Congratulations to the Liberal Party of Canada on its spectacular victory, and egalitarian new Cabinet. Now that the campaigning is over and the real work starts, I thought I would share a few stories about some of the people in Justin Trudeau's riding of Papineau. Observers rank Papineau one of the poorest ridings in Canada. Going door to door in Park Ex, and in St Michel, I saw too many basement apartments choking with mold and mildew. Too many families crowded into small apartments. Too many qualified people with no jobs, or working in jobs well below their qualifications. The sharp poverty hit home dramatically one evening.
On November 15 and 16, the Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau will be part of the G20 Leaders' Summit in Antalya, Turkey. G20 leaders will surely discuss urgent issues such the migrant crisis, the conflict in Syria and climate change. There is another crisis that isn't receiving much media attention: It is global youth unemployment.
Insights emerge when we take a closer look at Justin Trudeau's elaborate signature. In fact, though we learn something about him, what's more relevant is what we learn about ourselves.
The U.S. decision on Keystone XL sent a clear message: Tar sands pipeline projects like the ones currently under consideration or subject to litigation in Canada -- TransCanada's Energy East Pipeline, Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain Expansion Project, and Enbridge's Northern Gateway Project -- are not the way of the future.
These companies have already touched your life. Beyond the big names like Ben & Jerry's ice cream, Patagonia clothing, Etsy, or Kickstarter, there are impact-driven business leaders making significant money while making an amazing difference in communities all around us.
Growing up as a South Asian, second-generation Canadian in suburban Montreal, I remember standing in the school auditorium on Remembrance Day as we'd hear stories from veterans of the Second World war. Doing so was an integral part of our Canadian upbringing in our parent's adopted home.
Just as the Conservative government committed, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should commit to passing the Victims Rights in the Military Justice System Act as soon as Parliament resumes. There is no reason not to do so. Equality before the law is good, common-sense policy, and supporting our troops is always the right thing to do morally and politically.
As power and privilege concentrate at the highest offices in our country, little room is left for the unusual suspects. We need white privileged men to play an active role in changing the status quo. Prime Minister Trudeau has, to his credit, accomplished an elusive and noteworthy achievement by using his privilege to bridge the often insurmountable leap between merit and power. He made space for his colleagues who deserve to operate in that exclusive arena.
The gap between U.S. President Barack Obama's Keystone announcement and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's response is indicative of the fundamental choice that this government needs to make between the oil industry and real climate action. Unfortunately, it's a choice that Trudeau doesn't seem to understand yet.
With the defeat of the New Democratic Party last month, it's clear that the Canadian left must adjust their strategy. Part of this new strategy needs to support the development of progressive, grassroots immigrant power to counter the presence of more conservative and moderate elements within these communities.
The true test of the Trudeau team's openness will come when actual decisions are being made, when real people start to object, when the human beings running the place start making mistakes. The national press gallery may be charmed for now, grateful that the Harper years of cold war are over. It will not last. Parliament Hill reporters are top professionals who will be ready to pounce when things inevitably go off the rails. When that happens, will the smiling ministers of day one remain available to be interrogated, challenged, or even hectored?
As did many other Canadians yesterday, I too watched our newly elected Prime Minister and his cabinet ministers get sworn in at Rideau Hall. It was after all, an historic moment in our nation's history -- certainly one the Canadian public had never before been invited to in years past.
In Canada, our system is unique to the individual, and tax obligations are based on each person's allowable deductions and credits. Knowing what to include is often difficult for filers because, across Canada, confusion about taxes persists. Knowing how influential taxes were in the election, let's make sure we understand what is out there and available.
To some people, this may not be particularly mind-boggling. Women have moved up a lot in the world in terms of social, economic, and political influence. It wasn't so long ago that women were expected to adhere to the barefoot and pregnant "laws" that were governed by the patriarchal political climate. But here we are, 2015, and cheering wildly because we have more women in government. Apologies for raining on the parade, but I have to question this. In a truly gender equal society, we would all look at this cabinet and say, "Huh."
The Liberal Party of Canada changed the way that it chose its leader by introducing the free, "supporter" category for new members. The move was viewed by some as dangerous. What the party faithful may not have realized was that the Liberals were kicking off a grassroots strategy that would strengthen the party.
The gap between rich and poor in Canada has increased significantly since 1980. Women continue to earn 20 per cent less than their male peers and are much more likely to be poor. We've seen some heartening gains in recent decades, but the worrying growth in income inequality poses a serious threat.