20 April 2007

Premier Charest -- a ladies' man in the best possible way

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has not had one of his better years. With his Liberals managing only to squeeze out a minority victory in the March election, he as leader must carry the can for what went wrong. But now he has got something very, very right indeed.

He has appointed a new cabinet and ... wait for it ... half the members are women. And they are not, as women often are, tucked away in the weaker portfolios. Monique Jerome-Forget is Treasury Board President and also holds the most important position in cabinet -- Finance Minister. Nathalie Normandeau becomes Municipal Affairs Minister and deputy-premier, with the job of rebuilding party support in predominantly francophone areas. Line Beauchamp becomes the first woman appointed to the increasingly important position of Environment Minister. Women also head Education and Transportation.

Women are now truly holding up half the sky in Quebec, and Premier Charest deserves full credit for recognizing that's how the world should work. Time for a few more premiers to step up.

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