Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made a major overhaul to his cabinet ahead of the country’s next election.
This is the first ministerial shake-up since Mr Trudeau was re-elected with a minority government in 2021.
Of the 38 cabinet members sworn-in on Wednesday, only eight remain in their previous roles.
Many of the changes put an emphasis on affordability as Canada grapples with an ongoing housing crisis.
Mr Trudeau, who has been in power for eight years, said that the shake-up was about making sure Canada is prepared to meet “a consequential moment” domestically and globally.
He referenced issues like the impact of climate change on Canada, the ongoing war in Ukraine and a potential global economic downturn.
“People realise that we are involved in challenging times not only in this country but around the world, and bringing in fresh energy was important,” Mr Trudeau said at a news conference.
One major change is Mr Trudeau’s combining of the housing and infrastructure files. Sean Fraser, the former immigration minister, will take over those portfolios.
The shift is seen as a response to the increasing unaffordability and limited housing supply in Canada, at a time when immigration has grown Canada’s population at a historic rate.
The average home price in Canada is C$716,083 ($528,000; £426,000), according to the Canada Real Estate Association, though homes in Canada’s most populous city Toronto average about C$1.15m. Household debt in Canada – mostly driven by mortgages – is the highest of any G7 country.
Mr Trudeau has also swapped Canada’s defence minister.
Anita Anand, who held the post for nearly two years, will be replaced with Bill Blair while she takes over as President of the Treasury Board.
Mr Blair has been a member of parliament since 2015 and was formerly the chief of the Toronto Police Service for a decade. He has also overseen public safety and emergency preparedness.
His new role will mean tackling Canada’s response to the Ukraine war, as well as growing calls from Nato allies for Canada to increase its defence spending to at least 2% of its GDP.
Ministers remaining in their current roles include finance minister Chrystia Freeland and foreign affairs minister Melanie Joly.
Public safety minister Marco Mendicino has been kicked out of the cabinet, and will be replaced by long-time member of parliament Dominic LeBlanc.
The change comes as Canadian politics have been rocked with allegations of foreign interference by China, with the prime minister facing repeated calls for a public inquiry on the issue.
Mr Mendicino has also faced criticism for his office’s handling of the prison transfer of serial killer Paul Bernardo, who was recently moved to a lower-security prison.
Four other ministers have been removed as they will not be seeking re-election.
The shake-up is widely seen as Mr Trudeau’s way of refocusing his government ahead of Canada’s next election, which must be held on or before 20 October, 2025.
Pierre Poilievre, the leader of Canada’s Progressive Conservative opposition, criticised the cabinet shuffle, writing on social media that the changes were an admission that Mr Trudeau’s government had failed to deliver on its promises.
“Firing ministers won’t change that – firing the Prime Minister will,” Mr Poilievre said.
An Abacus Data poll released on Wednesday shows Mr Poilievre’s party has a big lead among voters, with 38% of public support compared to Mr Trudeau’s 28%.