Is Justin Trudeau a fake feminist? -

Is Justin Trudeau a fake feminist?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is fond of using the term feminism. But does it translate into action?

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (L) poses with airport staff as they await Syrian refugees to arrive at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, December 10, 2015. After months of promises and weeks of preparation, the first planeload of Syrian refugees was headed to Canada on Thursday, aboard a military plane to be met at Toronto's airport by Trudeau. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Justin Trudeau poses with airport staff as they await Syrian refugees to arrive at the Toronto Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ontario, December 10, 2015. (Mark Blinch/Reuters)

Next month, Pamela Palmater will speak at the United Nations in Geneva. The message the Mi’kmaq lawyer and professor plans to deliver to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women is grim: “I will address Canada’s failure to abide by equality rights for Indigenous women and children,” the professor and chair in Indigenous governance at Ryerson University, tells Maclean’s. There’s much to discuss—the Liberal government’s failure to comply with a legal order to reform the child welfare system on First Nations reserves, legislation that perpetuates racism and sexism against Indigenous women and girls, discriminatory funding levels leading to poverty and lack of access to education, as well as violence toward Indigenous women and girls by police. “I’m going to say Justin Trudeau hasn’t put action behind his words,” Palmater says.

Only six months ago, the Prime Minister was hailed at the UN for championing gender equality: “I’m going to keep saying, loud and clearly, that I am a feminist,” he told a rapturous, almost all-female audience at a UN conference in New York City during which he identified violence against Aboriginal women as an egregious problem. By then, Trudeau’s feminist identity was an integral part of his “sunny ways” edict. His “Because it’s 2015!” retort to why he appointed Canada’s first gender-equal cabinet became the year’s catch-phrase. He named Katie Telford his chief of staff*, and blazed trails by naming rookie MP Bardish Chagger the first female Government House leader in the Commons.* And on International Women’s Day, he announced a (non-royal) female face would finally grace a bank note.

“We shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘feminist,’ ” Trudeau told the World Economic Forum in Davos in January with the enthusiasm of someone who’d just coined the word. “Men and women should use it to describe themselves anytime they want.” By March, Trudeau was officially a feminist meme after co-operating with Vox on images mimicking the “Hey girl” Ryan Gosling-inspired viral sensation: “Hey girl, I might control the Mounties but I’ll never control your uterus,” one read; “Hey girl, I may be dreamy, but Canada has a long way to go in eliminating the wage gap,” said another.


That Trudeau was embraced as an enlightened white knight isn’t surprising after nearly 10 years of a government whose position on women and gender vacillated between avoidance and attack. Under the Harper government, women’s programs were decimated, violence against Aboriginal woman and girls ignored, and Conservative election rhetoric linked to actual violence against Canadian women, when women in hijabs and niqabs were assaulted in Toronto and Montreal during the election. The Liberals swept in, reversing policies, among them returning advocacy funding to groups representing women and girls and lifting a restriction on foreign aid dollars funding abortion services offshore. Committees to address murdered and missing Indigenous women (MMIW), pay inequity, electoral reform and gender-based analysis were formed.

Ten months in, however, the objectification of Trudeau as Canada’s “dreamy” feminist PM is facing a harsh reality check. Political and economic realities (prioritizing Canadian jobs in a $15-billion sale of light armoured vehicles to a decidedly unegalitarian Saudi Arabia, for instance) have had to trump feminist principles. The March budget failed to back up the rhetoric with funding. “ ‘Feminist’ Justin Trudeau delivers a deeply unfeminist first budget,” Rabble proclaimed. Kate McInturff, a senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives who specializes in gender inequity and public policy, delivered a scathing critique in “Budget 2016: Not enough Real Change™ for women.” She found a gender divide in the 43,000 new jobs promised in 2016 and 100,000 in 2017-18, many from infrastructure spending. This is great for creating jobs in construction, which is 88.5 per cent male, she writes. Yet no equivalent investment was evident in predominantly female sectors such as health care. The result: women comprise 36 per cent of beneficiaries of new budget measures intended to create jobs. Trudeau’s propensity for progressive public gestures—his gender-parity cabinet, turfing two Liberal MPs after two female NDP MPs reported being sexually assaulted and harassed, his Snapchat advising men on how to be better feminists (“don’t interrupt women, and notice every time women get interrupted in conversation”)—is not in question. Where doubts are growing is over a prime minister who vocally identifies as feminist without calling out and drilling down into the hard intersections and injustices that underlie gender inequality, particularly those faced by women on the margins.

There’s no one way to be a feminist, of course, no “feminist policy check list,” as Linda Trimble, a professor of political science at the University of Alberta, says. Feminists come in all ideological stripes, and often disagree on policy. But the criticism now facing Trudeau by some activists is that he’s a “fake feminist.” That’s the phrase used by Ellie Ade Ker, a University of Toronto Ph.D. student and co-founder of Silence is Violence, a group targeting sexual violence on campuses. “Feminism is being reduced to a political buzzword,” she says. “People are saying, ‘He’s such an incredible feminist for saying women deserve equal rights,’ while his government is failing to address things happening on university campus or broader systemic issues that impact the lives of women.”

Justin Trudeau’s feminist bona fides were cemented in November 2015 when he appointed an impressive, diverse, gender-balanced cabinet (though it was noted men sit in the “power” portfolios of Finance, Foreign Affairs, and Defence). The seismic reverberations were felt internationally. “A lot of strong feminists I know cried when they saw half the ministers were women,” says Pat Armstrong, a professor of sociology and women’s studies at York University. And this was no token collection of XX chromosomes: “The women appointed all identify as feminist themselves,” she says.

Yet delight over the cabinet also deflected attention from broader inequities in the federal realm where only 26 per cent of MPs elected in 2015 are women, a record, but up only one percentage point from 2011. Women also are underrepresented in Parliamentary standing committees. Two of the 10-member committees have no women, and three-quarters have two women or fewer. Only the committee of Status of Women Canada, predictably, has a majority of female members.

Systemic overhaul of that status quo is not yet evident. Despite his 50-50 cabinet, Trudeau has shied away from imposing legislative remedies such as quotas or incentives proven to equalize representation. Moving more women into positions of power in companies and government boards should happen “not because you have to or because there is legislation, but because you’re getting better quality of service for citizens,” he said at Davos. A Liberal document leaked in June indicated the party won’t support the Gender Equity Act, a private member’s bill introduced by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart that proposes to financially penalize parties with a 10 per cent or more split between male and female candidates. (The Conservatives ran 19 per cent women candidates, Liberals ran 31 per cent and NDP 43 percent in the 2015 election.) A slew of women’s groups and female politicians, among them Anita Vandenbeld, Liberal MP and women’s caucus chair, Liberal Sen. Mobina Jaffer and Green Leader Elizabeth May, support the bill, expected to be voted on this fall. In the House, Democratic Institutions Minister Maryam Monsef was dismissive: “This specific initiative is not the best way forward,” she said. Making organizations report explicitly on gender balance has proven effective in achieving greater equity, Stewart tells Maclean’s, noting similar systems in France and Ireland have upped female candidates. At the current rate, he says, equal representation in the House won’t be achieved until 2075.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, left to right, Status of Women Minister Patricia Hajdu and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould wait for the start of a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 regarding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett, left to right, Status of Women Minister Patricia Hajdu and Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould wait for the start of a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015 regarding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. (Adrian Wyld/CP)

The nomination process is biased to men, Stewart says, a point Trudeau himself noted in March at an awards dinner for Catalyst, an organization promoting women’s advancement: “Studies have shown that women are 50 per cent less likely than men to consider themselves potential candidates for elected office,” he said, noting men say, ‘When do I start?’ when asked to run while women want to know why we thought she was qualified for the job.” Stewart, a former political science professor, says change requires legislation. “We’ve had a lot of rhetoric and we’ve had some symbolism but we’ve had nothing enshrined in law,” he says of the Liberals.

