Cabinet, Parliamentary Secretary and CPC critic comparison

Now that the parliamentary secretaries have been announced, I prepared this chart that compares representation of women, visible minorities and Indigenous peoples in cabinet, parliamentary secretary appointments and Conservative critic roles. Given the relatively small size of the Bloc and NDP caucuses, have not bothered to do the same as virtually every member of those two parties plays a critic role.

The Liberal commitment to a gender-balanced cabinet means that women are comparatively over-represented compared to their share of caucus. Conversely, and likely to balance caucus representation, women parliamentary secretaries are comparatively under-represented. The Conservatives, on the other hand, have compensated for their relative lack of women MPs by ensure that one-quarter have the higher profile critic roles.

For visible minorities, with the reference population adjusted to visible minorities who are citizens, the Liberals not only elected more visible minority MPs but have ensured that cabinet and parliamentary secretary representation is comparable to their caucus representation. The Conservatives have also chosen to highlight their visible minority MPs in their critic appointments.

For Indigenous peoples, the Liberals have slight under-representation in cabinet and parliamentary secretary appointments compared to the population and caucus.

Parliamentary secretary changes: fewer visible minorities


With the announcement Thursday of the changes to parliamentary secretaries, there has been a slight decline in the number of women and a halving of the number of visible minorities.

This largely reflects the number of visible minority parliamentary secretaries who were dropped (Anju Dhillon, Emmanuel Dubourg and Greg Fergus) and that none of the new parliamentary secretaries are visible minority.

The PMO press release indicates 34 parliamentary secretaries but the actual ‘parliamentary secretaries tab’ has 35: the number I have used for this analysis.