Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has officially shuffled seven ministers from Cabinet and has named new head honchos for notable portfolios like defence, public safety, and the treasury board.
Wednesday's announcement represents a nearly complete overhaul of his team amid domestic and international tensions.
While Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland kept her position, as did Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly and Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault, other notable figures, including Marco Mendicino and David Lametti, did not.
On Wednesday, the prime minister did not answer when reporters asked why Mendicino, former justice minister David Lametti and former president of the Treasury Board Mona Fortier no longer served in Cabinet.
The prime minister said he put forward "the strongest possible team with fresh energy and a range of skills."
"I want to thank everyone who has served this country and this cabinet so well over the past number of years," he said.
Mendicino faced considerable backlash this year owing to the controversial Paul Bernardo prison transfer, pushback on gun control legislation and the foreign interference file. His wife's shares in a Ukraine war defence contractor fueled the fire.
Trudeau did not respond directly to last week's questions on whether he still had confidence in Mendicino as public safety minister.
"I have an amazing team in Ottawa and an amazing group of MPs right across the country who are committed to serving their country every single day, and anyone in my cabinet, by definition, has my confidence," he said then.
Reporters asked the prime minister repeatedly whether the shakeup means his eight-year-old government is slumping.
"On the contrary," he responded, adding that his government will focus on economic priorities, such as housing.
"This is a difficult time right now for millions of people in Canada and around the world, and making sure that we have the best possible team aligned to respond to Canadians' challenges with the support necessary, but also show that optimism, that ambition for getting us through these consequential times and building a brighter future for everyone —that's what we're focused on," said Trudeau.
Four other ministers — three Toronto-area Cabinet ministers and one B.C. minister — announced they would not seek another term in office, stepping aside from their Cabinet positions.
The CBC confirmed that Transportation Minister Omar Alghabra will step aside from Cabinet after serving 11 years in public office, including Public Services and Procurement Minister Helena Jaczek, Mental Health and Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett, and Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray.
Former Defence Minister Anita Anand will assume the Treasury Board portfolio, while Bill Blair will replace her as Defence Minister.
Dominic LeBlanc will step in as public safety minister, replacing Mendicino.