Election reform—eliminating first-past-the past-the-post, winner-take-all electoral system—a Liberal election promise, is another way to increase women’s political participation. Pippa Norris, a lecturer at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, spoke before the all-party electoral reform committee overseen by Monsef last month on the specific benefits of proportional represenation and the importance of legislation: “Having it in the law, but having an incentive with it, strengthens the work that you can do,” she said. The political will to effect change has been questioned, however; the Liberals sparked protest when they initially assumed majority control of the committee. Without leadership, the issue is destined dissolve into debate and divisiveness (the Liberals support ranked balloting, the NDP, Greens and Bloc support proportional representation, the Conservatives want the status quo and a referendum).

Other initiatives clearly call for dismantling the system. A committee led by Status of Women Canada Minister Patricia Hajdu has called for mandatory adoption of gender-based analysis, a tool to decipher how policy, legislation and program decisions impact women and men differently, across all government departments and agencies by next June; it is “a really big step toward making sure we keep gender equality at the forefront and that it’s not just window dressing,” Hajdu has said. The ministry, responsible for implementing gender equality, was given new status under the Liberals with Hadju being the first minister its 40-year history to not have another portfolio attached to her duties. Still, as McInturff points out, the budget allocated an extra $3 million in 2015, which sounds impressive but comprises only 0.02 per cent of total federal spending: “A feminist prime minister needs to put his money where his mouth is; we haven’t seen that with Status of Women yet,” she says.

That there’s massive work to be done on gender equity was evident in a leaked February 2015 internal Status of Women Canada report that showed Canada far behind other developed countries, with rising poverty rates for elderly single women and single-parent families headed by women, the most vulnerable being recent immigrants and off-reserve Aboriginal women. The report noted Canada ranks at the bottom in terms of pay gap between men and women (a 2015 StatsCan survey reported women earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by men, 87 cents if they work in a federally registered job). Pay inequity was even intially evident in Trudeau’s cabinet: five of the 15 female ministers–including Hajdu–were appointed ministers of state, junior level positions paid $20,000 less than other cabinet ministers; it was corrected retroactively. In June, the pay-equity committee delivered a report, titled “It’s time to act,” with 31 recommendations, including tabling pay equity legislation within 18 months; the NDP wants it passed before year-end.

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau speaks to kids at Le Centre Culturel Franophone de Vancouver during a campaign stop in Vancouver on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

Justin Trudeau speaks to kids at Le Centre Culturel Franophone de Vancouver during a campaign stop in Vancouver on Wednesday, August 19, 2015. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

The leaked 2015 study also reported government support for child care and parental leave in Canada is also well below average. Access to proper child care is key to countering poverty says Trimble—a young woman who is a sole parent is at 70 per cent risk of being poor. A 2016 UNICEF report pegged Canada’s rate of relative child poverty at 14 per cent, 24th of 35 industrialized countries and 23rd in terms of our child poverty gap (a measure of the depth of child poverty).

Trudeau was mum on the subject of daycare access during a panel on gender equality at Davos after it was raised by the only other male panellist, Jonas Prising, the CEO of Manpower, a global personnel company, who cited evidence that affordable, accessible care created work opportunities for women. Instead, Trudeau reiterated his promise for “flex parental leave” aimed at a two-parent family: it allows both to take leave off and on over 18 months, six months more than currently, though it means sacrificing benefits. The Liberals also introduced a Canada Child Benefit that gives eligible families with children under age 18 a monthly tax-free payment graduated to income with an average annual payout is $2,300. Whether the CCB will succeed in lifting some 300,000 children out of poverty as promised has been questioned. The party has also pledged to create a “National Early Learning and Child Care Framework,” tied to income “to ensure affordable, high-quality, fully inclusive child care is available to all families who need it.” Currently the framework is amorphous. No deadlines have been set—and critics are circling.

“We need a universal child care program and not just because the majority of women of childbearing age are in the labour force,” says professor Armstrong. “So are the men.”

Armstrong sees the political flap over the Trudeau family’s nannies, paid $15 to $20 hourly for daytime work and $11 to $13 for the night shift, as a squandered opportunity for discussion of the realities facing many families. “It was being talked of as child care for Gregoire-Trudeau alone, as opposed to for him.” Trudeau relegated it to a budgeting issue; he was reshuffling the same money allocated the Harper family to suit his young family.

Also uncertain is when the government will address the poorest of Canadian children. It has yet to respond to an order to reform the First Nations child welfare system stemming from a landmark Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision in January 2016, which found services underfunded and discriminatory on the grounds of race and national and ethnic origin. A second order in April was also ignored, says Cindy Blackstock, executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada, one of the groups that launched the complaint. A third order is pending. (The Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs did not provide a response to written questions by deadline, but we’ve published the department’s response below.)

Blackstock’s organization was not consulted on the federal budget, which provided $684 million over five years for First Nations’ child welfare, she says: “It sounds impressive, but 54 per cent of that money doesn’t get released until the year of the next federal election or the year after it, if the Liberals get back in. For 2016, they only provided $71 million, substantially less than the $108 million the Conservatives thought necessary in 2012, she says.

Related: What Sophie Grégoire Trudeau says about feminism and politics

Palmater says the government’s failure to not yet lift the two per cent cap on funding increases for on-reserve programs and services as promised affects women and children disproportionately. For example, it hinders access to those seeking post-secondary education, the vast majority of whom are women over age 25 with children. She connects the dots to the fact Indigenous women are the fastest-growing prison population in Canada: “Almost all of them lack an education.” Palmater expresses frustration with Trudeau replacing “substantive justice and equality with flashy photo ops,” noting “you don’t see him with a lot of Indigenous female leaders.” Trudeau’s is a “two-tiered feminism,” she says. “Indigenous women are last.” That Trudeau is aware of poverty’s disproportionate impact on women and girls is not in doubt. At a May press conference he announced Canada’s $785-million commitment over three years, up 20 per cent, to Bill and Melinda Gates’s Global Fund, which aims to eliminate AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; he spoke of the need to address “root causes”: “If we don’t start getting into the root causes of these inequalities, we’re not going to be able to reach that goal of eliminating these diseases by 2030,” he said. Trudeau will host the fund’s conference in Montreal this month.

Only last month, Trudeau was feted for supporting a splashy social media effort organized by One, a campaign co-founded by Bono to promote maternal and child health projects in developing countries. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, I am writing you back to know that I wholeheartedly agree: poverty is sexist,” Trudeau wrote in a public letter, repeating One’s motto. “Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face greater risk of disease and poor health,” he wrote.

Critics charge that Trudeau’s profile among the global philanthropic elite is not matched by similar attention to poverty and violence against women at home. Palmater describes the $40 million allocated in the budget for the MMIW inquiry, which involves as many as 6,000 women as well as such systemic issues as abuses in policing and discrimination in programs and services, as “paltry.” The Ipperwash inquiry, an investigation into the murder of one Indigenous man, Dudley George, cost $29.5 million. (The government later pledged an additional $13.8 million for the MMIW inquiry; with additional funds going to provinces to liaise with survivors and families.)

