Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has brought in fresh faces, made changes to key posts and chosen a new point person to work with anglophones as part of this morning’s cabinet shuffle.
Among the changes confirmed so far:
- Longtime cabinet minister Kathleen Weil is Anglo affairs minister, as well as minister responsible for democratic reform.
- André Fortin is transport minister.
- Pierre Arcand is treasury board minister.
- Pierre Moreau is minister of energy and natural resources energy.
- David Heurtel is immigration minister.
- Luc Fortin is minister of families.
André Fortin, a 35-year-old junior cabinet minister, will now head up the transport ministry only days before the deadline set by Uber to leave Quebec over the province’s stricter new regulations.
Weil, the former immigration minister, will focus on her new role as minister of anglophone affairs. Quebec has not had an Anglo affairs minister since Couillard became premier in 2014.
The addition is a response to a longtime demand from community groups representing English speakers.
Election a year away
The cabinet shuffle represents an attempt to inject new life into his government a year ahead of the next election.
The Liberals have been struggling in opinion polls and were trounced by Coalition Avenir Québec in the recent byelection in the Quebec City-area riding of Louis-Hébert.
Finance Minister Carlos Leitão, Health Minister Gaétan Barrette and House Leader Jean-Marc Fournier all retained their posts.
As well, François Blais lost his position as minister responsible for the Quebec City region, while retaining his post as minister of employment and social solidarity.
Sébastien Proulx took over the Quebec City job, but lost his position as minister of families.