Today, I’m so grateful for our new government.
Remember how I said, a couple weeks ago, that I’d decided to be optimistic and allow myself to be excited about the new PM and his MPs? Well, I can tell you now: being hopeful is FUN. Way more fun than cringing and waiting for things to go wrong(er and wronger). Telling the niggling doubter-voices in the back of my mind to shut the bleep up is fun too.
And I have to say, Justin Trudeau is making optimism really easy. Before he was even sworn in, he was doing cool things. Now that he’s officially our Prime Minister and has chosen his cabinet ministers, I’m truly impressed with the number of his actions that have made me go, “Brilliant! How did no one do this sooner??”
Highlights of that list:
- Inviting not only the provincial premiers but the federal opposition leaders to join him at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. How do you show you’re serious about environmental cooperation and innovation in this vast and varied country? THIS IS HOW.
- Changing the name of the Ministry of Environment to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. A seemingly small thing, and yet in light of those people who are still in denial about it, not small at all.
- Changing the name of the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development (so “us and them”) to the Ministry of Indigenous and Northern Affairs. (Carolyn Bennett considers herself “Minister of Reconciliation.” YES.)
- Opening up the grounds of Rideau Hall to the public for the swearing-in ceremony. A great metaphor for the governmental openness that has been promised.
- Appointing a family physician as the Minister of Health – I guess I don’t know if this has been done before, but when I look at this appointment, it suddenly seems like a no-brainer.
- Appointing a First Nations leader as Minister of Justice. This is so fitting and makes so much sense.
- Appointing a cabinet with some actual cultural diversity.
- Appointing many people who are smart and knowledgeable people first and politicians second (or barely). In a time when lots of people are feeling disenchanted with politicians, what better way is there to change the way the game of politics is played – or better yet, throw out the game board and get down to the business of improving Canada?
- Instituting gender parity in the Cabinet. This one is, when you think about it, so ridiculously obvious that one must ask oneself: what took us so long?? Trudeau showed today that no, these things don’t take time (or any other dumb excuse), they just take someone with the clarity and decisiveness to do it – someone who recognizes that the way we’ve been doing this forever is actually bullshit and represents neither our country nor our times – therefore, there’s no need to perpetuate the status quo. DONE.
I also loved watching those little Inuit girls throat-singing at the ceremony. So focused on their song, and then breaking into giggles. To me, that’s respecting cultural tradition and thinking into the future – and also not taking ourselves too seriously.
Anyway, I could go on, but the point is, I am having a lovely time being thrilled at what has happened in our new Canada so far. And I’m full of gratitude for the whole refreshing phenomenon.