North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson appointed minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard

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      The last seven federal fisheries ministers have represented ridings in Atlantic Canada and one of them, Gail Shea, was appointed twice.

      But today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed a B.C. MP, Jonathan Wilkinson, to take over this portfolio from Dominic LeBlanc.

      Wilkinson was first elected in 2015 to represent North Vancouver in Parliament.

      The last B.C. fisheries minister was Herb Dhaliwal, who held this position from 1999 to 2002. He was preceded by another B.C. MP, David Anderson, who was fisheries minister from 1997 to 1999.

      Wilkinson is also the minister responsible for the Canadian Coast Guard.

      He becomes the fourth cabinet minister from the Lower Mainland and the first to represent a North Shore riding in the Trudeau government.

      Wilkinson was in the news late last month when he and Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a $167.4-million initiative to protect and support southern resident orcas, North Atlantic right whales, and St. Lawrence Estuary beluga whales.

      At the time, Wilkinson was the parliamentary secretary to the minister of environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna.

      Wilkinson's appointment as fisheries minister comes just over a month after the House committee on fisheries and oceans passed a motion to study the regulation of the industry on the West Coast.

      Fleetwood–Port Kells Liberal MP Ken Hardie introduced the motion, which will examine "fishing licences, quotas, and owner operator and fleet separation policies".

      Specifically, Hardie wants the committee to review the distribution of economic benefits generated by the fishing industry.

      In recent years, large players have bought up many fishing licences.

      Watch this video of MP Ken Hardie introducing a motion to review the West Coast fishing industry.

      Hardie has pointed out on CKNW Radio that in Atlantic Canada, where this has occurred to a lesser degree, smaller communities are enjoying greater economic benefits from the fishing industry.

      The House committee's study will begin no later than February 2019.

      In Trudeau's cabinet shuffle, LeBlanc was reassigned to become the minister of intergovernmental affairs, northern affairs, and internal trade.

      Amarjeet Sohi moves from infrastructure to natural resources. And the former natural resources minister, Jim Carr, now oversees international trade diversification.

      Former trade minister François-Philippe Champagne is the minister of infrastructure and communities.

      And Mélanie Joly is no longer the minister of Canadian Heritage.

      She's now responsible for tourism, official languages, and la francophonie, which is seen by some as a demotion.

      Mélanie Joly has lost her position as minister of Canadian Heritage.

      Joly irritated Canadian broadcasting executives last year when she offered what some believed to be a sweetheart deal to Netflix.

      She ruled out an Internet tax, which ensured that unregulated U.S. platforms like Google, Facebook, and Netflix didn't have to pay any additional funds to the government in return for access to Canadian consumers.

      The new minister of Canadian heritage and multiculturalism is Pablo Rodriguez.

      Other new ministers are Filomeni Tassi, who oversees the seniors portfolio, and Mary Ng, who's minister of small business and export promotion.

      Small Business and Export Promotion Minister Mary Ng (centre) became an MP last year after winning a by-election in Markham-Thornhill.

      The Hong Kong–born Ng was elected in a by-election last year in Markham-Thornhill and becomes Trudeau's first cabinet minister of Chinese ancestry.

      The only other change involved Delta MP Carla Qualtrough. She retained her role as minister of public services but is now also responsible for accessibility.

       

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