REALity Volume XXVI Issue No. 4 April 2017

There doesn’t seem to be much possibility that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans to move into the 21st Century any time soon.  He seems to be stuck in the past, either unable or unwilling to accept that society has moved on since his father was prime minister in the 1970’s and 1980’s.  Young Trudeau seems to worship his father and his era, and is steadfastly trying to replicate those times.  Cuba’s Castro, a family friend, whom his father greatly admired, according to Justin Trudeau was a great patriot.  China’s Mao was a magnificent hero, according to Trudeau senior.  Accordingly, Justin Trudeau is restoring trade and diplomatic relations with China as his father did before him.  

To further this latter objective, it is worrisome that the young Trudeau’s government is also vigorously encouraging Chinese investment in Canada. For example, Trudeau reversed the former Conservative Government decision to prohibit the purchase, for national security reasons, of a Montreal high tech firm by Chinese investors. The Trudeau government is also open to rolling back a ban on state-owned Chinese investments in the oil sands imposed by the Conservatives.  Also, in February 2017, the Trudeau government green-lighted the sale of one of British Columbia’s biggest retirement home chains to a Chinese government owned, Beijing based company with a murky background.  This deal gives China a foothold in Canada’s health care sector.

Further, Trudeau believes that UN peacekeeping is noble work, not the risky, thankless and useless undertaking that it is today. Not to worry about the economy, according to Trudeau, because the budget will balance itself, even though the budget for 2017-2018 has a projected deficit of $28.5 billion.  It took Canada 20 years to dig itself out of the debt created by Trudeau senior, and it now looks like Canada will not balance its budget problems created by Justin Trudeau, until 2050.

Justin Trudeau is also out of touch in his efforts to restore feminism to Canada. The latter was encouraged by his father who established in 1971 a cabinet position of Minister responsible for the Status of Women. In young Trudeau’s views, Canadian women are still helpless victims who need assistance from the all-powerful government to protect them from the tyranny of a patriarchy that supposedly is creating discrimination and inequality for hapless women.

As a result, the Status of Women departmental agency, established in 1976 under the Liberal Prime Minister Trudeau senior, has been eating up millions of taxpayers’ dollars each year ($33 million in 2017 under Justin Trudeau). It funds feminist organizations and recommends societal changes to improve the imagined deplorable conditions in which Canadian women are supposedly living.  This is absurd.  Women today are outnumbering men at all levels of education from kindergarten to graduate school.  For example:

  • There are nearly three women for every two men in universities, and at some universities three in every four students are women.
  • Three out of five medical school graduates are women; 53 per cent of law school grads are women.
  • More than half of newly chartered accountants (52 per cent) are women.
  • At the University of Toronto, women now account for 30.6 per cent of first-year students in engineering.
  • At the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, 29 per cent of first-year engineering students are women with the university expecting gender parity in engineering by 2020.
  • Women dominate enrollment in traditional ‘female’ fields like the social sciences, where enrollment is 68 per cent. In English literature it’s 83 per cent, in nursing it’s 88.8 per cent across the country.
  • Of the undergraduate students enrolled in the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Program at the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph Ontario, in 2015, 83 were women and 18 were men. In the graduate program there were 14 women and three men.
  • The percentage of women architecture students at the University of British Columbia is 62.7 per cent and at University of Toronto it is 45 per cent. The same proportions hold for community and urban planning: 62 per cent women at the University of Toronto and 59.5 per cent at the University of British Columbia.
  • Gender parity at Canada’s dentistry programs has been a fact for several years.
  • The Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto in 2016 admitted 52% women in its first-year class.
  • Laurentian’s MBA in Thunder Bay is 60 per cent female.

Very few women today are experiencing discrimination. Perhaps some aboriginal women or immigrant women are, but any of their difficulties about which the Status of Women is complaining, are matters already being dealt with by the Department of Public Safety, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.  Why are we separating out men from these issues as they may also be experiencing such problems, and why this duplication of services?

The idea that Canadian women need the government to come to their assistance is old fashioned and demeaning. We certainly don’t need a department of professional feminists instructing us as to what “our” issues are.  We can figure that out for ourselves.  We care about the quality of our children’s schools, jobs and the economy, balancing paid employment with family life, and the threat of terrorism, but not usually about the number of female CEOs in Canada’s corporations.

Justin Trudeau is perpetually prancing on the political stage trying to show just how feminist he is. This characteristic first showed up at the swearing-in ceremonies of his Cabinet in October, 2015 when he insisted that the Cabinet members be sworn in, not according to precedent depending on their portfolio, as was customary, but instead they were sworn in according to gender, alternating between male and female.  This was a joke on Canadians because it was later revealed that his Cabinet members were not equal after all, since some of the female Cabinet were just there as “pretty faces”.  They were not given equal responsibilities, or salaries the same as “genuine” Cabinet members, most of whom were male.

The continuation of the Status of Women Agency is a poor joke, it should be disbanded.