• Michael Morris

Equality, Diversity and the New Canadian Cabinet

“Because it’s 2015.”

When asked why he decided to choose an equal amount of women and men to comprise his new cabinet, the freshly sworn-in Prime Minister came up with the perfect response.

Here at the Trollope Times we admit that our articles on political and social issues tend to be biased to the left, but on an issue like this we do so shamelessly. Prime Minister Trudeau has done an exemplary job in his decision to choose a cabinet that is truly representative of Canadians, not only acknowledging the fact that half of them are women, but also that people from a broad spectrum of ethnicities and heritages call this country home.

Multiculturalism is something we hold in high regard in Canada, but it hasn’t been well implemented in our government in the past. That is, until now.

In addition to gender equality, Trudeau has also appointed ministers from Afghani, Indian, Aboriginal, Sikh, and Inuit origin (though the majority of ministers are still Caucasian). An astronaut, Paralympic medalist, and a former Liberal Party leader also comprise this incredibly diverse and unique cabinet.

Some will argue that diversity and gender equality in the cabinet for its own sake is a poor plan, and a merit-based system would be better. To that, I say, “No, you’re wrong.” First, I challenge you to find a single member of this cabinet who isn’t qualified for their position, and explain why. Second, to argue that it was once a meritocracy would be incorrect as well. Unless you believe that white males, who have made up the majority of cabinet ministers in the past, are somehow better qualified for public office than any other group of people, then there’s no way that past cabinets could have been strictly merit based.

The progressive thinking shown through Trudeau’s selection of cabinet ministers is certainly refreshing, and shows good promise for what’s to come under his new government. Here’s hoping that his future decisions are equally, if not more fantastic than his first.