Special Report

Regulating tech, building a green economy: What the new cabinet’s mandate letters say about the government’s innovation agenda

Members of the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall following their swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa in November 2019.
Members of the federal cabinet at Rideau Hall following their swearing-in ceremony in Ottawa in November 2019. Justin Tang/The Canadian Press
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On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau gave his new cabinet its to-do list in the form of ministerial mandate letters. Perhaps their most significant revelation was the extent to which this government’s innovation and technology agenda will be implemented by committee.

The letters lay out the Liberal priorities for the next Parliament, including a plan to help new carriers enter the telecom market if the existing players don’t lower their prices in two years. Responsibility for files from Big Tech to cleantech has been divided among several ministers, with Steven Guilbeault—a new Quebec MP who was among the party’s star candidates in the fall election, albeit for his environmental credentials—taking on an especially significant role on technology issues as heritage minister.

Here’s your guide to who’s in charge of what in the new ministry.

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