TORONTO — Justin Trudeau was sworn in Wednesday as Canada’s new Liberal prime minister, and his new cabinet ministers vowed to honor campaign pledges to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of the year.

Trudeau, the son of the late iconic Liberal Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, also promised a less controlling style of “government by Cabinet” after almost 10 years of Conservative rule under Stephen Harper.

“Government by Cabinet is back,” Trudeau said, vowing to have an open and transparent government. Power in Harper’s government was centered around his office.

The Cabinet held its first meeting Wednesday and then faced the media – a departure from the Harper era. Harper Cabinet meetings were held in secret and ministers never spoke after them.

Immigration Minister John McCallum said it remains the new government’s “firm objective” to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees in Canada before the end of the year.

“I think we will find a great desire across the country to help us achieve this objective,” McCallum said. “I will be working very hard to achieve that goal.”

Harper had declined to resettle more Syrian refugees, despite the haunting image of a drowned 3-year-old boy washed up on a Turkish beach that focused global attention on the migrant crisis stemming from the civil war. The boy had relatives in Canada.

Judy Foote, the new minister of Public Services and Procurement, also said the Trudeau government will honor its campaign pledge not to buy the next generation F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin’s troubled Joint Strike Fighter program.

The F-35 is the U.S. Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, aiming to replace a wide range of existing aircraft for the U.S. and several partner countries.

Canada had talked about buying 65 jets from the program, but Trudeau has said he wants a cheaper option.

The 43-year-old Trudeau, a former teacher and member of Parliament since 2008, became the second youngest prime minister in Canadian history.

His father served as prime minister from 1968 to 1984 with a short interruption and remains one of the few Canadian politicians known in other countries.


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