Canada's innovation minister steps down, setting off Trudeau reshuffle

Navdeep Bains has been in the job since Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took power in late 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (REUTERS) - Canada's Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains resigned for family reasons on Tuesday (Jan 12), setting in motion a reshuffle of some top players in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Cabinet ahead of a possible election this year.

A government source said current Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne would take over from Mr Bains. The source requested anonymity, given the sensitivity of the situation.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp and Global News both said Transport Minister Marc Garneau would replace Mr Champagne.

Mr Bains, 43, who has been in the job since Mr Trudeau took power in late 2015, said he would not stand in the next election, which Liberal insiders say is likely this year.

He represents a parliamentary constituency in the Greater Toronto Area, a stronghold for Mr Trudeau's ruling Liberal Party.

"It's time for me to put my family first, and I couldn't be happier about it," Mr Bains said in a video posted on Twitter.

"No longer my boss, always my friend," he tweeted above a picture of himself and the Prime Minister.

Mr Bains was first elected in 2004, but lost his seat in 2011 and returned to Parliament four years later.

Canadian prime ministers traditionally shuffle their team if a member of Cabinet announces he or she will not run in the next election.

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