Blackstock would have liked to have seen money also allocated to protect women in the form of police training and appropriate help lines while the inquiry is under way. “It would demonstrate being serious about changing this,” she says. She is skeptical the inquiry will change anything, and not only because a lot of the information is out there from dozens of similar inquiries: “If we can’t get the government to comply with a legal order to end racial discrimination against little children then what does that mean for the MMIW recommendations?” The two are interconnected, she says: “Trying to get equity and raise a generation of healthy kids is critical to the prevention strategy of MMIW. If we are successful getting adequate, targeted resources out to this generation of boys and girls then we’re going to raise a generation far less predisposed to violence.”

Related: Canada’s MMIW inquiry begins with a glimmer of hope

McInturff expresses similar frustration with lack of spending on prevention against sexual violence in the budget, which directed $89.9 million over two years to increasing the number of shelters for women experiencing domestic violence. Money for shelters, is essential she says, in that overcrowding sees hundreds turned away on a typical day. But sexual violence costs the economy more than $12 billion a year in missed work, medical services, policing and justice, according to Justice Department estimates.

Trudeau, praised for acting swiftly to deal with sexual violence reports affecting his caucus, has proven inconsistent on the topic. At an “Up For Debate” forum in 2015, the Liberal leader blamed sexual violence on “certain types of music,” “shifting parental roles” and “a lot of communities in which fathers are less present,” a statement Toronto journalist Desmond Cole blasted as a “careless nod to anti-black stereotypes.” Trudeau also voted for the Zero Tolerance for Barbaric Cultural Practices Act, a bill the Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund warned “will deepen institutional barriers to immigrant and racialized women reporting violence and will prevent them from accessing support and services.” It became law in 2015.

At the UN, Trudeau said he looked to the day calling himself “feminist” would be met with a shrug. That has yet to happen: “I talk about the fact that I’m a feminist as often as I can, and every time I do, it gets a huge reaction, and the media reacts, and the Twitterverse explodes,” Trudeau told Vox. Part of the response can be chalked up to the power of progressive mansplaining—that men are lionized for saying what women have been saying for centuries, seen too when director Joss Whedon or actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt or even Barack Obama came out as feminists. It’s a response that also reflects pent-up recognition that gender equality is not a “women’s problem” for women to solve alone.

Trudeau serving as a feminist role model, saying he’s taking as much effort to discuss equality with his sons as his daughter, is potentially beneficial, says Trimble. “It makes it clear that men can and should be feminists.” Yet Trudeau has yet to expound at length on feminism. Whether he has read A Vindication of the Rights of Woman or been informed by the work of Simone de Beauvoir or Kimberlé Crenshaw is unknown. (Maclean’s request to interview Trudeau was declined by the PMO.) At the UN, Trudeau reported his mother was a feminist while his father, the architect of the Charter and Rights and Freedoms, “was a great guy—but I don’t think he’d ever be able to be qualified as a feminist,” without elaboration. His endorsement of being a feminist was similarly vague: “It’s just—if you’re a progressive, you really should be a feminist, because it’s about equality, it’s about respect, it’s about making the best of the world that we have.” The message can seem canned as it did mid-Olympics: “It is 2016 so it means that our girls are doing extraordinarily well.”

That Trudeau endorses equality isn’t in doubt. Where critics attack him for is his desire to identify as a feminist iconoclast without breaking anything. “If Justin Trudeau in 2016 wants to claim a feminist perspective, then he needs to get down with the feminism of 2016 and that’s not a white liberal feminism,” says Kathryn Trevenen, acting director of the University of Ottawa’s institute of feminist and gender studies. She sees Trudeau cleaving to “classic Liberal feminism” which has been known to exclude the concerns and perspectives of poor women, women of colour and trans women. She says history has shown such a “trickle-down” approach—that enough women at the top will eventually benefit the marginalized—to be false.

Trudeau’s métier is the visual, so it isn’t surprising his feminist advocacy takes that form, seen recently when he tweeted a photo of Sophie Grégoire Trudeau breastfeeding to support women nursing publicly. Focus on image and symbolism frustrates some younger feminists. “I don’t need a pretty picture. I don’t need a f–king roundtable,” says Lauren Montgomery, a Ph.D. student and CUPE executive at Carleton University. “Unless he’s going to step up and provide universal affordable child care, breastfeeding spaces, call the provinces out on sexual violence, address problems faced by sex workers and say Bill C-36* shouldn’t have been passed, don’t call yourself a feminist.” She sees Trudeau deploying feminism to appeal to female voters. If it’s a tactic, it has worked: an August Abacus Data poll found Trudeau’s approval rating at a record high: 60 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men have a “positive impression” of the PM; 62 per cent of women under 45 had a positive impression.

That fact Trudeau himself has benefited from the sort of sexualized objectification feminism has protested for diminishing women presents another paradox. He’s a feminist heartthrob, more powerful as the result of his advocacy: “The sexiest thing about Justin Trudeau is his cabinet’s gender parity,” gushed a Jezebel blog.

Trudeau’s feminism contains a Catch-22, says Trevenen: There’s a joyful celebration of Justin Trudeau, so feminists are seen as killjoys if they hold him accountable, she says. “But being a feminist PM also requires addressing controversial issues, even becoming a ‘feminist killjoy,’ ” which is British feminist theorist Sara Ahmed’s term to describe how feminists kill the joy of the status quo by calling out injustice. Yet exerting such a critical gaze exists at a disconnect from partisan ends, political expediencies, and the Trudeau government’s “sunny ways” branding. Before the “Three Amigos” summit in June, human rights activists called on Trudeau to challenge Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto regarding the effect on women and children of the country’s war on drug cartels. If that did happen, it was in private. The public saw Trudeau and the president jogging, sparking an intense discussion about the brevity of their running shorts.

Trudeau was also silent amid the furor after his wife asked for more support for her work, which is essentially unpaid (the PMO sent out a statement). Unpaid work is a huge concern that affects less privileged women disproportionately, says McInturff. “With the aging population, women will be expected to take on more and more unpaid or low-paid work to help care for the ailing or aged.” StatsCan no longer tracks it. The Conservative government removed a question on unpaid work from the long-form census in 2006, Armstrong says. It has not been reinstated.

If anything, a retrograde aura, veiled as a glam throwback to the mythical Camelot of the Kennedy administration, surrounds the Trudeaus. Sophie Grégoire tacked on the Trudeau name to her own, after nine years of marriage, just as her husband neared the top political job. Last week, Katie Telford retweeted a Hufffington Post story comparing Grégoire Trudeau’s wardrobe choices to the duchess of Cambridge’s: “Sophie Grégoire Trudeau recycles outfit for China visit.”

Trudeau’s arrival as a sole marquee feminist voice concerns some. Armstrong wants to hear more from female cabinet ministers (Trudeau did hand over his Twitter account to them on International Women’s Day to outline inequalities in their ministries). “He has said it’s not the ‘Trudeau government’ like it was the ‘Harper government,’ she says: “Has it made any difference to have a cabinet that’s half women?” Carolyn Bennett has spoken of how women MPs are far more subject to “personal attacks” when heckled in the House; she has been told to “lay off the coffee or take a Valium.” Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, who has young children, has spoken of leaving the office at 5:30 and to spend early evenings with her family before returning to work, a flexibility most working parents don’t have.

At 10 months, it’s too soon to expect major change, says Trimble, which doesn’t make Trudeau exempt from scrutiny, she says. Trevenen is hopeful. “The Prime Minister has an amazing opportunity to learn from feminists, particularly innovative activists at the forefront of Indigenous movements and Black Lives Matter,” she says. “I’m not interested in shaming him. I’m interested in how can we help him do better and hold him accountable for claims he’s making.” That means Trudeau’s constant I-am-a-feminist boast isn’t about to be met with a dismissive shrug anytime soon.

