Canadian property and casualty insurers will be working with new cabinet ministers in the areas of emergency preparedness, public safety (including cybersecurity and auto theft), and housing, infrastructure and communities (including climate resilience), following Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s major cabinet shuffle Thursday.
In the shuffle, Harjit Sajjan became the new minister of emergency preparedness, taking over from Bill Blair, who moves to national defence. Dominic LeBlanc becomes the new public safety minister, and Sean Fraser is the new minister of housing, infrastructure and communities.
Steven Guilbeault remains as minister of environment and climate change.
“We welcome and look forward to working with new Minister of Emergency Preparedness Harjit Sajjan, and thank former minister Bill Blair for his leadership to date in standing up [for] the national flood insurance program,” Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said in a two-part tweet late Thursday.
In its 2023 budget in March, the federal government under Blair’s leadership committed $31.7 million over three years to help protect households at high risk of flooding and without access to adequate insurance as part of a national flood insurance program. “This would include offering reinsurance through a federal Crown corporation and a separate insurance subsidy program,” the budget said.
Public Safety Canada and the Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation will work with the Department of Finance to start up the low-cost flood insurance program beginning in 2023-24, the budget document said.
Sajjan, the new emergency preparedness minister, was previously in the national defence portfolio, as well as international development and the minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada. He was also a member of the Vancouver Police Department for 11 years, finishing his career as a detective in the gang crime unit.
The cabinet shuffle saw LeBlanc become the minister of public safety, democratic institutions and intergovernmental affairs, and Fraser as the new minister of housing, infrastructure and communities.
“We also congratulate and look forward to working with Dominic LeBlanc, new minister of public safety, on cybersecurity and auto theft, and Sean Fraser, new minister of housing, infrastructure and communities, on elevating climate resilience,” IBC said in the tweet.
LeBlanc began his career as a lawyer before moving into politics. He has represented the New Brunswick riding of Beauséjour for more than 20 years. He has previously served as a minister for a variety of portfolios and also as leader of the government in the House of Commons.
Fraser was previously minister of immigration, refugees and citizenship (now headed by Marc Miller). Fraser also served as parliamentary secretary to a number of ministers including Chrystia Freeland, currently deputy prime minister and minister of finance. Like LeBlanc, Fraser worked in a law firm before entering politics, practicing commercial litigation and international dispute resolution.
Feature image: Members of the federal cabinet stand behind Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as he speaks at a media availability after a cabinet shuffle, at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, on Wednesday, July 26, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang