When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took office in 2015, diversity was front in center. His original cabinet ratio consisted of “48.3 per cent women, 16.1 per cent visible minorities and 6.5 per cent Indigenous” coming exceptionally close to the nations population “that was 50.9 per cent women, 22.3 per cent visible minorities and 4.9 per cent Indigenous.” A great start in terms of population reflection, but as many know, the government is much bigger than cabinet appointees. Under the leadership sits more “than 1,500 appointments, including chairs and members of boards, tribunals and Crown corporations, deputy ministers, heads of foreign missions, judges and senators.” Diversifying the lower branches is where the story of Canada truly begins.
According to CBC Canada, in 2015, when “the government was sworn in, just 34 per cent of federal appointees were women, 4.5 per cent were visible minorities and 3.9 per cent were Indigenous. Two years later, according to data from the Privy Council Office, 42.8 per cent of appointees are women, 5.6 per cent are visible minorities and 5.8 per cent are Indigenous.” Canada has steadily increased in diversity which has coincided with a strong economy. according to Statistics Canada, since Q3 of 2016, the country has seen multiple quarters of over 4% GDP annualized growth.
In addition to the positive growth, Andrew Griffith, a former official at the department of citizenship and immigration, believes that three benefits exist from appointments focusing on diversity outside of GDP growth.
- It allows Canadians to see themselves represented in government institutions
- It brings a range of experience and perspectives to government policies
- Operations and that it reduces the risk of inappropriate policies