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Justin Trudeau wanted strong women. He sure got ’em

7 23 2129

In an odd sort of way, Jane Philpott’s decision to join Jody Wilson-Raybould in quitting Justin Trudeau’s cabinet represents a significant success for one of the prime minister’s highest professed priorities.

Trudeau came to office proclaiming his determination to end the political power imbalance between men and women. He pledged to appoint women to 50 per cent of cabinet jobs. And not just minor posts, but important ones: health, justice, the environment, indigenous reconciliation, trade, foreign affairs.

And so he did. Now he’s suffering the repercussions. It turns out women really aren’t just like men, and aren’t necessarily afraid to stand by their beliefs.

Philpott’s public declaration that she no longer has confidence in the prime minister — specifically his handling of the SNC-Lavalin controversy — is as damaging an assertion as can be made by a senior government minister against her leader. As she points out in her resignation letter, “the constitutional convention of Cabinet solidarity means, among other things, that ministers are expected to defend all Cabinet decisions. A minister must always be prepared to defend other ministers publicly, and must speak in support of the government and its policies.”

Given the convention “and the current circumstances, “ she writes........

© National Post