OTTAWA, Ont. — Prime Minister Paul Martin named his new Cabinet today, and Tony Valeri has been replaced as Transport Minister by Jean Lapierre.
Valeri will be House Leader as a result of the changes that Martin said was built around the experience factor.
“The recent election made it clear that Canadians expect us to do better as a government,” Martin said after the Cabinet was sworn in. “We heard the message and we carry it with us. This cabinet was created to hit the ground running – to provide dependable, spirited administration, to deliver real progress on the issues that matter most to Canadians."
Lapierre represents the riding of Outremont in Quebec and has been in politics since the mid 1970s. He sat in the House of Commons from 1979 to 1990 and served as parliamentary secretary to a number of ministers.
Lapierre sat in the House as an independent following the failure of the Meech Lake accord and eventually left politics. He returned to politics when Martin gained control of the Liberal party.
Many trucking industry representatives voiced their approval at Valeri’s appointment as Transport Minister and said he was willing to listen to transportation issues. Upon his re-election, trucking representatives expressed relief at the prospect of Valeri returning to his post as Transport Minister. It remains to be seen whether Lapierre will win over the respect of the trucking industry as quickly as his predecessor.
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