Trudeau’s new cabinet sworn in this week, with 50% being females. The cabinet presented a clear theme of change as many fresh faces are in key economic portfolios, with rookies carrying heavy loads.
Chinese Canadians are one of the largest ethnic groups in the country, making up a significant portion of the Canadian population. As Trudeau hails a cabinet that “looks like” Canada, it should reflect the Chinese diversity. But apart from four South Asians and an Afghani Canadian being part of the team and holding positions such as Minister of National Defence and Minister of Democratic Institutions, there are no federal cabinet ministers of Chinese ancestry, leaving Chinese Canadian population severely under-represented.
Sources say Scarborough-Agincourt MP Arnold Chan might be an aspiring candidate. Chan, 48, has two master's degrees as well as a UBC law degree. He was first elected in a by-election in 2014 to fill the seat formerly occupied by Jim Karygiannis.
Another Chinese Canadian MP, Shaun Chen who represents the new riding of Scarborough North, has extensive political background. Prior to being elected, Chen was taking the top political job at TDSB, at the time when its reputation hit a record low level.
还有在Don Valley North选区当选的华裔议员谭耕，他是一名职业科学家，他也是加拿大首位大陆华裔议员。
There is also Geng Tan, the first China-born Member of Parliament. A career scientist, he was elected in Don Valley North.
Neither Chen nor Tan responded to Chinese News’ request for an interview.
The Chinese community has revealed a growing political interest as they increasingly realize that getting politically involved is crucial for them to integrate into the mainstream of the Canadian communities. A historical number of candidates were running for political office and a record number of Chinese Canadians cast their ballot at polling stations.
Chinese Canadians in turn demand their voice to be heard properly, wanting a growing political representation in the Canadian political landscape. Lacking a Chinese Canadian in Trudeau’s cabinet has sparked community outcry. It also conjures memories of the former Ontario premier, Dalton McGuinty, and his failed promise during his election campaign to name a Chinese cabinet Minister.
In 2003, when McGuinty was running his election campaign, he promised to appoint a Chinese Canadian MPP into his cabinet. But after the Liberals formed the Ontario government, Tony Wong, the only Chinese Canadian MPP at the time, did not receive a cabinet position. McGuinty’s broken promise sparked community outcry and media scrutiny. One month after McGuinty was sworn in, he faced a barrage of media criticism during an event in Markham.
“Where is the Chinese cabinet minister you promised?” Chinese News asked.
McGuinty failed to give an answer at the time.
In 2007, Michael Chan, a Chinese Canadian won a by-election and became MPP representing the riding of Markham-Unionville. He was later appointed to the cabinet minister by McGuinty.
Despite lacking behind other ethnic groups in political participation in the past, the Chinese community is growing. They are known to be entrepreneurial, industrious, family-oriented, and self-reliant. They are more concerned about economic growth. As the Liberal government faces pressing economic issues, it should undoubtedly tap into the power of Chinese community and appoint a Chinese Canadian as a cabinet Minister.
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