Diversity 2015 Has Winners And Some Losers – Written By Farouk Martins Aresa

Late Pierre Trudeau was a popular Prime Minister of Canada until 1984. He outfoxed Joe Who (Mr. Clark) in 1980 election after 8 months stay in Opposition. The son, the new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said it is 2015. The year is important in his response to a reporter’s question onwhy his cabinet is 15 women and 15 men. Out of 338 new Members of Parliament elected, 88 were women. But women make more than 50% of the population. About time for half-half!

When support for the New Democratic Party collapsed during the campaign, it dragged down the fortunes of its females, who accounted for an unprecedented 43 per cent of the party’s candidates.The Liberals by comparison had 31 per cent female candidates. Though replaced Prime Minister Harper cabinet was diversified, Conservatives fielded even less than 20 per cent.

Nevertheless, Conservative Prime Minister Steven Harper appointed the first African-Canadian Governor General of Canada:GovernorMichaëlle Jean, 2005–2010. He had a diversified cabinet that included women, Aboriginals, South Asians, East Asians, Quebecers and one with disability. Though Pierre Trudeau had no elected African/Caribbean Canadian, controversial Anne Cools was chosen in 1984 for the Senate. Other Senators of African descent: Donald Oliver (appointed 1990), now retired, and Calvin Ruck, who died in 2004 (appointed in 1998).

Politically and ethnically, Canada had tried to diversify because of the English and French Bicultural promotion at the Federal level. In 1993, Kim Campbell,Port Alberni, British Columbiabecame the first and only lady Prime Minister. Nowin the US House of Representatives women make up 15.7% of seats,they make up 26% of the Canadian House of Commons;compared to the British House of Commons, women are 191 out of 650 MPs, with 29.4% representation.

Canadian Aboriginals are breaking records each successive election, going from five to seven MPs in 2011 to a total of ten in 2015. Justin father, Pierre Trudeau included in his cabinet an Aboriginal Indian Leonard Marchandduring his term as environment minister in the 1970s. Mr. Pierre Trudeau himself, a French Canadian from Montreal was recruited by Prime Minister Pearson during Quebec revolt threatening to break away from the rest of English Canada.

During Pierre’s time as Prime Minister in the seventies, Conservative Western Canada especially from Alberta also felt alienated from Liberal Party dominated bythe East. Through the world oil crisis and after the Arab embargo, Canadians had oil but mostly from Alberta. It created some bad blood between Pierre Trudeau that taxed Alberta oil to subsidize all Canadians and (Sheik!) Lougheed,the Alberta Premier that could not sell their oil at world priceto the rest of Canada.

Pierre Trudeau created political diversity between the Easterners that labeled Albertans “Blue Eye Sheiks” andWesterner Albertansthat could care less if “the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark”. Pierre Trudeaudiversified later by seeking Jack Horner a right wing Conservative from Alberta into his cabinet. Jack Horner crossed the floor and was appointed minister.

Apart from women, 4 members of Indian Sikhs were also celebrated in 2015.Justin Trudeau's cabinet now has more Sikh cabinet ministers; more than that of India,Country of origin. Better than speculationof one after the election of a Sikh as minister.The rest of the Indians cannotcomplain but other South East Asians from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka must be wondering. What is surprising is the absence of East Asians from China, Philippine, Vietnam, Japan, Korea e.tc. One Sikh, one Chinese and one African/Caribbean could have settled that.

According to Statistics Canada, one out of every five Canadians was a visible minority in 2011. The top citizen groupsare of Asian, South Asian and Afro-Caribbean descent.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “cabinet that looks like Canada"should have includedmembers of visible minorities, that is, people other than the Aboriginals who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in color as defined by Canada Equity Act

According to Canadian population in 2011ofvisible minorities, African/Caribbean made up of 15%, Middle East 12%, South Asians 25%, Asians 40%: but South Asians make up 80% of Justin Trudeau 2015 cabinet while Middle East make up the rest of the 20%.See:

The first African-Canadian woman in Cabinet: ZananaAkande, St-Andrew's-St. Patrick's, Ontario New Democratic Party MPP 1990–1994. First African-Canadian elected to House of Commons: Rt. Hon Lincoln Alexander – Hamilton West, Progressive Conservative MP 1968–1984.

Lincoln Alexander from Hamilton Ontario was the first African/Caribbean cabinet minister inConservative Party of Brian Mulroney in 1979. Jean Chrétien appointed Indian Dhaliwal, as well as the first Chinese minister, Hong Kong-born Raymond Chan, to his cabinets. SeeToronto Star

The new world Diversity must include African descendants in Europe and Americas. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau 2015 did not include the children of African/Caribbean that were born around his time or that he went to school with. They can feel his love right now. However, African/Caribbean Canadians have not had a cabinet minister since Jean Augustine retired in 2004in Liberal Party of Paul Martin and Hedy Fry1996-2002 in Jean Chretien cabinet.

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