Today was a historic day in Ottawa. Crowds gathered outside and in at Rideau Hall to watch the swearing in ceremony for Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. Never having been privy to a swearing in ceremony before, I too tuned in via Twitter and live feed on CBC. And I am glad I did.
Not only is Justin Trudeau the second youngest Prime Minister Canada has ever had, but on first glance he seems the most hip and socially aware leader to boot. As his new Cabinet Ministers were sworn in, men and women took oaths of allegiance to the country and government. What made the process more significant was the fact that the Cabinet is split almost 50/50 men to women. Of those new Cabinet Ministers, there was a visually impaired, Paralympic athlete (Carla Qualtrough – Sport & Persons with Disabilities), former astronaut (Marc Garneau – Transport Minister), quadriplegic (Kent Hehr – Veteran Affairs & Associate Minister of Defense), First Nations representative from Nunavut (Hunter Tootoo – Minister of Fisheries & Oceans & Canadian Coastguard), and a decorated Lt.Colonel, plus first Sikh commanding officer in the Canadian Armed Forces (Harjit Sajjan – Minister of National Defence). This is just a handful of the carefully selected faces that will help Trudeau run the country over the next few years.
Aside from the new Cabinet Ministers, the day was special as it recognized native groups across the country. The procession was led in by bagpipes and a First Nations hand drummer. Young Inuit throat singers added a light touch and smiles to all assembled. As the list of ministers was completed, the assembly filed out behind Metis jiggers. And it was all captured via a live feed. Social media wires were sizzling with pictures, thoughts and speculations about it all.
A new generation of politics is born. The focus is on change. Equality is key. Youth is recognized, but so is the importance for all Canadians needs to be heard. The world is listening and Justin Trudeau is stepping up to the plate. Do us proud Mr Prime Minister.
You have the charisma to make it happen. May your pen be full of ink…