Thursday November 05, 2015

Trudeau's cabinet gender quota spurs debate over choosing freely

On Wednesday, 15 women were appointed as federal cabinet ministers under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, 43, kicked off his majority government with some controversy with his decision to name an equal number of men and women to a slimmed-down Cabinet, the first time gender parity has been achieved in Canada's team of ministers.

On Wednesday, 15 women were appointed as federal cabinet ministers under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, 43, kicked off his majority government with some controversy with his decision to name an equal number of men and women to a slimmed-down Cabinet, the first time gender parity has been achieved in Canada's team of ministers.

Listen 19:21

"Because it's 2015."

 And the times, they are -- it seems -- a changing.  Soon after being sworn in as prime minister yesterday, Justin Trudeau revealed his first cabinet.

 As promised, half the new ministers are women. And as may have been inevitable, much chatter ensued about gender, and merit, and whether his move for parity is right, or fair. 

In his own words, Trudeau presented, "a cabinet that looks like Canada."

The 50-50 gender mix is our focus today.

CANADA-POLITICS/

Canada's new Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is congratulated by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at Rideau Hall in Ottawa. (Reuters/Chris Wattie)

This segment was produced by The Current's Sujata Berry and Lara O'Brien.