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Six Random but Nevertheless Interesting Directions Included in PM Trudeau’s Mandate Letters to Cabinet Ministers

January 5, 2016 Fast Facts

Prime Minister Trudeau has made public the mandate letters sent to all Cabinet Ministers.  The mandate letters “provide a framework for what Ministers are expected to accomplish, including specific policy objectives and challenges to be addressed”

Here are a few directions that we found interesting.

1. For the Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities 

Lead an engagement process with provinces, territories, municipalities, and stakeholders that will lead to the passage of a Canadians with Disabilities Act. In this work, you will be supported by the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development.

2. For the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Improve our Employment Insurance (EI) system so that it is better aligned with the realities of today’s labour market and serves workers and employers.

(Clinic Editor’s Note: This would include repealing the recent punitive changes made to the EI system reducing EI premiums; modernizing our system of income support for unemployed workers that leaves too many workers with no unemployment insurance safety net; eliminating discrimination against immigrants, younger workers and parents re-entering the workforce so that they are treated the same as other workers in their region.)

3. For the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development

Lead the development of a Canadian Poverty Reduction Strategy that would set targets to reduce poverty and measure and publicly report on our progress, in collaboration with the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour.  Our strategy will align with and support existing provincial and municipal poverty reduction strategies.

4. For the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship

 Modify the temporary foreign workers program to eliminate the $1,000 Labour Market Impact Assessment fee to hire caregivers and work with provinces and territories to develop a system of regulated companies to hire caregivers on behalf of families.

5. For the Minister of Status of Women

Work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies. You will be supported by the Minister of Justice to make any necessary criminal code changes and by the President of the Treasury Board who will develop strategies to combat sexual harassment in federal public institutions.

6. For the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Develop a 10-year plan to deliver significant new funding to provinces, territories and municipalities.  This plan should ensure both immediate increased investments in infrastructure and long-term, predictable funding should support provincial, territorial and municipal priorities, improve access to, and governance of, existing infrastructure programs, increase data collection capacity and promote better asset management of infrastructure in Canada. (Clinic Editor’s Note: The plan would look at public transit, affordable housing and more.)

You can find all thirty Mandate Letters at


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