The new session of Parliament is set to begin on December 3, 2015 but today a powerful statement was made and barriers erased for many women who viewed politics as a male dominated arena. The swearing in ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa welcomed 30 new Ministers, 50% male and 50% female, more women than ever before. When a reporter in the crowd asked Prime Minister Trudeau why fair representation in the Cabinet was important to him he replied, “Because it’s 2015.” A statement that has created the trending topic on twitter #Becauseits2015.
Youngsters looked on as the face of politics was changed with the reveal of this historically diverse cabinet in gender, ethnicity, race, disability and more. The impact of this symbolic moment in political history will not be fully understood until trends can be reviewed. Will more females and minorities courageously step forward to run for candidacy and political office in future elections?
As little girls watch the footage of the ceremony and hear the voices of people who look like them invisible barriers become just that… invisible and less of a perceived limitation. To see females and MPs of diverse backgrounds in Ministerial roles of responsibility may just allow our next generation to view this profession as an inclusive, not exclusive, option for their future.
Why not? It is 2015 after all.
The full list of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's new 31-member cabinet, in order of precedence, being sworn in today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa (with their province in parenthesis):
- Justin Trudeau (Quebec) - Prime Minister, Intergovernmental Affairs and Youth.
- Ralph Goodale (Saskatchewan) - Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.
- Lawrence MacAulay (P.E.I.) - Agriculture and Agri-Food.
- Stéphane Dion (Quebec) - Foreign Affairs.
- John McCallum (Ontario) - Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
- Carolyn Bennett (Ontario) - Indigenous and Northern Affairs.
- Scott Brison (Nova Scotia) - Treasury Board President.
- Dominic Leblanc (New Brunswick) - Leader of the Government in the House of Commons.
- Navdeep Bains (Ontario) - Innovation, Science and Economic Development.
- Bill Morneau (Ontario) - Finance.
- Jody Wilson-Raybould (B.C.) - Justice and Attorney General of Canada.
- Judy Foote (Newfoundland and Labrador) - Public Services and Procurement.
- Chrystia Freeland (Ontario) - International Trade.
- Jane Philpott (Ontario) - Health.
- Jean-Yves Duclos (Quebec) - Families, Children and Social Development.
- Marc Garneau (Quebec) - Transport.
- Marie-Claude Bibeau (Quebec) - International Development and La francophonie.
- Jim Carr (Manitoba) - Natural Resources.
- Mélanie Joly (Quebec) - Heritage.
- Diane Lebouthillier (Quebec) - National Revenue.
- Kent Hehr (Alberta) - Veterans Affairs, and Associate Minister of National Defence.
- Catherine McKenna (Ontario) - Environment and Climate Change.
- Harjit Sajjan (B.C.) - National Defence.
- MaryAnn Mihychuk (Manitoba) - Employment Workforce Development and Labour.
- Amarjeet Sohi (Alberta) - Infrastructure and Communities.
- Maryam Monsef (Ontario) - Democratic Institutions.
- Carla Qualtrough (B.C.) - Sport, and Persons with Disabilities.
- Hunter Tootoo (Nunavut) - Fisheries and Oceans, and Canadian Coast Guard.
- Kirsty Duncan (Ontario) - Science.
- Patricia Hajdu (Ontario) - Status of Women.
- Bardish Chagger (Ontario) - Small Business and Tourism.