If there’s one thing the world knows about our prime minister, other than his GQ-approved good looks or his meme-worthy hair, it’s that he’s the feminist politician of the north standing in contrast to the pussy-grabbing, pig-headed president across the border. That’s Trudeau’s brand. Or at least it was.
This week, 24 hours before 338 young women delegates from across the country representing Daughters of the Vote descended on the House of Commons, former cabinet ministers Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott were ejected from the Liberal caucus. Both women were part of Trudeau’s famous gender-balanced cabinet and — especially Wilson-Raybould, the first Indigenous person to serve as Attorney General — were integral in shaping Trudeau’s trademark as the progressive, feminist PM. These days Wilson-Raybould is the lightning rod in the midst of the SNC-Lavalin scandal, and depending on where you stand, she’s either a heroic moral compass or a disloyal shit disturber. The Liberal government is on the side of the latter, in more diplomatic terms of course. Philpott stood by Wilson-Raybould and resigned from her position as Treasury Board president. The move got her fired.
On Wednesday, during a speech in the House of Commons that was supposed to be an uplifting message to the future women of Canadian politics, Trudeau defended the firings to the members of Daughters of the Vote. In solidarity with Wilson-Raybould and Philpott, about 50 delegates slowly stood up during the prime minister’s remarks and turned their backs to him, some even chose to walk out.
Here, five young women from Daughters of the Vote explain, in their own words, why they chose to silently protest in the House of Commons, why they’re fed up with Justin Trudeau, and why they’re not fully buying his feminist brand.