Julian Fantino speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa April 3, 2012.
Credits: REUTERS/Chris Wattie
OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is tying up loose ends left by former international co-operation minister Bev Oda's imminent departure.
Harper announced Wednesday that former associate minister of national defence Julian Fantino takes over Oda's portfolio, effective immediately.
Bernard Valcourt will take over Fantino's defence file in addition to his current role as junior minister overseeing the Atlantic Opportunities Agency and La Francophonie.
Both were sworn-in Wednesday at Rideau Hall.
"Mr. Fantino and Mr. Valcourt bring strong leadership experience to these important positions," Harper said in a news release.
The surprise mini cabinet shuffle comes after Tuesday's announcement that Oda was quitting politics July 31, following a series of spending scandals and controversies.
"There will be no other cabinet shuffles," Andrew MacDougall, Harper's spokesman, tweeted Wednesday.
Pundits had widely speculated that Harper was planning to rejig his cabinet later this summer.
Fantino was first elected to the House of Commons in 2010 after a long career as a police officer, which included a stint as Ontario Provincial Police commissioner.
Valcourt has political experience both provincially - in New Brunswick - and federally dating back to 1984.