Justin Trudeau made history today, November 4, when he selected his cabinet.
Not only did he fulfill his promise to have half of his 31-member cabinet represented by women (when asked in a press conference why he did that, he replied “because it’s 2015”), but it appears he has the most visible minorities as well.
Maryam Monsef, Minister of Democratic Institutions, was born in Afghanistan before moving to Canada with her mother at the age of 11.
There are four people of Indian descent in Trudeau’s cabinet:
- Patricia A. Hajdu: Minister of Status of Women
- Amarjeet Sohi: Minister of Infrastructure & Communities
- Harjit Sajjan: Minister of Defence
- Navdeep Singh Bains: Minister of Innovation, Science & Economic Development
Two ministers are Aboriginal:
- Hunter Tootoo: Minister of Fisheries, Oceans & the Canadians Coast Guard
- Jody Wilson-Raybould: Minister of Justice & Attorney General of Canada
This is a stark difference compared to Stephen Harper’s first cabinet of 26, which contained no Aboriginal members and only two visible minorities.
As well, Harper’s cabinet only had six women on board.
Even former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s cabinets collectively contained only five visible minorities in the entirety of his 10 year run (there were 73 cabinet members at various times during Chretien’s reign).