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.
The man dubbed "not a leader" has been named Canada's foreign affairs minister. It's one of the most coveted and prestigious roles in government. Dion will now get the chance to represent Canada on the world stage, a prospect that might have seemed impossible back when the death of the Liberal party was being exaggerated.
Justin Trudeau's rise to the office held by his father was neither inexorable nor inevitable. He could have fallen off the tightrope several times along the way, but benefited from a convergence of talent and luck, wise counsel and an ability to learn. It is often forgotten that he was not handed a seat and did not pick an easy one.
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.