Absolute Equality

Absolute Equality -

Because it’s 2015


Canada has a cabinet with gender parity. Justin Trudeau told us he would do it and he did. For the past several days Twitter has been all, well, a-Twitter, about this and whether it’s right or wrong. I went on a Twitter rant and decided to put it here in blog form:

There is proof that having more women around the table makes companies more successful.

I would like to not need gender quotas or affirmative action, but at the moment there is no other way to achieve some kind of equality.

And if you research these women, they are experienced, highly educated, represent different parts of the country. By my count: 3 Lawyers, 2 doctors, a geoscientist, 1 PhD 2 Executive Directors, a Rhodes scholar…

If equality had been achieved by this false sense of “merit”then it wouldn’t be an issue, but it hasn’t so it is.

Now we still need to achieve many other kids of diversity in parliament and in cabinet.

More women in cabinet means more visible female politicians, means more girls know that they can do that too.

Just weeks ago a national newspaper pointed out that Lisa Raitt has kids, so maybe she shouldn’t run for the CPC leadership. James Moore and Peter MacKay both have children much younger than Lisa Raitt, but their kids were mentioned as a factor.

People judge women in politics. People judge women. There is nothing wrong with giving them a fair shot at proving themselves.

I don’t care whether or not he’s pandering to female voters. It doesn’t matter, because it’s something anyway. It means something.

Further reading:

Globe and Mail: Gender parity in cabinet is more than good optics


I woke up this morning to a beautiful sort of Twitter essay from one Michelle Rempel, newly re-elected MP for Calgary – Nose Hill. If you watch any of the political panel shows then you know Rempel. She was one of the only spokespeople the Conservative Party sent out to respond to issues on those shows.

She is generally respectful, well-spoken and knowledgeable. I found it almost impossible that she was so prepared to talk about so much during the campaign day by day.

Last night Rempel took to Twitter to express herself a bit on the messages she’s been getting as a woman in politics. While some people are encouraging her to run to be the new leader of her party, some are sending her an entirely different message. A message she wouldn’t be getting if she were a man:

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I cannot express how much I loved to see this strong, powerful woman speaking out like this. It means so much. Perhaps more knowing that Michelle Rempel is one of Megan Leslie’s very good friends, despite the differing party stances. Knowing that makes me respect both of them more, because those are the kind of politics we need. Women lifting other women up.

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I hope we hear more soon. We need women like this standing up. And if you think we don’t, you’re wrong.

We are all in this together



I have seen something in this campaign from all sides in this campaign that I hate to see. This sense by partisans that the people who disagree with them are either misinformed or uninformed.

I can’t yet tell whether this is more or less dangerous than having your supporters believe that the people who disagree with them are a danger to the future of the economy or the country in general.

The world would be a better place if we didn’t assume that those who disagree with us are stupid or wrong rather than just knowing that they have different life experiences, backgrounds and opinions.

People who vote differently than you do aren’t out to destroy the country. Every single political leader thinks that their party could do better for us. They are only disagreeing about what better means.

Does Stephen Harper actually believe that Justin Trudeau wants to run Canada into the ground? No. But he knows that he’ll win votes by convincing his base voters that’s what will happen.

In truth, little change happens from government to government. Very little change comes right away. In four years – well, probably less than that this time – Canadians will get another crack if they decide this next guy was a mistake.

Every government will do things that enrage the public. Every government will do things that some people think are just fine. In the end we all have to be Canadian together and who the Prime Minister is just won’t matter.

And I’ll take this opportunity to remind people again that the more people who vote, the more representative our government actually is, so make a choice and go.

The beginning or the end?

This week marks the second week of a coroner’s inquest into the suicide epidemic in Nunavut. More than 450 people have committed suicide since the territory was created in 1999. Many of those who take their lives are young people. One boy was only 11 years old. His grandmother testified that the boy was distraught over the murder of his sister.

Suicide and murder are two of the many issues First Nations, Métis and Inuit face at a much higher rate than other Canadians, all as a result of the legacy of residential schools. A legacy that was studied in depth by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission over a number of years.

Both the Liberals and the NDP have promised to hold an inquiry into the more than 1,100 missing and murdered Indigenous women, but that is just one of the 94 recommendations handed down by Justice Murray Sinclair and the Truth and Reconciliation handed down in June of this year.

While Conservative Leader Stephen Harper rejected two of the TRC’s recommendations when the report was released, both the Liberal and NDP leaders said they would work with the document for aboriginal peoples.

So where are the recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in this election campaign?