Meet Trudeau’s New Cabinet

Ethnically diverse and with a 50/50 male to female ratio, Trudeau’s cabinet is truly the first of its kind.

Missisauga-Malton, Ontario

Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Mr.Bains is a former accountant for Ford Motors and a former professor as Ryerson’s Management school. He represented a Mississauga riding from 2004-2011 and was elected again in 2015.

St. Paul’s, Ontario

Indigenous and Northern Affairs

Ms.Bennett has been an MP since 1997. She is a former physician as a minister of Public Health under PM Paul Martin.

Compton-Stanstead, Quebec

International development and La Francophonie

Ms.Bibeau was an officer for the Canadian International Development Agency stationed in Morocco and then Benin.She later became the executive director of the Sherbrooke Museum of Nature and Science.

Kings-Hants, Nova Scotia

Treasury Board president

Mr. Brison has been an MP in Novia Scotia since 1997. He originally represented the Progressive Conservartives in King-Hants and ran for party leadership before the merger with the Canadian alliance. He later joined the Liberal party. He was also PM Paul Martin’s Minister of Public Works.

Winnipeg-South Centre, Manitoba

Natural resources

Mr. Carr is a Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra trustee, journalist and member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly. He served as the deputy leader and critic of several portfolios for the Liberal party. He founded the Business Council of Manitoba in 1997 and served as CEO until 2014. He’s worked with business leaders on issues including energy, northern development and aboriginal affairs.

Waterloo, Ontario

Small Business and Tourism

Ms. Chagger is the daughter of Indian immigrants who settled in the Waterloo region in the 1970s. She served as executive assistant to former MP Andrew Telegdi from 2004 to 2008 and has helped at the Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre, which helps Canadian immigrants settle into their new communities.

Saint-Laurent, Quebec

Foreign affairs

Mr. Dion is a former political science professor and author who entered federal politics in 1996. He served as Jean Chrétien’s intergovernmental affairs minister and Paul Martin’s environment minister. He was the leader of the Liberal party from 2006 to 2008.

Quebec, Quebec

Families, Children and Social Development

Mr. Duclos was head of the department of economics at Laval University and has written extensively on the impact of public policies on the poor. He co-authored a study warning that the Conservatives’ amendments to the Old Age Security Pension would force more elderly people to live in poverty.


Etobicoke, Ontario

Minister of Science

Ms. Duncan has been a Liberal MP since 2008. She is a medical geographer and former professor at the University of Windsor and University of Toronto. She served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which won a Nobel-peace prize.

Bonavista-Burin-Trinity, Newfoundland

Public services and procurement

Mrs. Foote is a former TV journalist who was elected in Newfoundland’s legislature in 1996 and held multiple cabinet roles under premier Brian Tobin. She was elected to the House of Commons in 2008. Over the years she has served as the Liberals’ deputy house leader and party whip.

University-Rosedale, Ontario

International trade

Ms. Freeland is a Ukrainian-Canadian who was born in Peace River, Alta. She was one of the dozen Canadian paliamenterians who were barred from entering Russia because of their stance on the Ukraine crisis. After earning degrees at Harvard and Oxford, she became a journalist, reporting from Moscow and Eastern Europe for the Financial Times. She is a former deputy editor of The Globe and Mail.

Notre-Dame-de-Grâce–Westmount, Quebec


Mr. Garneau is a former astronaut and the first Canadian to go to outer space. He was president of the Canadian Space Agency from 2001 to 2006. He unsuccessfully ran for the Liberals in 2006, but then won in Ville-Marie in 2008.

Regina-Wascana, Saskatchewan

Public safety and emergency preparedness

Mr. Goodale has been representing the Liberals in Saskatchewan, both federally and provincially in intervals since the 1970s. He held cabinet positions under Jean Chrétien which included agriculture, public work, and natural resources. He was also the finance minister under Paul Martin.

Thunder Bay-Superior North, Ontario

Status of Women

Ms. Hajdu ran a homeless shelter in Thunder Bay and was active in shaping public policy on harm reduction, public health and affordable housing. She also served as executive director of Shelter House. In addition, she was a member of the implementation panel for Thunder Bay’s drug strategy and former chair of the city’s drug awareness committee.

Calgary Centre, Alberta

Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence

At 19, Mr. Hehr was paralyzed when a bullet struck him in the neck during a drive-by shooting. He claims that the incident caused him to turn to public service. He became a lawyer, community activist and member of the Alberta Legislature who championed many causes like affordable housing for the poor.

Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Quebec

Canadian Heritage

Ms. Joly is a former managing partner at the public-relations firm Cohn & Wolfe, where she worked for Andrew Molson.

Beauséjour, New Brunswick

Government House Leader

Mr. LeBlanc is a former lawyer who has served in the House of Commons since 2000. He’s also held parliamentary secretary roles under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.

Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Quebec


Ms. Lebouthillier was the warden of the Regional County Municipality of Rocher-Percé in the Gaspé Peninsula. Because of her extensive work as a social worker she worked with people with addictions and mental illness. She also runs an outfitting lodge.

Cardigan, P.E.I.

Agriculture and agri-food

He’s been a Liberal MP for 25 years. He has served as veterans affairs minister and solicitor-general under Jean Chrétien.

Markham-Thornhill, Ontario

Immigration, refugees and citizenship

Mr. Mccalum is a former economics professor and dean of arts at McGill University. He was elected to the House in 2000 and has held roles in the cabinet including defence and veterans affairs.

Ottawa Centre, Ontario

Environment and Climate Change

Ms. McKenna is an international trade and competition lawyer who has served as a legal adviser and negotiator for the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor on treaty negotiations. She taught at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and was a leader at the high-profile Banff Forum and the charitable group Level at the University of Ottawa. The department she leads now includes climate change.

Kildonan-St. Paul, Manitoba

Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Ms. Mihychuk is a former school trustee, geoscientist and founder of organizations promoting women in the minerals exploration and mining sector. She has a lot of experience as an NDP member of the Manitoba Legislature for nine years and minister in the former Gary Doer government. She was responsible for intergovernmental affairs and industry, trade and mines. In 2014, she switched to the Liberal Party.

Peterborough-Kawartha, Ontario

Democratic Institutions

She is the first Afghan-Canadian to be elected in Canadian Parliament and came to Canada at 11 as a refugee from the Taliban. She is a community organizer and co-founder of the Red Pashmina Campaign, which raises money for the education of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Toronto Centre, Ontario


He is the chief executive officer at Morneau Shepell, a firm founded by his father. It is the country’s largest manager of private-sector pensions. He was also chairman of the C.D. Howe Institute.

Markham-Stouffville, Ontario


Ms. Philpott is a physician and was the chief of family medicine at Markham Stouffville Hospital. She also served as a general doctor in Niger from 1989 to 1998 after the death of her eldest daughter. She returned in 2005 to work for Doctors without Borders.

Delta, B.C.

Sport and Persons with Disabilities

Ms. Qualtrough is a three time Paralympics Games medalist in swimming who competed in 1988 and 1992. She also holds four world championship medals. She served as chair of the British Columbia Minister’s Council on Employment and Accessibility and president of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. She is a lawyer with a focus on human rights. She is vice-chair of the B.C. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. She was also born with a visual impairment.

Vancouver South, B.C.

National Defence

Mr. Sajjan is a retired lieutenant-colonel with three tours in Afghanistan and one in Bosnia. He was the first Sikh to command a Canadian army regiment. He is also a former Vancouver police officer.

Edmonton Mill-Woods, Alberta

Infrastructure and Communities

Mr. Sohi is a former city bus driver and a twice elected Edmonton councillor. He is also an Indian immigrant who arrived in Canada as a teenager.

Nunavut, Nunavut

Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Mr. Tootoo served as an MLA in the territory’s legislative assembly for 14 years before leaving in 2013. Before his political career, he helped found the Iqaluit branch of Arctic Insurance Brokers Ltd. He also unsuccessfully ran for the NDP in 1997.

Vancouver Granville, B.C.

Justice and attorney-general

She was the regional chief of the BC Assembly of First Nations for six years. She is also a former prosecutor from Vancouver’s Main Street courthouse.


The Party Platforms: Who are you voting for?

After a tense 11 week campaign, the federal election is tomorrow, on Monday, October 19th. The four main contenders: the Conservatives, the Liberals, The NDP, and the Green party have revealed their platforms on different Canadian policies. While their platforms are common knowledge, many young people are still uneducated about the parties that could be governing our country. Here’s the rundown if you’re still undecided on which party to vote for:

A simple outline of each parties respective platforms on the Canadian economy.
A simple outline of each parties respective platforms on the Canadian economy.
An outline of each parties platforms on the environment.
An outline on each parties platforms on the environment.
An outline on each parties platform on job growth.
An outline on each parties platform on job growth.
An outline of each parties platform on national security.
An outline of each parties platform on national security.
An outline of each parties platform on social services.
An outline of each parties platform on social services.
An outline of each parties platforms on social justice and morality.
An outline of each parties platforms on social justice and morality.

Young people are notorious for not caring about politics because they feel like the system is broken and because they feel like the issues don’t matter. Political change isn’t a one-way street; take the initiative and go to the polls on October 19th.

*You can check if you’re registered to vote here.

If you’re not registered, go to the nearest polling station at 9:30am to cast your ballot. Bring a piece of federal issued ID like a driver’s license or a passport (A health card is NOT federally issued ID).

