Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced earlier today that Delta MP Carla Qualtrough will be taking over as the interim President of the Treasury Board of Canada and Minister of Digital Government.
Qualtrough, who is serving her first term as a member of parliament after being elected on Oct. 19, 2015, is currently the Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility. The minister’s office confirmed she will retain that portfolio in addition to her new duties. Qualtrough was previously Minister Sport and Persons with Disabilities from Nov. 4, 2015 until Aug. 28, 2017, when she took over her current position. (Accessibility was added to the portfolio in July of last year.)
The move comes after Jane Philpott, who represents Markham-Stouffville in the House of Commons, quit her cabinet position Monday morning, saying she’s lost confidence in the way the Trudeau government has dealt with the SNC-Lavalin affair.
“I have been considering the events that have shaken the federal government in recent weeks and after serious reflection, I have concluded that I must resign as a member of cabinet,” Philpott wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister.
“In Canada, the constitutional convention of cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all cabinet decisions. A minister must always be prepared to defend other ministers publicly, and must speak in support of the government and its policies. Given this convention and the current circumstances, it is untenable for me to continue to serve as a cabinet minister.”
In a press release, the PMO said Trudeau accepted Philpott’s resignation and thanked her for her work.
In an emailed statement to the Reporter, Qualtrough said she has full confidence in the prime minister and she looks forward to continuing to serve Canadians.
“I’m sad to hear of Jane Philpott’s departure from cabinet. She was a valued member of the team around the table,” Qualtrough said. “I thank the prime minister for his faith in me as I take on the interim position of President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government.”
— with files from The Canadian Press