Canada PM announces cabinet shuffle

AP News
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Posted: Feb 09, 2015 12:09 PM

TORONTO (AP) — Canada's prime minister announced a cabinet shuffle Monday amid turmoil in his Conservative government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Rob Nicholson is the new foreign minister and Jason Kenney is the new defense minister. Nicholson moves over from defense. Kenney, considered a leading contender to one day replace Harper, will give up his position as minister of employment but will continue to oversee multiculturalism.

The appointments come less than a week after John Baird, one of Harper's most trusted cabinet ministers, unexpectedly announced he was resigning as foreign minister and leaving politics. It also comes ahead of a scheduled election in October.

Also Monday, Conservative Member of Parliament Eve Adams announced she is joining the opposition Liberals. Her fiancee, Dimitri Soudas, resigned as executive director of the Conservative Party last year after allegations he interfered in her district nomination. It wasn't immediately clear if Soudas, who once served as Harper's director of communications, would join the Liberals. He didn't respond to messages seeking comment.

Conservative party president John Walsh said Adams was told last month the party wouldn't let her run again because of alleged misconduct in the nomination race.

Adams took some parting shots at Harper during a news conference alongside Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.

"I can no longer support mean-spirited leadership that divides people instead of bringing them together," Adams said. "I want to work with someone who inspires, not with fear-mongerers and bullies."