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Concrete actions must accompany diverse cabinet: Canada Research Chair

OTTAWA — An academic expert on inclusive politics says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s move last month to introduce more diversity into his cabinet won’t have much effect unless it goes beyond surface-level representation.

Trudeau added seven new faces to his governing team in July including the first Filipina Canadian woman MP and the first Sri Lankan Tamil to serve in cabinet.

He said the new cabinet reflects Canada’s diversity and brings new voices, skills and experiences to the table.

Many saw the changes as part of an effort by the Liberals to shore up support in tight ridings and among specific ethnic communities.

But the Canada Research Chair on gender, race and inclusive politics at Carleton University in Ottawa says a seat at the table is only one part of true representation.

Erin Tolley says diversity must also be reflected in policy, or it will do little to move the needle for racialized communities come election time, both for the electorate and the ministers themselves.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published August 11, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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