Justin Trudeau's 30 cabinet members were billed as full ministers upon being sworn in Wednesday.
But orders-in-council published Thursday designated several members — all of them women — as ministers of state, prompting speculation about their actual status.
Ministers of state are paid less than full ministers and do not have the same authority.
However, the Liberals say the designations were a technicality — the women are full members of cabinet and will receive benefits and supports commensurate with those of their colleagues.
The government says these members will lead on a number of federal priorities.
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