UPDATE, Sept. 9, 2016: Maclean’s contacted Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with a list of written questions but did not receive a written response from communications officer Shawn Jackson until after print deadline. We’re posting that exchange, and the answers, below.

We will report that the Canadian government has not yet complied with the findings of the January 2016 Canadian Human Rights Tribunal decision regarding the funding/reform of child welfare services on First Nations reserves.

A: The Government of Canada has in fact addressed a number of the findings in the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) decision.

Our priority first and foremost is the well-being of Indigenous children and we remain committed to working collaboratively to fully implement the tribunal’s decision. Canada has increased existing program funding to $634.8 million over five years to the First Nations Child and Family Services Program to support enhanced prevention services and increase capacity and resources for front-line service delivery on reserve. This funding includes funding for growth and cost drivers beyond 2 percent to commensurate with the costs of servicing children in care. The funding is currently being allocated to provide immediate relief to service providers.

Canada has also committed to a full scale reform of the First Nations Child and Family Services Program. We are currently engaging First Nations and other partners to start regional and national conversations about how to overhaul First Nations child and family services, including how to respond to items identified in the ruling. Meaningful First Nations Child and Family Services Program reform requires working in collaboration with all partners.

Canada also recently announced a new approach to implement Jordan’s Principle that will put the needs of children first and help to ensure that First Nations children with a disability or short-term condition living on-reserve receive the health and social services they need in a timely manner. We are providing up to $382 million over three years in new funding to support this approach.

We will report that the lifting of the 2% cap on annual funding for First Nations on-reserve programming promised in the 2016 budget has yet to take place.

A: The Government of Canada is committed to establishing a new fiscal relationship with First Nations based on the recognition of rights, respect, co-operation and partnership.

Through the historic investment in Budget 2016 of $8.4 billion for Indigenous peoples, the government has committed funding significantly beyond the previous the 2 per cent cap for Indigenous communities.

For 2016-17, this means our government is investing an additional $1.2 billion, over and above the $107 million that would have been provided under 2 per cent cap. In fact, within five years, total funding for Indigenous communities will be 22 per cent above the levels of funding that would have been provided under the previous 2 per cent funding cap.

While the 2 per cent cap has been lifted through Budget 2016’s investments, we are committed to a new, long term fiscal arrangement designed collaboratively with First Nations that ensures sufficient, predictable and sustained funding based on the needs of First Nation communities.
By signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Assembly of First Nations, we are establishing a joint process to achieve this goal and build a stronger nation-to-nation relationship.

Through these substantial investments, our government is committed to eliminate disparities and inequities in the socio-economic conditions between First Nations and other Canadians.

We will report that the additional $13.8 million earmarked for the MMIW inquiry beyond the $40 million in the budget will be allocated to the provinces to set up “liaisons” to guide families through the province, not to the inquiry itself.

A: As Minister Bennett has indicated, the $40 million figure was an estimate provided as a funding amount placeholder in the election platform document. This figure was revised following prior to completion of the 18 pre-inquiry sessions that were held across the country and where survivors, families and loved ones shared their experiences and ideas and requirements about the design of the inquiry.

The five Commissioners appointed have an incredible amount of work to do all across the country. They will be engaging regionally and locally on a wide range of issues related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and conducting research and gathering information on a very large scale.

All along we have wanted to make sure that we get it right. The additional funding will provide the Inquiry with resources it needs to do just that. For further information, please see here.

The $53.8 million is for the Commission’s operations. Parallel to the Inquiry, the Government will also provide $11.67 million over three years funding for new Family Information Liaison Units in the victims’ services offices of provinces and territories as well as an additional $4.5 million over four years in enhanced funding for culturally responsive, trauma informed services for families. For further information, please see here or contact Justice Canada.

CORRECTION, Sept. 29, 2016: An earlier version of this story referenced Bill C-37 in a quotation. That was a typographical error. In fact, the quotation referred to Bill C-36.

CORRECTION, Sept. 11, 2016: An earlier version of this story reported that Katie Telford was the first woman to serve as chief of staff in the PMO. In fact, the first woman to hold the role was Jodi White, chief of staff to Prime Minister Kim Campbell in 1993.

CORRECTION, Sept. 9, 2016:An earlier version of this story also claimed that Liberal MP Bardish Chagger was the first female House leader in the Commons. In fact, she’s the first Government House leader.


Is Justin Trudeau a fake feminist?

  1. Feminism is just a sexist ethos anyway. Egalitarianism is what we should all strive for.

    • You know, its an insult to women to dismiss our terms and instead include men in our feminist appeals for equality .Men already HAVE equality we simply want the same priviliges. We want equal pay for doing the same job, we want not to be excluded from being hired because we “might have children one day”, we want to be taken seriously when we report a rape and we want NOT TO BE RAPED BY MEN WHO THINK THEY DESERVE SEX FOR BUYING A COFFEE OR BEER. your term egalitarianism simply declares women’s needs as insignificant compared to your need to control women

      • I replied to this last night but it did not post. I am going to assume it is because I include live links, which I will not do this time around…

        First, if women don’t have equality, then how is it that men do? What are men equal to if not the opposite gender? Perhaps I am nitpicking here, but in order for me to understand your argument, it first has to make sense. At any rate, I will do my best and go through your claims about the privileges that men enjoy over women.

        You talk about women deserving equal pay for doing the same job, which I am going to assume is you referring to the wage gap claim that says women make 70ish cents for every dollar a man makes. First, understand that this statistic simply looks at the median salary of all full time employed women, and compares it to the median salary of all full time men. It does not take into consideration level of education, hours worked per day, seniority, amount of time taken off, or even profession chosen. The reality is, when you compare a man with a woman who both have the same education, work the same hours, take the same amount of time off, perform at the same level, and work in the same position, the wage gap disappears. The wage gap is in fact a myth and has been debunked countless times. Maclean’s doesn’t seem to allow my comments to post when I include links, but Google wage gap myth and you will get all kinds of research that supports this. If you search “The Myth of the Gender Wage Gap” in Youtube, you will find an excellent video by feminist Christina Hoff Sommers that further dissects the wage gap for the myth that it is.

        Next, you claim that women are not being hired because they may choose to have a child one day. While this is something that may occur, I sincerely doubt that it is a pervasive problem that is holding women back. Consider a recent study has found that in 147 of the 150 largest cities in the United States, single, childless women actually earn 8% more than their single, childless male counterparts. Google “Workplace Salaries: At Last, Women on Top” for the Time article that supports this statistic. How could this be the case if employers don’t hire women for fear that they will have children one day?

        Regarding rape victims not being taken seriously, I would like to better understand what you mean by this. If a woman is raped or is the victim of sexual assault, and she reports it to the police, the police should absolutely take it seriously and conduct an investigation. I have heard instances in the past where women have done just that, only to be rebuffed by the police, which is a travesty of our justice system, but I tend to believe that this is improving. Consider the Jian Ghomeshi trial, where his accusers were believed by the police so completely, that it didn’t even appear that they conducted much of an investigation before pressing charges. Furthermore, we now live in a political climate where, if a woman reports a rape to the police, and she is not taken seriously, the level of outrage that is felt among the media and public in general is immense. Given that, I think you are painting with too broad a brush on this so-called privilege, especially when considering that you have offered no proof that men are taken more seriously when they report rape and/or sexual assault to the police.

