Canada PM Justin Trudeau chooses cabinet with 15 men and 15 women

Justin Trudeau, who took charge as Canada's 23rd PM yesterday, chose a Cabinet with 15 men and 15 women -- the first gender-equal team in the country's history

Ottawa: Justin Trudeau was sworn in as Canada’s 23rd prime minister yesterday before a packed, flag-waving crowd, almost 50 years after his father took on the job. He chose a Cabinet of  15 women and 15 men — mostly aged under 50 — in a team that reflects Canada’s diversity.

Trudeau takes a selfie after the  swearing-in ceremony. Pic/AFP
Trudeau takes a selfie after the  swearing-in ceremony. Pic/AFP

‘Because it’s 2015’
“It’s important to be here before you today to present a cabinet that looks like Canada,” the 43-year-old said. When the second-youngest PM in Canada’s history was asked to explain his gender-parity promise, he answered, “Because it’s 2015.”

Veteran and newbies
His team includes some well-known personalities such as former astronaut Marc Garneau, who takes over as transport minister, former Liberal leader Stephane Dion (new foreign minister), as well as several fresh faces. Many of the female ministers have been given key roles, including former journalist Chrystia Freeland — now in charge of international trade — and Maryam Monsef, who fled Afghanistan as a refugee 20 years ago. Monsef will oversee the democratic reform portfolio. The new PM will take on two portfolios — youth and intergovernmental affairs.

Indians in Cabinet

Three Indian-origin men and one woman are part of the new Cabinet.
>> Herb Dhaliwal, the first Indian-Canadian minister in Canada’s history when he was appointed as revenue minister in 1997.
>> Harjit Sajjan, a Sikh Lt Colonel, has been named Canada’s new Defence Minister.
>> Bardish Chagger, immigrated to Waterloo in 1970s, is Minister of Small Business and Tourism
>> Amarjeet Sohi, emigrated to Edmonton in 1981, is Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.

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