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Lessons from PM Trudeau’s Cabinet: Language Matters

Today, Prime Minister Trudeau put forward members of #TeamTrudeau who will action the Liberal Party of Canada’s plan for Real Change. Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister chose a Cabinet that reflects the regional, language, age and gender diversity of our country. While personalities and experience of the new Cabinet are important, Justin Trudeau demonstrated today that a change in language matters more.

The companies and industries that reflect the new tone of the government and reposition their language – both internally and externally – will benefit. Not because PM Trudeau said so, but because on October 19, Canadians did.

As business stakeholders across our country navigate new realities, here are some initial considerations to build a positive relationship with the Trudeau Government.

1) Ministries have been renamed to reflect Canada’s values and interests, at home and abroad. Stakeholders should reflect these nuanced language changes in all public, media and government communications. Changes of significance include:

  • Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (formerly Ministry of Environment);
  • Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs (formerly Ministry of Aboriginal and Northern Development);
  • Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Ministry of Small Business and Tourism (formerly Ministry of Industry); and
  • Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities (formerly Ministry of State (Sport)).

2) In addition to the language update, some Ministry names have been reordered to demonstrate the government’s new priorities. Such Ministries include:

  • Ministry of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (formerly Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration); and
  • Ministry of Public Service and Procurement (formerly Ministry of Public Works and Government Services).

3) In the coming weeks, each Minister’s mandate letter will be made public. These letters will provide high-level overviews of Mr. Trudeau’s priorities. The language and tone found in these letters, specifically those associated with your business, are critically important for industry to adopt.