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Diversifying Canada’s most diverse parliament

June 1, 2018 Articles, Media / Op-ed
By Anna Desmarais. Published on Jun 1, 2018 3:00pm (The Weekender Weekender 22 2018) Even after Canada elected its most diverse parliament ever in 2015, there is more work to be done to ensure that the Green Chamber is representative of the Canadian population at large. In 2015, Canada elected its most diverse Parliament ever — but experts say more can be done in the upcoming election to encourage various forms of representation in the Green Chamber. The 42nd Parliament is represented by 47 visible minority MPs from various cultural backgrounds and 10 Indigenous MPs, smashing the previous record of 28 and seven MPs belonging to each respective group. [caption id="attachment_3636" align="alignleft" width="212"] Ziad Aboultaif became the first Lebanese member of Parliament when elected as the Conservative representative of Edmonton—Manning in 2015.[/caption] One of the new faces to emerge from the 2015 election was Conservative MP Ziad Aboultaif, a prominent Lebanese business-owner representing Edmonton—Manning. Aboultaif decided to run for office to give back to the country he now calls home. On October 19, 2015, he became the first Lebanese member of parliament to represent a riding in Western Canada, winning a decisive victory with 47 per cent of the vote. “It…

‘We live in a globalized world,’ House most ethnically diverse in Canadian history, but still has long way to go: research

November 21, 2016 Articles, Media / Op-ed
‘We live in a globalized world,’ House most ethnically diverse in Canadian history, but still has long way to go: research A record 47 visible minority and 10 indigenous MPs were elected in this House. [caption id="attachment_3076" align="aligncenter" width="500"] The Hill Times photographs by Jake Wright and the Parliament of Canada[/caption] By ABBAS RANA PUBLISHED : Monday, Nov. 21, 2016 12:00 AM PARLIAMENT HILL—It’s the most ethnically diverse House of Commons in Canadian history, but it still has a long way to go. The House is still mostly white, male, and English-speaking, according to a study conducted by Kai Chan, who released his data to The Hill Times, and most MPs are married, 30 per cent are bilingual, 13 per cent were born outside Canada, women make up 26 per cent of the House, 14 per cent are visible minorities, three per cent are indigenous, most studied politics, most were lawyers, and most have post-secondary education. Among the 338 MPs elected in the last general election, the most common age group is 50-59, 214 MPs are married, and 26 MPs have four or more children, according to Mr. Chan, an expatriate Canadian economist who now resides in the United Arab Emirates and who holds a…

Trudeau Cabinet reflects more diversity in new House

November 16, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Trudeau Cabinet reflects more diversity in new House By CHRISTOPHER GULY | Published: Monday, 11/16/2015 12:00 am EST While women represent half of the 30-member Cabinet, they only account for 27 per cent of the Liberal caucus, or 50 of the record 88 female MPs elected from all five parties in this year’s election.   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet might not perfectly reflect Canadian society, but it’s a better representation of the country’s diversity than the composition of the last Parliament, according to political economist and self-described “knowledge junkie” Kai Chan, an expatriate Canadian currently based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While he said that the share of female, minority, and French-speaking ministers in the new Liberal Cabinet, excluding Mr. Trudeau (Papineau, Que.) are essentially in line with their share in national demographics (at half, a quarter, and a quarter, respectively), there are no members from East Asian, black, Southeast Asian or Latin American communities, despite the fact those groups together account for 13 per cent of the Canadian population (and half of the minority population) with East Asians—the single largest ethnic minority group—representing 5.3 per cent. “There are also no Southeast Asians in the Liberal caucus, but…

A cabinet that reflects Canada

November 7, 2015 Articles, Letters
Letter to the Toronto Star Published November 7, 2015 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is to be lauded for his commitment to a diverse cabinet, but gender is only one dimension of diversity. Although the minority share of cabinet posts (23 per cent) closely mirrors their share of Canada’s population (26 per cent), the cabinet counts no members from the East Asian, black, southeast Asian or Latin American communities even though East Asians are the single largest ethnic minority group in the country (5.3 per cent), and the aforementioned groups collectively form 13 per cent of Canada’s population. Kai L. Chan, Dubai, United Arab Emirates Letter as it appeared in the Toronto Star. © Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2015

Canada’s parliament and its diversity problem

January 30, 2015 Articles, Media / Op-ed
Canada's parliament and its diversity problem BY ASHLEY SPLAWINSKI   | JANUARY 30, 2015 Canada is widely renowned for being a 'diverse mosaic'. However, a newly released study by Kai Chan concludes that Canada's current Conservative government and cabinet are not an accurate reflection of our population. Not surprised? Perhaps it's time to contemplate the meaning of "multiculturalism" in all of its controversial glory. Why are we just questioning this now? The term 'diversity' can be used quite loosely. However, in Chan's study, it is defined through: geography, language, religion, age, gender, education, ethnicity and occupation. Chan, currently a policy advisor to the prime minster of the United Arab Emirates, stated that his motivation to study parliamentary representation was fueled by the escalating tension between Canada's Conservative government and its scientific community. The relationship between policy and science has been outlined by the Canadian Science Writers' Association (CSWA) in a statement saying that, in the past, Canada's federal scientists were encouraged to publicly discuss their research. This changed when the Conservative government introduced media policies to control communication between scientists and the public. The move to cut funding to scientific services and programs added to the scientific community's concern, resulting in…




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