        No one should be raped or sexually assaulted, regardless of gender. In 2015, a study was published by the American Public Health Association that found men and women are victims of rape and sexual assault at approximately the same rate (Google “The Sexual Victimization of Men in America: New Data Challenge Old Assumptions” for the source). As such, I don’t believe that rape and sexual assault should be treated as a gender issue, which is why I feel that egalitarianism is a more appropriate ideology.

        In your final sentence, you claim that by citing egalitarianism, I am declaring that women’s needs are insignificant, which is precisely the opposite of egalitarianism, which claims that all people are equal, regardless of gender. I often hear that feminism is about “equality” but this so called equality only appears to ever go one way. In North America, men are more likely to suffer from mental health problems than women, more likely to commit suicide, more likely to become homeless, more likely to be killed while on the job, more likely to end up in prison, and less likely to attend post secondary education, yet you never hear this being brought up by the feminist movement. Due to this, I can’t help but feel that the claim that feminism is about equality is a hollow one. Perhaps I have been tainted by what I have seen on university campuses lately, which is where my comment of third wave feminism being about virtue signalling, misandry, and ignorance came from. This is too broad a brush that I am using myself, but with respect, when reviewing the so called privileges that you have cited yourself, there doesn’t appear to be a great deal of factual claims here, which makes me wonder about the sincerity of what you seem to believe.


          Your claim that men are more likely to suffer mental illness than women is completely incorrect. Men do successfully commit more often but women attempt it more often. Men tend to use more lethal methods like hanging, shooting themselves, carbon monoxide while women tend to take overdoses of which less are fatal. As for your assertion about not choosing to go to university. Men in Alberta could make a very high wage in the oil patch and construction without attending university. Women could not. Given that university acceptance is dependant totally on academics, I am not certain what the cure is for the declining number of men on university campuses. Do we really want to have a quota? Do you want a surgeon who got into med school because he was a man with lower marks and less ambition or do you want the smartest candidate who has the best skills?

          • “I am not certain what the cure is for the declining number of men on university campuses. Do we really want to have a quota? Do you want a surgeon who got into med school because he was a man with lower marks and less ambition or do you want the smartest candidate who has the best skills?”

            Are you attempting sarcasm here Gage G? Because if so, it’s not going over too well. You’re either mocking the argument people have been stating for decades against affirmative action for women and minorities by turning the tables now that men are the minority. Your sarcasm/mocking, if that’s what it is, would fail because this is likely not the argument you would want to hear if it were levelled at women, and you’d be a moral hypocrite for not supporting the same policies now that men are the minority, and so you’d just sound obtuse and silly. If that’s the case, then grow your brain up some please, thanks.

        • Thank you Judy for such a thoughtful and rationally-argued response to ARK2’s comment. I wish more people would use comments sections for that sort of debate rather than spouting off partisan platitudes and insults.

        • Thank you ARK2 for being the, obvious, voice of reason here. You very easily dismissed point by point “Judy”‘s baseless claims and emotionally driven drivel. I know it’s hard to be a rational voice in world full of cowardly and mindless ideologues, but stay strong and keep up the fight. I’ll be there with you.

      • Third-wave feminism is overt sexist bigotry advanced by some of the most privileged people in all of human history, college-educated Western women.
        In all seriousness, only contemporary Saudi princes probably enjoy more opportunity and access to power than these new gender chauvinists.

        The usual repertoire in the advance of their egos, grievance mongering and hate, is a litany of half-truths and outright lies; like the non-extant wage gap, or college rape statistics that have been inflated by a factor of ten thousand.

        Calling oneself a feminist should be treated with the same, justifiable scorn, as calling oneself a Klansman or a fascist.

  2. Why is feminism such a difficult thing for people to understand?

    • That’s is probably due to its ideological inconsistency. In its current iteration, 3rd wave feminism really doesn’t stand for anything beyond virtue signalling, misandry, and illiteracy when it comes to statistical analysis. This isn’t to discount first wave feminism, which I am sure we can all agree was essential to the social development of Western society. People today that stand for equality should embrace egalitarianism, not feminism, which certainly is not about equality.

      • ‘Feminism is the radical notion that women are people’

        Mary Shear 1986

        That’s it, that’s all Ark

        • I don’t think you will find anyone in our society who disagrees with that. Having said that, I think Ms. Shear is being a bit simplistic in her comment.

          • It’s a simple concept Ark

          • I think the only thing truly simple here is the mind that you possess. Read Anne’s article. Her contention seems to be that any inequity experienced by women, regardless of the reason or cause, is an affront to feminism. Her argument goes so far as to suggest that for Trudeau to not actively fight these inequities, makes him a “fake feminist”. This goes beyond women just being regarded as persons. If you can’t understand that then there is no use in me continuing this conversation with you.

          • In other words you have no answer so you’re just scurrying away.

          • Answer to what? Where in your inane babble was I supposed to have found a question?

          • LOL you are trying a ‘malesplanation’ to a woman about feminism and it doesn’t work.

            I was around before feminism Ark….I know what it means

            You have a confused view of the subject…because you’re sexist…so go ‘explain’ it to someone else. Your cat perhaps

          • Just as I thought, more inane babble. Your alleged age does not make you an authority on this topic, or any other for that matter. If my view is “confused” please enlighten me. What do I have wrong? You like to police virtually every comment on this website, but now you have the opportunity to turn that compulsion into something constructive. Show me the light.

          • Ahhh when you have no answers you go straight to the sexism.

            I’m afraid your ‘light’ is rhe sun shining through the hole in your head. LOL

          • Well thanks for proving my point. I ask you to explain to me what I am confused about and you call me a sexist. You have no proof of me being a sexist, of course, because I have never said nor done anything that is sexist. That doesn’t matter to you however, because you are a lousy person and are of poor character.

            I’m thankful for a lot of things in my life, and today I have realized something else to be thankful for. I have never had to endure a person as awful as you. I don’t know what your personal situation is. I often imagine that you are someone that is in her mid-fifties, unemployed and living alone off of welfare cheques in a trailer park. However, if that’s not the case, and there are people that are in the unfortunate situation to have to look up to you, then I truly pity them.

          • As a 70 year old female, I automatically outrank you on ‘sexism’

            You can’t accept that so you’ve gone to insults again.

            However they don’t work either.

            You can’t discuss this topic….so off you go

          • You are not the first person to find old Em hard to hack. Paul Wells used to rip a strip off her on a fairly regular basis. He didn’t suffer fools lightly. It was a pure pleasure when he lit into her. Of course it had no lasting impact whatever.

        • If you think that is what modern day feminism is about, you need to get out more often.

      • I think third wave feminism is more than “virtue signalling, misandry, and illiteracy when it comes to statistical analysis,” however there does seem to be a lot of internal disagreement on issues, but i don’t think that’s a bad thing.

      • The three definitions that, when combined, constitute modern feminism:
        1) Feminism is the belief that men and women are equal, but Women. Are. Better!
        2) From each, according to his abilities; to each, according to her needs.
        3) SHUT UP!

    • Because the definition has changed over the years. Initially it was about equal pay, equal opportunity for jobs, acknowledgement of our education and skills and the right to not be treated as a child or a servant. but as an actual person whose opinion mattered.

  3. I find all the gushing over Trudeau’s looks by largely female journalists an insult to feminism.

  4. Bravo Anne. Great article. It is about time that the media started to analyze exactly what his actions versus his useless commentary. Today the National Post told a heart breaking story of a family of Ukranian refugees that are being deported even though they were being terrorized and threatened with death at home and their 15 year son has attempted suicide. Goodale doesn’t care. This Liberal government is no more compassionate than the Cons were. It is all smoke and mirrors.

