In an act that is sure to have journalists abuzz with excitement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released his Minister Mandate Letters to the public.

Mandate letters are meant to outline the Prime Minister’s expectations and priorities. They have always been private documents, but today, Canadians were treated to an inside look at the Liberal party’s platform.

“Today we are demonstrating that real change in government is possible. For the first time in our country’s history, we are making these letters public, so Canadians can hold us accountable to deliver on our commitments. We are ushering in a new era of openness and transparency in Canada,” Trudeau said in a statement.

The general theme, which was expressed regardless of position, is the need for openness and transparency. The letters almost read like a message from a teacher—lets all get along, listen to each other, and respect each other’s opinions. It was a fascinating read.

The Minister I was most interested in was the Minister of Status of Women. Below are a few highlights from her mandate letter, and I have to say I don’t envy the amount of work she has on her plate:

As Minister of Status of Women, your overarching goal will be to ensure government policy, legislation, and regulations are sensitive to the different impacts that decisions can have on men and women.  During our time in government, I expect to make meaningful progress on reducing the wage gap between men and women and to encourage an increase in the number of women in senior decision-making positions and on boards in Canada, as well as make progress towards better representation of women where they have traditionally been under-represented, such as in the skilled trades.

In particular, I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities:

  • Work with experts and advocates to develop and implement a comprehensive federal gender violence strategy and action plan, aligned with existing provincial strategies. You will be supported by the Minister of Justice to make any necessary criminal code changes and by the President of the Treasury Board who will develop strategies to combat sexual harassment in federal public institutions.
  • Work with the Privy Council Office to ensure that a gender-based analysis is applied to proposals before they arrive at Cabinet for decision-making.
  • Support the Privy Council Office as it develops monitoring and reporting processes to ensure that the government’s senior appointments are merit-based and demonstrate gender parity.
  • Support the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs in ensuring that no one fleeing domestic violence is left without a place to turn by growing and maintaining Canada’s network of shelters and transition houses.
  • Support the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness in reviewing current gender- and culturally-sensitive training policies for federal front-line law enforcement officers to ensure that they are strong and effective.
  • Support the Minister of Employment, Workplace Development and Labour and work with your ministerial colleagues in taking action to ensure that Parliament and federal institutions are workplaces free from harassment and sexual violence.
  • Support the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs to develop a process and mandate for an inquiry into murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

Read the full letter at

Let’s just hope this new transparent government hasn’t bit off more than they can chew.

Is there anything in this mandate that you feel was looked over? Let us know in the comments below!


Katherine DeClerq is the editor of Women's Post. Her previous writing experience includes the Toronto Star, Maclean's Magazine, CTVNews, and BlogTO. She can often be found at a coffee shop with her MacBook computer. Despite what CP says, she is a fan of the Oxford comma.

Write A Comment