Trudeau’s new cabinet scores high on symbolism. Substance is still to come
The unexpected Trudeau cabinet shuffle, leaked to the media last week, seems to have been controversial for all the wrong reasons. But here’s the thing: It’s an early sign of a new era for the country.
There’s a huge contrast in style between the generally gaffe-prone Conservative leader, Andrew Scheer, and the left-of-center Trudeau, in terms of style, tone and approach. (Maybe that’s why the Liberals can’t seem to win an election! It seems more and more like the Trudeau party needs a crash course in selfie-taking.)
And Trudeau’s cabinet is instantly thought of as inclusive and gender-balanced (and there’s a surfeit of male MPs). His move to combine two key youth positions — minister of sport and minister of youth — has also won him plaudits. His decision to put gender at the forefront of the hiring process at the cabinet table means a female head of government is going to be the first in Canadian history. (Notably, he wanted to include the two positions together on his first day of work, but was blocked by the prime minister of the day.)
In a world where English hasn’t always been the standard, those are political dividends Trudeau will take seriously.
WHAT’S STILL TO COME
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Progressive Conservative leader Doug Ford will engage in an epic leadership scrap. But in the meantime, things are business as usual — until Ford vaunts a new plan for auto fuel taxes that will draw widespread opposition.
Throughout Trudeau’s one-year mandate, the country will continue to unfold not in a typical way — while federal election is still only six years away — but, in a markedly unusual one.
Canadians are still waiting for more concrete plans for the implementation of the cannabis legalization program. (What happened to the promised “end of prohibition?”) What’s happening with the ambitious “solar agenda”? What about the major pot legalization challenge facing farmers?