    • It really does seem to be all about the optics with the Liberals. Sure, its an improvement over the previous administration, but even as i hoped they would win the last election i knew full well it would be less than a year before i was angry and frustrated with them. Politics is a bummer, im jealous of conservatives, at least they can really get behind their politicians, left wingers in this country are constantly wringing our hands because the people we elect dont act on the mandates we give them.

      • What improvements? So far very little has changed.

      • It’s hard not to be disappointed when Mr. Trudeau promised everything to everyone. There was no mandate based on a global reality or even what’s best for Canada at large rather an ever changing mantra depending on who his audience was.
        Perhaps the real way elections should change is with the legal responsibility to carry out said mandate. It may just rain them in a bit .

  5. Let’s get serious here. It is laughable, trying to hang on Justin Trudeau 150 years of Canadian abuse of women’s rights. Neither he nor the reporter, nor anyone mentioned in the story, has a magic wand to make this neglect go away.

    • Thank you so much for putting into words my thoughts exactly.

      I think it is a huge mistake to constantly respond with “not enough” when positive change is happening. It is discouraging to further change. We are where we are and it is going to take more than a year and more than five years to get where we want to go – I’m not entirely sure we’ll ever get there. But in order to keep moving, we have to encourage and support those who are trying to change. That doesn’t mean no scrutiny, no comment, no questioning. It does mean not heaping sarcasm and cynicism on what has been done.

      • Where do we want to go? Change for the sake of change? The gutting of the Right to Die legislation was certainly not the direction were lead to believe, nor the delay in the marijuana laws, not addressing the questionable surveillance section of Bill C51. We have every right to question the slowness or disregard of promises made.

        • Did you really think that anyone who decided they should kill themselves should be given drugs to end their lives?

          • No. However, we believed people with intractable, chronic incurable pain and people who had dementia would be allowed to die with dignity. Wasn’t that the point of physician assisted suicide…to end suffering?

    • Upvote. (Why doesn’t Macleans have this seemingly obvious feature?)

      This article is trying just a little too hard. The Child Benefit is a significant measure that disproportionately helps poor families, the Libs are actually going to have a MMIW inquiry, and they’ve apparently increased INAC funding by significantly more than 2% (it may not be permanent, but what necessarily is?).

      Economists like infrastructure spending as stimulus and I believe affordable housing was also a significant part of the “stimulus” plan. Maybe they should be encouraging more women to go into construction? It’s not obvious to me that women need more help getting employment than men do, I know the trend in the US has been going the other way and health care jobs are female-dominated.

      Affordable child care is a legitimate issue but a real solution would be a large and on-going expense. Is the electorate up for having its taxes raised again?

      And (last one, I promise…) having a 50% female cabinet is significant. It puts a more female face on the government. Carolyn Bennett has been one of the most visible cabinet ministers. If women see that there are opportunities in running for office, they will be more likely to run. Candidates are mostly nominated locally; penalizing parties for not having enough female candidates overall is a strange way to encourage more women to run for local nominations. Proportional representation has drawbacks as well as advantages, e.g. it can give fringe parties the balance of power, a very undemocratic result.

      Diatribes like this breed a cynical electorate, because politicians never actually have that magic wand.

  6. Justin Trudeau a fake feminist, – – – – – case closed.

  7. It’s not that Justin Trudeau is a fake feminist. It’s that he’s not really a GOOD feminist. A good feminist is someone like Christina Hoff Sommers and Camile Paglia. Someone who uses logic and reasoning on first and third world women’s issues. They also don’t make everything a sex issue and are also concerned with men’s issues too. Trudeau says some of the most outlandish things on feminism I’ve ever heard. He said that poverty is sexist towards females. Funny cause whenever I’m in NYC, I see more men than women on the streets begging for change. And if you’re going to make a gender balanced cabinet, make sure those women are qualified. Don’t do it just to push a feminist agenda and because it’s 2015. He’s pretty much the ultimate White Knight right next to Jonathan McIntosh.

    • Your perception of anecdotal information is not actual evidence of anything.

      What on earth makes you think “those women” are not qualified? Why aren’t you saying he should make sure the other 50% of the cabinet are qualified?


        Perhaps Carolyn Bennet is not qualified because she can’t keep her promises and neither can her boss. 30 billion debt and all kinds of rhetoric about improving the lives of First Nations people but he doesn’t raise their education money allotment in the budget. Then there is Jane Phillpott and her insistence on spending taxpayer like it is water and making poor ethical choices. How is she any different than Alison Redford?

    • Consider that the cause of much of their poverty is they chose to not get enough education to obtain a decent paying job, or that they chose to have children in their teens or without a reliable partner, or they partnered with a man who had no possibility of earning enough to support a family. Add to that the fathers’ failure to pay support for the children.

    • just because you don’t see poor women on the street begging for change does not mean more women are not living blow the poverty line. women don’t fare well on the street. and i’ll bet you don’t include all those women who have been forced into prostitution among your worthy of being called poor,

  8. so it’s official-absolutely, positively NOBODY is good enough for feminists

  9. So the biggest message in this article is that there are thousands of Indigenous women and children living in poverty. There is a court decision that this government chose not to appeal. That decision holds that the federal government has been discriminating against children living on reserves by funding their child welfare and education system at a rate that is substantially lower than for children living off reserves. The money budgeted to right this wrong does not really fall into place for another 4-5 years. Where is the outrage?

    But hey, let’s just go on bashing Trudeau specifically and feminism generally. Because that is what is important…

    • Hey, it isn’t only that. The women on reserves don’t qualify for the child tax credit because they don’t file income tax. Now we find out Trudeau didn’t provide more education dollars like he promised either. There was an article on the CBC online that mental health workers left Attawapiskat and other northern reserves when their managers refused to allow them to listen to the stories suicidal children were telling them about physical and sexual abuse. They are trying to suppress it.

  10. The concept of feminism is pretty simple-equal rights and status for women. Now, since the man child has said he’s a feminist but has done nothing but tokenism through his 50/50 cabinet split, then I would say he’s going at this subject in the same superficial way he’s going about everything else. The only thing he’s really good at is his narcissism-works at that 24/7.

    • Actually, it is all -incIusive. The man-child Justine is fake-everything. And don’t let Emily snow you about age. I have a couple of decades on her and my mother was a naturally superior woman and didn’t need any of this feminist cant to be a real woman.

      When it comes to women they are people and should get the same goodies for the same work (and not work that is ‘something the same’.) In our community most of the volunteer firepeople are women and hoist a hose the same as men. They are also better first responders.

      The rest of the Betty Frieden stuff is crap For my money a real woman is one who brings up her kids (often in the absence of a father) as honest citizens with integrity and a concern for their good name, encourages a good education within means who understand that love is the basis of good human relations, who respect their and origins, not some pot-smoking snerd or aggressive brute. It takes a real woman to teach kids the right way to live. Much of the careerism seems to be an excuse to get out of that. Here many of them dump their kids in the Mall and take of to do their thing.

      • If I do not have children, am I still real?

      • You really can’t do that when you can’t make enough money to afford decent housing or food, but hey, yeah, keep women in the home instead of working so that men can have ALL the good jobs and not pay child support. MEN need to teach their kids that they can become anything,not delegate that to the women.

