who was described as “Canada’s sober judge”, had been carrying out duties for years by acting as Trudeau’s national security adviser since the September 2015 election.
Goodale is expected to replace Pierre Poilievre, who was removed as the minister responsible for telecommunications, business and innovation at the behest of the Liberals, after the outgoing Conservative prime minister, Stephen Harper, ensured Poilievre would remain in cabinet and would receive an honorable departure package.
The news that Garneau had been dropped as transport minister was announced by his office, but the prime minister was not expected to give an official reason, as Trudeau is not required to do so. Garneau’s office declined to comment.