OTTAWA -- The federal government has put a national leadership contingency plan in place, should Prime Minister Justin Trudeau become unable to fulfill his duties.

If that major and unprecedented moment in Canadian politics occurs, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland would become Canada’s acting prime minister.

That’s according to an official order made on March 13, the day that Trudeau’s office announced that his wife Sophie had tested positive for COVID-19. 

The prime minister remains in self-isolation but on Monday Trudeau said he and his children remain symptom-free, while his wife’s symptoms are mild. 

Trudeau has been working from home, chairing cabinet meetings, holding regular public addresses, and participating in international calls with world leaders from his home office. 

“In the event that the Prime Minister is unable to perform the functions of his office,” a threshold left undefined, Freeland would take charge, reads the order issued by the Privy Council Office. 

In line with public health advice, Trudeau has not been tested for COVID-19 as he is not symptomatic, but given the rapid and concerning spread, the federal cabinet has been given instructions on the roles they’d play if the situation evolved. 

Following Freeland, the next five ministers in line are based on seniority: Veterans Affairs Minister Lawrence MacAulay; Indigenous Services Minister Carolyn Bennett; President of the Privy Council Dominic LeBlanc; Industry Minister Navdeep Bains; and Finance Minister Bill Morneau. 

The order also goes on to outline how ministerial roles would shift to see all portfolios covered should Freeland become Canada’s acting prime minister, or if other ministers are no longer able to do their jobs. 

If Freeland takes on Trudeau’s job, LeBlanc would become deputy prime minister, for example. Should federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu be unable to fulfill her duties, Bennett, who is a doctor, would take on that job.