The Liberal government promised a diversity and inclusion agenda, and made specific commitments to ensure more inclusive representation in appointments. A year later, how well have they implemented this commitment?
There is gender parity in cabinet, but just over one-third of parliamentary secretaries are women. The representation of visible minorities in cabinet (17 percent) and among parliamentary secretaries (24 percent) is stronger than their proportion of the population (15 percent of those who are Canadian citizens). There is also stronger representation of Indigenous persons, with 2 in cabinet (later falling to one following the resignation of Hunter Tootoo), and 1 parliamentary secretary.
Similarly, the 28 Senate appointments emphasized diversity: 16 women (57 percent), 6 visible minorities (21 percent) and 2 Indigenous persons (7 percent). Figure 1 contrasts the diversity of Senate appointments of Prime Ministers Chrétien, Harper and Trudeau.