Trudeau sworn in, with di­verse team

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By REUTERS

Lib­eral leader Justin Trudeau named a young, eth­ni­cally di­verse and gen­der-equal Cabi­net on Wed­nes­day as he was sworn into of­fice as Canada’s 23rd prime min­is­ter, mark­ing the end of nearly a decade of Con­ser­va­tive rule.

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.

The Cabi­net, 30 min­is­ters plus Trudeau him­self, in­cluded rookie politi­cian and cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive Bill Morneau as fi­nance min­is­ter and former Lib­eral leader Stephane Dion as for­eign min­is­ter, a split be­tween the old and the new re­flected in the rest of the team.

“It’s an incredible plea­sure for me to be be­fore you here to­day to present to Canada a cabi­net that looks like Canada,” Trudeau told re­porters af­ter he was sworn in with his team, which in­cludes im­mi­grants, abo­rig­i­nals, reli­gious mi­nori­ties, a quadriplegic and 15 women.

Trudeau, the first son of a prime min­is­ter to take of­fice in Canada and the sec­ond-youngest in the coun­try’s his­tory, has grabbed in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion for his good looks and re­tail ap­proach to pol­i­tics.

Asked why he felt gen­der equal­ity in the Cabi­net was im­por­tant, Trudeau said sim­ply: “Be­cause it is 2015.”

Trudeau has al­ready laid out the ma­jor planks of his eco­nomic plan, which in­cludes run­ning three years of bud­get deficits, boost­ing in­fras­truc­ture spend­ing in a bid to stim­u­late Canada’s flag­ging econ­omy.

The new gov­ern­ment has also pledged to raise taxes for the rich­est Cana­di­ans and cut taxes for the mid­dle class.

The cer­e­mony of­fi­cially ended nearly decade of Con­ser­va­tive rule un­der Stephen Harper.

Cheer­ing crowds lined the ap­proach to the Gover­nor Gen­eral’s res­i­dence where the swear­ing-in cer­e­mony took place as Trudeau threw open the venue to the pub­lic. Or­ga­niz­ers es­ti­mated about 4,000 peo­ple at­tended.

He was ac­com­pa­nied by his wife and their three young chil­dren as well as his mother, Mar­garet Trudeau, who gave birth to Trudeau and his two broth­ers while his fa­ther Pierre Trudeau was prime min­is­ter.

The some­what un­ex­pected ap­point­ments of Morneau and Dion to two top port­fo­lios was seen re­as­sur­ing cor­po­rate Canada and in­ter­na­tional part­ners, given Dion’s deep ex­pe­ri­ence and Morneau’s busi­ness back­ground.

Morneau, 53, is a former cor­po­rate ex­ec­u­tive who also headed a ma­jor pub­lic pol­icy think tank. He was elected to Par­lia­ment for the first time in the Oct. 19 elec­tion that brought Trudeau’s Lib­er­als to power.

The Cabi­net also in­cluded Defence Min­is­ter Har­jit Sa­j­jan, a Sikh im­mi­grant from In­dia, mil­i­tary vet­eran and former po­lice of­fi­cer.

But with much of the Cabi­net new to pol­i­tics, some said Trudeau risks open­ing the gov­ern­ment up to rookie mis­takes that could de­tract from his agenda.

“It seems as though the bal­ance is tipped to­wards youth as op­posed griz­zled vet­er­ans, but to have a few there I think is im­por­tant and help­ful,” said Ger­ald Baier, a po­lit­i­cal sci­ence pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Bri­tish Columbia.

BLAIR GABLE / REUTERS

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau takes a selfie wih the crowds out­side Rideau Hall af­ter the Cabi­net’s swear­ing-in cer­e­mony in Ot­tawa on Wed­nes­day.

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