Pablo Rodriguez is set to be sworn in as the new transport minister, taking the baton on a raft of turbulent issues as the aviation sector emerges from a period of crisis.
A manager by training, Rodriguez leaves his spot atop the Heritage Department to take over from Omar Alghabra, who assumed the cabinet post in January 2021 while the pandemic pummelled the travel industry.
Alghabra steered the government through negotiations with airlines on financial aid, Covid-19 testing at airports and a new passenger rights charter. He also handled a range of trucking files, including the implementation of an electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, the handling of Covid-related travel restrictions, and federal driver training issues.
Rodriguez, who was first elected in 2004, will take over on topline items including nascent plans for a high-frequency railway between Toronto and Quebec City, ongoing supply chain hitches and infrastructure vulnerable to natural disasters amid increasingly extreme weather.
Alghabra announced his decision Tuesday not to run in the next election, with the new transport chief set to be sworn in today at Rideau Hall.
Two-thirds of portfolios have changed hands in this morning’s major cabinet shuffle in Ottawa. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has brought in seven rookie ministers and moved around some of his key ministers.
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