Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced his cabinet on Tuesday. One of the more significant surprises of this reshuffle was the appointment of Melanie Joly to Foreign Affairs.
Joly's appointment was the most significant promotion of the entire reshuffle. Previously, she served as the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages. This position is widely seen as a mid-level cabinet position.
Canada's political commentariat expressed mild amazement at Joly's appointment. One columnist for the Ottawa Bubble's favourite newspaper, The Hill Times, wrote "Melanie Joly to foreign affairs. Ummm...okay."
Brian Lilley at the Toronto Sun was slightly more scathing in his criticism: "Foreign Affairs used to be a prestigious ministry, one where people who could command respect for Canada on the international stage were placed."
"Under Justin Trudeau," Lilley added, "it has become a place for him to put ministers he doesn’t know what to do with."
Don Martin over at CTV News remarked that the promotion was "surprising." This may be due to the fact that Joly has kept her head down over the past year-and-a-half.
What's more curious, however, is the fact that the former Foreign Minister Marc Garneau was left out of the cabinet altogether. Garneau is widely respected in Ottawa and received praise for the delivery of the two Michaels, who had been imprisoned in China for over 1000 days.