  11. Justin Trudeau is a feminist: anyone who says they are is, to some extent, unless they are twisting the meaning. He just isn’t the feminist parallel of Kemal Ataturk for the very good reason that he just doesn’t have that kind of power. The previous commentator, Ark2, demonstrates why: “virtue signalling” I don’t understand the meaning of (unless it means that women are not perfect so shouldn’t be equal on that ground) and women’s freedom and equality in law, universities, industry, business etc., is a kind of “misandry” or “man hatred”. This is ancient thinking as traceable in the work and writings of male philosophers, theologians, artists and lawmakers before and throughout the dark ages and the enlightenment, and persists today. Some are still proud to be of this ilk and they have a lot of influence and power, retrogressive though it is.

  12. Is Justin Trudeau a fake feminist??????

    Personall I think he is just a fake.

  13. Justin will be anything you want to get your votes, a muslim,LGBT supporter, a native , absolutely anything you want him to be except a true leader he loves the spotlight and loves to give away your money to foreign countries so I guess he is a philanthropist also.

  14. Unfortunately, I think Trudeau is a fake everything. He is a globalist and intends to sell us out to a global order, and in that regard, he’ll say anything to achieve that goal, he even told the Chinese leader he admires how they do things. Are you kidding me? A smart kid said it best: “Would you want Merkel making decisions about you?”

    • Three good ones.
      Question – how can a person call themselves a feminist if they are not of the female/feminine gender?
      Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say they are “sympathetic to the feminine cause” or “feminine ideals”.
      Somehow a man calling himself a feminist sounds condescending and just shy of ridicule.

      • Good question. Could be Trudeau is a closet tranny. WE got to do something about who we elect, maybe a better background check, and a better psych profile for those in public office.

        I really hope he realizes he is not a leader, and just fades into history. Trudeau is going to cause a lot of problems in Canada if he thinks otherwise. He is just another O-Bummer.

  15. Was all that feminist crying before or after they realized he had appointed a bunch of female junior ministers and then put the slight down to technicalities?

  16. Oh yes, that’s right. He hasn’t done everything you want, the way you want it, so he’s fake.

    A department store opened that sold men and a woman decides to visit it in search of a husband.
    At the store’s entrance, there’s a sign outlining the department store policy.
    The first rule states that you can only enter the store once.
    There are six floors and on each floor you can choose a husband or elect to move on to the next floor.
    You cannot visit a floor more than once other than to leave the building.
    The woman visits the first floor. The sign reads:
    · Men with jobs.
    She moves on to the second floor:
    · Men with jobs that adore children.
    She moves on the the third floor where the sign reads:
    · Wealthy men that adore children and are very handsome.
    She thinks to herself, “that’s a very good deal” yet moves on to the fourth floor:
    · Wealthy men that adore children, are very handsome and help with the household chores.
    She decides to move on as things are constantly improving:
    · Wealthy men that adore childern, are very handsome, help with the household chores and are very romantic.
    The woman is about to make her purchase but can’t resist moving on to the sixth floor.
    There the sign reads:
    · You are visitor number 31,456,012 on this floor.
    · There are no men here.
    · This floor exists as proof that it is impossible to please women.

    • Old fairy tale about an elderly woman and a house…..revised to be sexist.

      Men, of course, would never do such a thing

  17. Mr/Ms. feminist Potato head. How can you leftist morons really believe in this figure head. Justy is in a fantasy dream world. He will so disappointed when the game is over in 2019.

  18. Trudeau is just a fake…..feminist or not. Hes pretty much just a social justice warrior with clearly limited understanding of economics. His first year has been a disaster for Canadian families and businesses and we still have 3 more years of this pain to get through. Tough times in Canada right now, tougher times ahead.

  19. No he is not as witnessed by his attending a mosque where the women were separated away from the men.

    If I was in an audience for a speech given by an PM and was segregated to the back, I would be making such a scene and all directed at Justin.

  20. Federal leadership is a collection of failed ideas.
    This is an uncanny reality that 70-90% Albertan families are dependent upon Oil and gas industry for their earnings, based on the natural resources available in the province.
    Numerous families are surviving with low-paying jobs or no jobs.
    The families are struggling in the province for their survival.

    A government role is to support the industry and bring the business investment back to the province. Eventually providing the job to the families, any progressive government does for the people.

    Ironically enough, our leadership is busy in making world class profile rather.

  21. Today, Justin Trudeau visited a gender-segregated Mosque, and did not mention the fact that it was gender-segregated, and inappropriate in Canada #IguesshewouldgolfatAugustatoo

    Gender segregation is apparently a Canadian value for Justin Trudeau. #BecauseItIs2016

    According to the Globe and Mail, the subordinate who the cabinet minister sexually assaulted (consent is a priori NOT possible in the workplace between the employer and an employee #feminism101) was offered another job, perhaps to hush her and discourage her from laying charges.

    Justin Trudeau has NOT called in the police to investigate this textbook sexual assault in the workplace.

    And clearly Justin Trudeau has not articulated that it was a sexual assault by one of his cabinet ministers, “miseducating” the public, even though he has allegedly heard a direct confession from the perpetrator, nor has he gone to the police with this knowledge.

    Exactly what was the point of the MMIW again?

    • “did not mention the fact that it was gender-segregated, and inappropriate in Canada” curiously, a mosque is where you draw the line, not a Mennonite meeting house nor a Catholic church.

      • I will admit that I have never been to a Mennonite meeting house, but since when have Catholic churches practiced segregation?

  22. He’s either faking being a feminist or faking being a sympathizer of Islam because I don’t see how the hell anyone can be both.

  23. All that verbiage and yet the author pauses to interject a comment on Sophie Gregoire’s fashion choices – huh? Also, the author just told white liberal women to take a hike … interesting!

  24. Another conundrum: the author lambastes Sophie Gregoire’s public breast-feeding promo but later the prejudice is revealed when the author suggests that segregated breast-feeding rooms are essential to feminism.

  25. In typical fashion, discussion has quickly moved away from the subject of the article, Mr. Trudeau, to empty rhetoric, rather than focusing on how the government says one thing, yet does something else entirely different.
    Bill C-51, Bill S-7, TPP, “middle class” tax cut, removing fossil fuel subsidies, health care cuts, affordable housing plan, continuing with the sale of the armed vehicles.

    As happy as i am that Canada looks cool again, i’d rather we cover the basic housekeeping of running a country. We’re running out of money, and we’re running out of time.

  26. Yes, why not? He’s as phony as a three dollar bill in every other way.

  27. What about the discrimination faced by MPs Catherine McKenna, Karen McCrimmon, and Anita Vandenbeld when they accompanied Justin Trudeau to a mosque. He entered through the front door while they as women had to come in through a side door? And where he addressed the crowed while they sat with their heads covered?
    I support equality. I have already emailed these three MPs with my support against discrimination, not because it’s 2016, (nor 916 as Justin appears to believe) but because I believe in equality. Anyone else who would like to do the same can email them at the below addresses as well.

    Catherine.McKenna@ parl. gc. ca
    Karen.McCrimmon@ parl. gc. ca
    Anita.Vandenbeld@ parl. gc. ca
    you can CC Justin Trudeau at
    Justin.trudeau@ parl. gc. ca

    Please excuse the spaces.

    Unfortunately while this event got widespread coverage in international media, only the National Post seems willing to cover it in Canada.

  28. Too bad the headline to this didn’t, much more timely, read, “Is Trudeau A Fake Progressive?” His undying support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership would seem to beg the question, the TPP being practically a death knell for democracy as we know it (as just one measure under the TPP, a foreign appointed corporate arbitration council can judge whether or not Canadian laws infringe on corporate profits and in the process have the government spend millions fighting corporations to change laws that protect citizens and the environment), which would instantly negate anything the Trudeau liberals do along the line of progressivism, for women or any other group.

