Canada's prime minister has announced a cabinet shuffle amid turmoil in his Conservative government.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Monday that Rob Nicholson is the new foreign minister and Jason Kenney is the new defense minister. Nicholson moves over from defense. Kenney will give up his position as minister of employment but will continue to oversee multiculturalism.

The appointments come less than a week after John Baird, one of Harper's most trusted cabinet ministers, unexpectedly announced he was resigning as foreign minister and leaving politics.

Also Monday, Conservative Member of Parliament Eve Adams announced she is joining the opposition Liberals. Her partner, Dimitri Soudas, resigned as executive director of the Conservative Party last year after allegations he interfered in her district nomination. Soudas is Harper's former director of communications.