Justin Trudeau is the newly elected Prime Minister of Canada, and in less than a week of officially taking office, he has taken over the Internet. Between his comments on feminism, his “it’s 2015” response to his gender-balanced cabinet, and his off-the-cuff comments to reporters, it’s not hard to imagine why. Here are just 10 amazing Trudeau moments, both before and after taking office.
Identifying As A Feminist
Shortly after tweeting that amazing remark, when asked point blank if he is a feminist, Trudeau didn’t shy away or distance himself from the word, which is in and of itself pretty remarkable. While feminism, and it’s actual meaning, is increasing in acceptance and even popularity in society, there are still many detractors, and even celebrities shy away from the term. Trudeau went so far as to say that is “proud to be a feminist”:
Yes, I am a feminist. My mom raised me to be a feminist. My father raised me, he was a different generation but he raised me to respect and defend everyone’s rights, and I deeply grounded my own identity in that, and I am proud to say that I am a feminist.
The things we see online, whether its issues like gamergate or video game misogyny in popular culture, it is something we need to stand clearly against.
In the same unaired portion of the same interview in which he affirmed his feminism, Trudeau also spoke out against misogyny in all its forms, including online harassment. For context, there are many people in Canada who don’t believe that online misogyny is harmful, or who believe that strong stances against such threats constitute “overreaction”. To have our Prime Minister say that those are things we as a country need to “stand clearly against” was another perfect mic drop moment.
Rides A Bus To Work
One of Canada’s most famous news anchors, Peter Mansbridge, was granted “unprecedented” behind the scenes access with Trudeau on his first day as Prime Minister. The day began with the ride to work, on a bus to Parliament with the newly appointed cabinet. During the ride, Mansbridge joked that the experience reminded him of going to summer camp, and said they should be signing camp songs. In his response, Trudeau reminded Mansbridge of his privilege, saying “well maybe that’s your experience on a bus, Peter, but a lot of people take the bus every day to go to work”.
The Liberal Party has promised to focus more on humanitarian efforts than combat missions in Syria, promising $250 million in funds to resettle 25,000 refugees from the region. When speaking with a reporter about his campaign promises he said that “we put that platform together not because we thought it would help us get elected, but because we knew that these were things that Canada needed to do to succeed as a country”. The former Conservative government pledged to bring 10,000 refugees to Canada over three years, but as of September had only accepted 2,300; something Trudeau has rallied against for years.
The plan does have numerous critics, and those who say that the well-intentioned idea would simply not be practical. However, the Liberal government is standing by the promise, and has Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship John McCallum and his staff “working around the clock” with other government and relief agencies to achieve this result. McCallum said that “it certainly remains our objective to get them here by the end of this year”, and in order to facilitate that, the Ministry is working closely with other officials across the country.
Restoration Of Health Benefits To Refugees
In addition, the Liberal party is taking steps to restore health benefits to all refugees, something the Conservative party cut in 2012 – something that even our Federal Courts found to be “cruel and unusual”. McCallum put it quite wisely, saying that the Conservative treatment of refugees in this regard “was cruel and unususual, and it was economically stupid because it probably cost the Canadian taxpayer more. They saved a few dollars at the federal level, but people who were desperately sick were going to emergency hospitals, so the net cost of the Canadian health-care system probablky went up”.
Defends A Woman's Right To Choose
After being elected as the leader of the Liberal Party, Trudeau made it party policy that all Liberal must “vote pro-choice” on any bills that pass through the house, saying "The policy going forward is that every single Liberal MP will be expected to stand up for a woman’s right to choose."
The party does recognize that each member may hold “their own personal views”, but, as party spokesperson Kate Purchase said, “Canadians deserve to know that when they vote Liberal they will get an MP who will vote to defend women’s rights in the House”.
Inquiry Into Missing And Murdered Aboriginal Women
Canada is currently in the middle of a crisis involving aboriginal women – between 1980 and 2012 a disproportionately high number of aboriginal women have been killed or have gone missing, with very little notice or concern from prior governments. During Trudeau’s first press conference as Prime Minister designate near the end of October, Trudeau spoke of the injustice, saying “I believe that there is a need for a national public inquiry to bring justice for the victims, healing for the families, and to put an end to this tragedy.”
There have been inquiries before, but the majority of recommendations resulting from these reports have never been implemented. The last report is nearly 4 years old, and in that time the crisis has only worsened. The Liberal government is putting their money where their mouth is, and last week (November 4), Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, confirmed that there would indeed be an inquiry, but that the were going to “listen to the families” before beginning work on the “hugely important” issue. She continued to say that “we can’t just step out and announce an inquiry, it has to actually do what the families need”.
Trudeau’s new cabinet was sworn in last week (November 3), leaving many Canadians nearly unbearably smug (sorry guys!). The reasons? For starters, half of the cabinet Ministers are female, reflecting gender parity in the cabinet for the first time in Canadian history.
In addition, some of the titles have changed. For example, the title formerly known as Minister of Environment has been amended to be Minister of Environment and Climate Change. Also exciting is the title change to the Minister of Immigration; the title now reads Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship. Trudeau also appointed a Nobel Prize winning scientist as the Minister of Science, a war vet to the Minister of Defence, a woman as the Minister of the Status of Women, and a refugee is now the Minister of Democratic Institutions.
After Trudeau was officially sworn in, he told the crowd that it was “an incredible pleasure…to present a cabinet that looks like Canada”. A reporter asked him why it was important to have gender parity on the cabinet, and Trudeau’s response was his most popular mic-drop moment yet – “because it’s 2015”.
Calling Peter Kent A "Piece Of Shit"
Trudeau once called the then Minister of the Environment, Peter Kent, a piece of shit. At the time, Kent went on the offence, attacking the critic for his ministry, Megan Leslie, for failing to attend a climate change conference. After cursing at Kent, Trudeau offered a statement that simultaneously apologized for the incident and chided the Conservative government for failing to accredit any members of any Opposition parties, leaving many unable to attend.