On Monday night, Canada heaved Steve and elected princeling Justin Trudeau as the new Prime Minister of Canada. Or as The Beaverton put it, Canada groggily woke up “after a ‘wild night’, where emotions and alcohol ‘may have gotten a little out of hand’,” next to Justin Trudeau.
Canada also broke up with Chris Alexander, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration; Julian Fantino, that guy who picks fights with veterans and their wives; Joe “#NoShowJoe” Oliver, Minister of Finance; Leona Aglukkak, Minister of the Environment, whose presence in the Conservative Cabinet was, according to Stephen Harper, “a real sign” that the Inuit have “arrived” in “our country.” Sadly, Canada also broke up with some pretty stellar NDP MPs like Paul Dewar and Peggy Nash — and even Thomas Mulcair came close to losing his seat.
Canada broke new ground in this election, electing more women, breaking the 2011 record of 76 women to a new record of 88. Canada also elected more people of colour, up from 28 to 46; and up from 8 to 10 Indigenous candidates. But it’s a limited victory, with The Globe and Mail’s Erin Anderssen advising us to hold the applause on the gender front – the slow climb of numbers on women, for example, tell us that it will take another century before gender parity is achieved in the House of Commons. A HUNDRED YEARS. *throws things*
And, of course, the niqab “debates” and the absence of any serious discussions on missing and murdered Indigenous women have shown us we have *a lot* of work to do when it comes to race and gender in Canada.
Speaking of which: the confetti hasn’t settled yet, but the Beaverinas have tough questions for Justin Trudeau:
- First order of business: will Trudeau hold true to his promise to have a Cabinet composed of 50% women?
- And speaking of representation, perhaps Mr. Trudeau could guarantee that as a first gesture of recognition of Indigenous contributions to this nation, we could see an Indigenous Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development? Or can a girl dream?
- Will he reinstate “equality” in Status of Women’s mandate?
- Will he reinstate funding to Status of Women’s regional offices? Remember – these closed offices lead to crisis and rape shelters being defunded.
- Will Trudeau put missing and murdered Indigenous women “high on the radar” and call an inquiry or develop a national strategy to combat the circumstances that place Indigenous women at higher risk of violence? If he calls an inquiry, will he/how fast will he implement any findings and recommendations? And while we’re at it, how/when/how fast will he implement recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
- Will he repeal Bill C-36, the law that puts sex workers at risk of bodily harm? He’s hinted as much, arguing, “The Supreme Court has said the framework that existed was not protecting vulnerable people and women from violence and that is the lens we need to look through as we move forward on this difficult issue.”
On other issues that could help rehabilitate democracy in Canada:
- Although he has voted in favour (!) of Bill C-51 and promised to repeal elements of Bill C-24 and of Bill C-51 what will Trudeau do to unite a country that largely wants C-51 repealed? How will he reconcile a nation under the gun of racial profiling of Black, Muslim and Indigenous peoples, cast by C-51 in the role of criminals and terrorists? How will he ensure that “a Canadian is a Canadian is a Canadian?”
- Will he re-establish relationships with the media? Scrum once a week like his predecessors Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, allow his cabinet and backbench to scrum post-Cabinet and post-caucus?
- Will he do away with the omnibus bill process ushered in by the Conservatives?
Roll up those sleeves, Mr. Trudeau. Find us those 50% rock star lady-folk cabinet ministers. Implement those findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Repeal those bills. Fund programs that have been pillaged by the Conservatives.
And for those of us who have put our faith in your hands, we want real change. Now.
What do you want Trudeau to include in his first orders of business? Share your thoughts in the comments section!
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