Trudeau set to reshuffle cabinet before heading into 2019 election

OTTAWA: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to announce a reshuffling of his government, just over a year before legislative elections in Canada, the office of the governor general announced.

Trudeau´s new cabinet picks will be sworn in by Governor General Julie Payette, Canada´s representative of Queen Elizabeth II, in a ceremony at Rideau Hall, Payette´s official residence in Ottawa, a statement from her office said.

The ceremony is set for 10am (1400 GMT).

Trudeau will then make remarks to the press, his office said in a separate statement.

This will be the third government reshuffle since Trudeau came to power in November 2015.

The changes, which are not expected to reach into the cabinet´s senior positions, come as Canada is moving to boost its trade with Asia, Latin America and Europe in the face of protectionist measures taken by the United States, its leading commercial partner.

The reshuffling will reflect these new economic priorities, according to the Globe and Mail of Toronto.

It is also seen as confirmation that Trudeau´s Liberal Party is already in election mode, ahead of the legislative elections set for October 21, 2019.

Liberals saw the election in early June of Conservative Doug Ford to lead Ontario — the richest and most heavily populated province in Canada — as a warning shot.

Ford is a populist and a climate skeptic who wants to reduce the size of the state and drastically slow immigration — a reminder, analysts say, that Canada has not been spared from the international wave of nationalist/populists