According to Prime Minister Trudeau’s itinerary, he virtually attended the SHE conference and his segment was released this morning (March 5th, 2021) at the ripe and early time of 320am. Prime Minister Trudeau was a guest speaker alongside the likes of Erna Solberg the Prime Minister of Norway, Hillary Rodham Clinton the Former Secretary of State of the United States, Chelsea Clinton her daughter, Sadiq Khan the Mayor of London UK and Katrín Jakobsdóttir the Prime Minister of Iceland.
Trudeau agrees we should never waste a good crisis
Question – While attending the conference as a guest, Prime Minister Trudeau was asked the following question by the host Mark Eddo “We just heard when we were talking to Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton about just how much of an effect and continues to be an effect COVID-19 is – but is it an opportunity to also rethink our approach to gender equality and inequality? Is it like never waste a good crisis, Justin?”
Trudeau’s answer – “I think so. I mean, first of all, we’re all friends on this call who’ve stepped up as Sadiq has said in various ways on advancing gender equality but we’re all recognized for all the things we’ve done. There’s a lot more to do to have that really tangible impact. I mean, we got elected 5 years ago with a gender-balanced cabinet. I’ve just moved forward with the first Canadian finance minister who’s a woman. Ahh, Chrystia Freeland, who’s known to many people I’m sure in the audience but at the same time, everything we do has to be focused on the experiences that people are living and we know that whether it’s on pay equity or childcare or the fact of this COVID challenge that has hit women in the service industry, in low-income jobs harder than a usual recession does that really layers on the intersectionality’s of people who are already marginalized are facing greater barriers – it becomes not just an opportunity as you say Mark to look at things differently, but a responsibility to realize that this crisis is showcasing gaps that exist in our society that we do need to fill, that we can’t just paper over and shrug off.
One of the great examples in Canada is we’ve been talking about bringing in universal national childcare for a long time now – it’s sort of a patchwork across the country – different jurisdictions that do it. But, one of the things that’s happened over this pandemic is the business community has suddenly (chuckles) realized the impact on their business on everything going on when people have to stay home and care for kids, when women simply can’t rejoin the workforce because as Erna pointed out earlier they carry a heavier burden in terms of childcare, in terms of responsibilities around the home. So, moving forward on childcare is something we finally feeling like we’re going to be able to do because it’s not just a moral argument it’s a concrete economic argument – as we’ve always known but it’s being more resident now. So there’s lots of tangible things we can and need to do as leaders right now in our countries and around the world.
Question – “How do we ensure that the gains we’ve made thus far in gender equality are not wiped out or reversed or slowed down – the momentum slowed down by COVID-19 Justin you go first.”
Trudeau’s answer – “We just have to be really really deliberate about it. It has to be at the centre of our thinking and the way to do that is to make sure we’re hearing all voices.”
It appears that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is not above using the COVID crisis to push other initiatives that are near and dear to his heart. In this case, COVID is the opportunity to ensure we “build back better” right?
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