ontario news watch

Prime Minister’s Office gives mandate letters to two ministers, months after shuffle

OTTAWA — The Prime Minister’s Office has quietly published mandate letters for two ministers who were given new portfolios in the Liberal government’s summer cabinet shuffle, but it won’t be updating its prescriptions for jobs that already existed. 

The letters for the ministers in charge of the newly minted citizens’ services and sport and physical activity portfolios were posted online earlier this week, and serve as a guide to what the prime minister wants them to accomplish.

Other ministers are not getting new mandate letters despite many of them having switched jobs, even though the last batch of instructions was given in 2021 during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The prime minister’s press secretary, Mohammad Hussain, says the new letters build on earlier commitments, and ministers are expected to deliver on their priorities.

The letter for Citizens’ Services Minister Terry Beech says he should seek to improve the way the government delivers services to Canadians, with an emphasis on digitizing services and preventing problems like last year’s passport processing backlog.

Sport Minister Carla Qualtrough is being asked to promote physical activity as a fundamental element of health and well-being, and ensure that Canadians have equitable access to sports and physical activity. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2023.

The Canadian Press