As part of today’s federal cabinet shuffle, Pablo Rodriguez, who was serving as chief government whip, was named the new minister of culture and multiculturalism. He replaces Mélanie Joly, who becomes the minister of tourism, official languages and la francophonie.
Rodriguez – who is the elected MP for the Montreal riding of Honoré-Mercier – previously worked in the international-development field, evaluating NGO projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. For more than four years, he held the position of board vice-president at Oxfam-Québec, and was a frequent lecturer at international conferences. Rodriguez was first elected as MP in 2004, serving until 2011 when he was defeated by NDP candidate Paulina Ayala. He took on several roles during that first tenure, including critic for culture, official languages, economic development, public works and government services, and la francophonie. Rodriguez returned to parliament in 2015, after beating Ayala in that year’s federal election.
Kate Edwards, executive director for the Association of Canadian Publishers, doesn’t anticipate that the cabinet shuffle will result in any delays of the Copyright Act review, which is being led by the standing committee on industry. Joly and Navdeep Bains, the current minister of innovation, science, and economic development, provided direction to the committee, but have not been directly involved in the review or the public consultation process. The committee is on summer break, but is expected to continue its work in September.
According to Edwards, Rodriguez served on the legislative committee that examined the Copyright Modernization Act in 2010–11, and so brings some background knowledge of copyright issues to his new portfolio.