Environment, energy files get new ministers in cabinet shakeup ahead of COP26 summit

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Environmental groups say Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is sending a signal that combating climate change will fall to more than just one department in his government.

Jonathan Wilkinson is being shuffled from environment to natural resources in a cabinet shakeup today and Steven Guilbeault will go to environment after spending the last two years as the minister of heritage.

The changes come just days before Trudeau leaves for Europe where leaders' summits at the G20 in Rome and the United Nations COP26 climate talks are considered crucial to the world's effort to fight climate change.

Caroline Brouillette, director of domestic policy at Climate Action Network Canada, says Guilbeault won't take long to brief on the file because he has probably attended more COP meetings than anyone else in the Canadian delegation.

Greenpeace Canada senior energy strategist Keith Stewart says Guilbeault and Wilkinson, whose background is in clean technology, will bring a one-two punch to environmental issues around the cabinet table.

Both inside the Liberal government and outside of it, there is a desire to start responding to the climate change crisis with the speed, flexibility and total-government approach used as the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 26, 2021.

Mia Rabson, The Canadian Press

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