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Trudeau hands off more responsibilities to Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland

The increase in responsibilities for the former Foreign Affairs Minister was outlined in a mandate letter released on Friday.

Justin Trudeau has given Deputy PM and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Chrystia Freeland a leading role in the cabinet and has been assigned to lead on a number of the government’s top files including Indigenous issues, NAFTA, pharmacare and climate change. 

The increase in responsibilities for the former Foreign Affairs Minister was outlined in a mandate letter released on Friday.

Among her tasks include working closely with fellow ministers, including Health Minister Patty Hajdu, Finance Minister Bill Morneau and Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson. 

As part of her work on the climate, Freeland is charged with “introducing additional carbon reduction measures that exceed current 2030 targets and firmly put Canada on a trajectory to net-zero emissions by 2050,” writes Trudeau.

The Liberals have hinted at the possibility of raising the carbon tax cap after a report by the Parliamentary Budget Officer pointed out that the carbon tax would have to be $102 a tonne by 2030 in order for Canada to reach the targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

The prime minister also asked Freeland to work with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan to “transition to a cleaner economy.” 

Immediately after the Liberals were elected, Freeland travelled across Canada to meet with Western premiers after growing concerns over western separation.

In the mandate letter, Trudeau gave Freeland the principal role in mediating relations between the federal government and the provincial governments. 

“As Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, you are the Government-wide lead on all relations with the provinces and territories,” wrote Trudeau.

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