    Yet women seem to the only group fake progressives are ever concerned about, for instance if there’s a “Gender Equity” bill, where’s the Racial Equity bill? How about equity for people from lower income backgrounds, and lower the cost of running in elections? Where’s the liberalism when it comes to these other issues that don’t affect only women? Even when there’s a token mention of aboriginal people or immigrants, the focus is still almost always singularly on women. There is a stunningly consistent, and quite disturbing, gynocentrism going on that desperately needs addressing here. Women’s issues have become the safe terrain, almost like a red herring for an otherwise authoritarian serving “liberal” party, something they can show up when one may accuse them of serving only the plutocrats, which they mostly do since Chretien.

    Also not progressive or egalitarian is Trudeau’s bogus Snapchat quote, “don’t interrupt women, and notice every time women get interrupted in conversation,” which reeks of classic chivalry and paternalism, exactly the kind of thing your great grandpa would have said too (“Go easy on the little ladies now.”) Some “progress”. By the way: Men, feel FREE to interrupt women as you would any man, because that’s how you treat someone as an equal in the 21st century. Either that, or don’t interrupt men either, be civil and patient to all parties regardless of gender. It’s disturbing Trudeau and his ilk don’t seem to get what actual equality means.

    As for the rest of this curious mixture of fear mongering and empty confidence boosting article, the usual litany of lies, cherry picked stats, disingenuousness, and general ideological/gender feminist BS is lined up, once again.

    All three points that Trudeau mentions in his quotation, “‘Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face greater risk of disease and poor health”’, are completely false and each point is actually more true for men and boys: women now outnumber men at most universities by a ratio of 60:40 and out-graduate them at law and med schools too; men are more likely to die from a number of diseases and despite this women’s health is many times more funded than men’s health; men and boys are 79-85 percent of the homeless (in addition to the surveys that demonstrate this, any glance around any major city will immediately make this clear).

    By the way, does anyone ever care to ask where the men have gone who are the fathers of single-mother children? No, of course not –they’re men, who cares, probably just abandoned them for more sex. But if you did actually act like a reasonable human and considered and looked into it, you’d find that most either wind up on the street, in jail, or commit suicide, which they do 3-4 times more than women, something else no one cares about for all the problems the poor little damsels in distress have. But can you imagine if 3-4 times more women killed themselves than men, especially if that rate doubled if not tripled since the 1970s? It would be a leading feminist issue and you would hear no end to the reasons being related to hatred/sexism/discrimination/misogyny against and oppression of women. This nightmarish reality is in fact happening to men right now, and where is even the discussion let alone concrete policy being made to deal with it?

    Other points are disingenuous. SOW (that’s Status of Women, in case you didn’t get it) reports that poverty in single-mother households is rising. That’s true, as it is for MOST Canadian households and individuals, not just single mothers. This is left out of the equation here, and it’s treated deceptively like it’s a female-only probably. It isn’t. I’m not even going to mention the pay gap based on discrimination myth; any honest and intelligent, non-ideological, human being should have dismissed this a long time ago.

    Trudeau’s a Fake feminist? That’s a fake issue. More like fake progressive, if anything. The modern day safe “liberal”, a plutocrat or plutocrat servant in disguise whose only remotely liberal concern is for women, and a few token minorities, especially if those minorities are women, ostensibly to make him feel like Sir Gawain who just got back from saving Genevieve from the Green Knight. How liberal. How progressive. How up-to-date.

    How fake.

  29. For the most part I believe that the feminist movement of 1st world societies has gone off the tracks of what true feminism means; but I don’t think that should deter people from saying they’re feminist. There are different spectrums to that word. I for instance do identify as a feminist. As a women why would I be against women’s rights? (Even greater than that as a human being why would I be against the rights of another?) That being said, there are movements I disagree with and don’t care for like ‘free the nipple’ for example. I feel they take away from the voices of people who actually need to be heard. The voices of women and girls who really are in crisis for basic human rights. The right to free speech, education, a safe environment. Those are things we need to fight for and as women of first world societies we should be ashamed of ourselves for taking away from the voices of those who need it most. We should be fighting for them not for our selfish desires to make bare chestedness or body hair the norm. The world is not perfect, it will never be, but without raging against that dying light we would only be moving backwards.

  30. Gee, how refreshing! Another angry feminist with a red marker in her hand, complaining bitterly that she didn’t get what she wanted for Christmas. Never mind that she demands a purple flying pony with a proven literary track record; it’s that she wanted it, and she didn’t get it, and now all men are evil again. “Fake feminist”? You’re all fake feminists! You do nothing but talk, and demand things you feel entitled to, and then expand your list of demands if you get what you want. The real feminists of the early 20th century, and the women who did the heavy lifting for real social egalitarianism, would be embarrassed to be put in the same dumpster as the rest of you. Feminism used to be about issues: work, pay, voting, freedom of thought and expression, ending oppression. Now it’s all just blather. Endless complaining about how humans are, endless demands for equal repression for men, endless bickering and whining about empty phrases and words, endless twisting of fact and science to support academic moralizing…feminists have turned into the laziest people on earth. Don’t like something? Complain. Don’t feel happy at work? Complain. Can’t get women to care about politics enough to get their hands and egos dirty? Complain. That’s all it is: a competition between special interest groups and identity politicians to find the most things to be insulted by, and a simultaneous competition to find the best excuses for over-riding men’s human rights (and the rights of the women in their lives) in the name of equality. “Fake feminism” implies that the author knows what real feminism is, and that she’s one, and us fakers, i.e., men, have to pass her various tests and exams before she’ll let a “him” into the club. It’s really sad that the “real feminists” do the least for women as a whole, while “fake feminists” like the elected Prime Minister of a nation of 37 million, who actually goes to work and does things for women, get graded like schoolchildren who’ve displeased Dear Teacher. Get your collective heads out of your giant egos, stop whining, and do some real work, or those of us in the “men” and “fake feminist” categories will have even less reason to support you in the future, and you incompetent do-gooders need our help. You can’t do anything right; if you’ve made such great gains, and if you’ve freed so many women, why does the world have to suffer through another tragedy like Trump? You stopped making progress decades ago, because you try to change people and their beliefs, instead of solving problems. Women and children are raped, beaten, enslaved, mutilated, terrorized, and marginalized, every day, all around the world, and this is what you care about? Your laziness and self-obsession gets women killed, because your number one issue is, “Who do we want in our club, and what are the criteria for exclusion?”, and not, “How can we make our club attractive to everybody, so we can get some *%&#ing work done, for a change?”

    You make me sad; all that complaining, nagging, shaming, name-calling, lying, and unacceptable demands, makes women look bad to people who don’t know what to think. If this is what feminism has become, no wonder so few people care anymore: you make it look like women can do nothing at all for themselves but talk, and you have only yourselves to blame.

  31. I apologize, but I have to add one more comment:

    Anyone, male, female, martian, venusian, whatever, who thinks that “mansplaining” is any of the following, is not, never has been, and cannot ever be, a feminist: 1) funny; 2) witty; 3) appropriate; 4) intelligent; 5) helpful; 6) fair; 7) a word.

    Any person who makes the word “man” into an insult is no better than a person who would make “woman” into an insult. Not only is it the weakest piece of wordplay imaginable — it sounds lazy and sub-literate at best — but it’s exactly the thing that feminists complain about constantly. Now possession of a penis is proof not only of sexism, but stupidity as well.

    But you know, I’m not going to let it bother me. Feminists don’t distinguish between friend and foe, or between getting equal and getting even, but no matter…we hear such vagibabble all the time.