Justin Trudeau cast aside all that prevailing wisdom and just went for it, appointing a cabinet with a 50-50 gender split. What happened to all that having to wait for the slow movement of history? The reality of course is we can never use history as a lame excuse but as an opportunity to transcend it.
Canada panicked. But unlike other countries, we overreacted. Our mantra -- better be safe than sorry -- actually made us less safe and continues to make us sorry. To explain, lawyers like myself have argued from the beginning that Canada's visa restrictions were illegal.
From a talent acquisition and recruitment point of view, one thing is quite clear: Justin Trudeau is off to a good start. Over the more than quarter century that I've been vetting and recommending candidates for leadership roles in global companies, I've learned that actions indeed speak louder than words, symbolism matters, diverse points of view should be promoted, and a strong team trumps a strong individual all the time.
Spending one's way to growth is nothing new. What is new, and what is a first for almost any developed country is that Canada will be using both monetary and fiscal policy as a way to get the economy growing again at the expense of a balanced budget. For the economy as a whole, it is unequivocally good news.
Early in my career, employment equity took hold. It caused much bitter complaining that such human resource department meddling had no place in the meritocracy we called our workplace. The latest resurrection of these arguments is fuelled by Justin Trudeau's promise to have equal gender representation in Cabinet.
While it takes time for a new prime minister to translate campaign rhetoric into effective policies, there are at least five quick-wins that Justin Trudeau can achieve on his very first day in office. All five can be implemented in a few minutes through simple orders-in-council at the cabinet table or by instructing new ministers in their mandate letters. Implementing the full range of changes promised in this last election campaign will take a long time, probably many years. Quick-wins will be important for Trudeau to show Canadians that his Liberal government can bring about the breadth and depth of change for which he was given a majority.
I suppose if Toronto weren't the only city in the world where -- at least freely and willingly -- the visible minority has become the visible majority, the picture of an all-white arts board, let alone an all-white anything board, wouldn't be so starkly offensive. But it is.
The election of Justin Trudeau has been variously described as historic. And it was. Another less talked about historic moment was the election of 10 First Nations MPs. Add to this that a record-breaking 54 Aboriginal candidates put their names forward during the election. Each of these candidates ran in one of the 51 swing ridings identified by Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief Perry Bellegarde. Bellegrade was blunt and clear that the Aboriginal vote could make a difference between a majority and minority government.
Right-wing commentators are calling Justin Trudeau's decision to withdraw fighter jets from Syria-Iraq "un-Liberal" and unfortunately they're right. But, by citing the Liberal sponsored Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to justify Canadian participation in the U.S.-led bombing, these pundits are revealing the essence of this "humanitarian imperialist" doctrine.
Millions of children, youth, and families live in poverty and cannot afford nutritious meals. The government can legislate that all grocery stores and farmers markets have to donate their unused food to breakfast clubs, hot lunch programs, community kitchens, and food banks in their local neighbourhood.
Canada's strength is not in its fleet of aircraft carriers, but in its moral capital. When our foreign policy reflects our core values, pluralism, diversity, tolerance and empathy then we can expect amplification of our influence around the world. Hearts and minds of population, tired of perpetual violence, is not won through military muscle, but by the ability to defuse conflict and tireless effort to establish and maintain peace.
When overhauling Bill C-51 in the coming months, the new Trudeau government should give serious consideration to revamping Canada's national security policy-making apparatus to ensure the adoption of well-informed and objective national security and foreign policies. In doing so, the process should include an executive-level whole-of-government approach for maximum policy effectiveness. Given the dynamic and complex issues faced with abroad, there is no time better than the present to rethink how Canada approaches national security and foreign policy.
The Alberta battleground riding of Edmonton-Mill Woods became one of only two ridings in the city and one of only four ridings in the province to go Liberal. For the first time in a decade, Edmonton-Mill Woods is not a Conservative domain. This is only one example of a larger trend across Canada.
If home cultivation is not allowed, then cannabis is not truly legalized in Canada. Canadians must have at least as much right to grow their own cannabis as they do to brew their own beer and wine.
If the Liberals wish to maintain the stance that using the term apartheid to describe Israeli state practices amounts to a form of Jew-hatred, then they should be aware that under that logic, they are labeling a lot of unlikely people as anti-Semites.
There is a definite nostalgia for the way Canada used to be. Canadians accept Trudeau's desire to recast Canada as a global peacekeeper, and to live up to our reputation as a caring and compassionate society. Over the past decade under the Harper government, they felt that was slipping away.