EVuO is Looking to Fill Executive Positions!


Equal Voice uOttawa is pleased to announce that we are looking to expand our executive team for the 2015-2016 school year!

Below are the positions available. Please download files for job descriptions and requirements. Applications are due on  Monday September 7th, 2015! Good luck to all.

EVuO – Application – VP Internal Relations

EVuO – Application – VP External Relations

EVuO – Application – VP Communications

EVuO – Application – Creative Director

EVuO – Application – Translation Manager

EVuO – Application – Bloggers

EVuO – Application – 1st Year Rep

EVuO – Application – General Members

Canada’s Parliamentary System

The big talk of the past few days has been about the 2015 Canadian federal election. The election will be held on October 19, 2015 to elect members to the House of Commons of the 42nd Parliament of Canada.

Equal Voice uOttawa will be featuring each of Canada’s four major parties (Conservative Party of Canada, New Democratic Party of Canada, Liberal Party of Canada, and Green Party of Canada), as well as other fringe parties before the elections.

Before the features, however, will first explain the Canadian parliamentary system. As a part of a legacy of Canada’s colonial past, the Canadian government is based on the British parliamentary system, which is a democratic government.

Canada’s national Parliament is housed in the capital city of Ottawa. It is a bicameral legislature, meaning that it is split into two chambers: the House of Commons and the Senate. The House of Commons consists of 308 elected politicians, while the Senate consists of 105 “qualified citizens” appointed by the Prime Minister (PM). Members of the House of Commons are known as Members of Parliament (MPs) and members of the Senate are known as Senators. The Prime Minister of Canada and his cabinet are all sitting MPs.

EVuo canadian parliament infographic for blog
A simple diagram of the Canadian Parliamentary System

The purposes of the Canadian parliament are to pass legislation and to choose the government.

Most Canadian laws start in the House of Commons, where they are proposed as bills be a member of the PM’s cabinet. After an initial vote to consider, House committees debate the details of a proposed bill before sending it back to the House for further votes of approval. After that, the bill moved to the Senate, where it is usually quickly approved, then to the Governor General, who ceremonially signs it into law (known as the royal assent).

In addition to being a legislative body, the House of Commons is also an electoral college. The Government refers to the political party in the House of Commons with the largest amount of seats. After a parliamentary election, the Governor General appoints the leader of the party with the most seats in the House as Prime Minister. The PM then forms a government. In practice, this means picking a cabinet, who are usually other high-profile MPs from the Prime Minister’s party to key positions in the executive branch, as well as various senior staffers and advisers in the federal bureaucracy.

Canada's current Prime Minister is Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada
Canada’s current Prime Minister is Stephen Harper, leader of the Conservative Party of Canada

The second largest political party in the House is appointed as the Official Opposition. The leader of this is given the title of Leader of the Opposition. They appoint a shadow cabinet of politicians from their own party to offer criticism to the Government of the day.

Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Opposition, New Democratic Party of Canada
Thomas Mulcair, Leader of the Opposition, New Democratic Party of Canada

Canada has eighteen registered political parties. Emerging during the nineteenth century, the party system is organized on the basis of political groups, each of which presents its policies and candidates to the electorate. The parties register with Elections Canada and play a role in the parliamentary process if they have more than a minimum number of members in the House of Commons or Senate. Canada’s four largest parties are listed above.

—-Danika Leminski, Official journalist/blogger of Equal Voice uOttawa Chapter

With Heavy Hearts, we say Goodbye to a Canadian Leader

With great sadness, Canada has lost an exemplary leader and humanitarian.

MacDonald trail blazed as Canada’s first female Secretary of State for foreign affairs in 1979 and she became one of the first few female foreign leaders worldwide at the time.

Born in Nova Scotia, McDonald began her career working at Progressive Conservative headquarters from 1956 to 1965. She served as Member of Parliament for Kingston and the Islands from 1972 to 1988, under Prime Ministers Joe Clark and Brian Mulroney. First serving as the party’s critic for aboriginal affairs and northern development, Macdonald became secretary of state before moving on to being minister of employment and immigration and communications minister.

After losing her seat in 1988, MacDonald decided to dedicate her time towards humanitarian efforts and she also hosted a television program, authored a book, and served as chair of an international development research center.

MacDonald was bestowed with many honours and awards, including the Order of Canada as an officer in 1992 and as a companion in 1998. Maclean’s magazine honoured MacDonald with a lifetime achievement award in November 2014.

MacDonald has inspired many young women in Canada with her work as a parliamentarian and humanitarian. It is with sad hearts that we say goodbye.

26-MacDonald_UN—-Danika Leminski, Official journalist/blogger of Equal Voice uOttawa Chapter