High-speed internet is at the top of the list for the new federal minister for rural economic development. Kenora MP Bob Nault says Bernadette Jordan is willing to work with mayors and chiefs across the country.

“Today, we see five very important changes to the federal cabinet," Nault said in a prepared statement. "Perhaps, most importantly for northerners, there has been the creation of a new ministry for Rural Economic Development, headed by the Hon. Bernadette Jordan."

The mandate for this new ministry includes:

  • the development of a strategy to spur economic growth and create jobs in rural Canada
  • high-speed internet for more rural households and businesses
  • work with municipalities, provinces, territories, and Indigenous partners to meet the unique and diverse infrastructure needs of rural communities.

Nault has previously talked about the federal government's focus on preparing Canadians for a new economy with more diverse overseas markets. This includes retooling manufacturers, as well as retraining workers.

The Hon. Seamus O’Regan will take over as Minister of Indigenous Services Canada, a position previously held by Hon. Jane Philpott.

"I would like to extend my sincere thanks to Minister Philpott for her dedication to Indigenous peoples, and I very much look forward to continuing the same relationship with Minister O’Regan,” Nault added.

At the same time, Regional Chief RoseAnne Archibald is welcoming Seamus O'Regan as the new minister for Indigenous Services. The former broadcaster from Newfoundland had been serving in veterans affairs.

"I was happy to meet him (O'Regan) at the AFN MOU Joint Priorities meeting today, and I have begun already to build a positive relationship in order to keep moving forward in such a manner that we established with Minister Philpott. We hope to do this immediately and begin collaborating on ways to progress First Nations in Ontario and ensure our priorities will continue to be met,” said the regional chief in a prepared statement.

Other cabinet moves included a switch in the justice portfolio. Jody Wilson-Raybould moves from Justice to Veterans Affairs. David Lametti of Montreal, former professor of Law at McGill, is the new Minister of Justice.

“I would like to also acknowledge the work Minister Wilson-Raybould had done for First Nations during her time as the Justice Minister. She not only made history as the First Indigenous woman to hold the post, but she had worked closely with First Nations and contributed to renewing the relationship between Canada and First Nations," Archibald noted.

"We would like to wish her well on her next endeavour as Minister of Veteran’s Affairs and welcome MP David Lametti as the new Minister of Justice,” Archibald continued. “We particularly look forward to working closely with Minister Lametti to ensure First Nations needs are recognized and actively met and we hope Canada will continue to collaborate and work together to ensure justice and equality for First Nations across Canada.”

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