Catherine McKenna

Identity-Politics Rating:  5 - Dangerous


Ms. McKenna is currently the Minister of Environment and Climate Change. If you follower her on Twitter you might be unaware of that fact, as her constant tweeting about gender  might lead you to believe that she was Minister in Charge of Identity-Politics.


McKenna's constant peddling of the oppressed woman story is both sinister and ridiculous. It's ridiculous because, as most people now know,  the gender pay gap has been completely debunked; women have surpassed men in acquiring PHDs; Trudeau's cabinet has gender parity; and Ms. McKenna herself shows no signs of being oppressed. It's sinister because, as with some other peddlers of gender-politics, she seems to have nothing to say on FGM or child-marriage. Maybe she has spoken on the issue, but I cannot easily find it. And anyway, if McKenna really cared at all about women in particular, you might think that this would be her most frequent topic when it came to gender issues. I am not a feminist, but I do care a lot about human suffering. If you asked me what I thought was the most pressing issue facing women, I would, without hesitation, say FGM and child marriage - I find both of these things to be horrifying and also a constant reminder of the sinister depravity that lurks just under the surface in human beings.    


Another slightly sickening aspect of McKenna's gender-politics scheming revealed itself when a member of the Conservative Party called her "Climate Barbie". Now, I do not think that the Barbie comment was appropriate - but her reaction to it does nothing at all to further the cause of women in politics. What she seemed most concerned with was sending out a fundraising email to try and capitalize as much as possible on the situation - this makes her look opportunistic. She also spent much time complaining and whining about it - this makes her look weak and pathetic and confirms the very stereotypes that used to keep women out of politics.


I remember a time, roughly thirty years ago, when John Crosbie - a Federal Conservative Cabinet Minister - said of an absent Sheila Copps -a Liberal Cabinet Minister - "Maybe she couldn't get her broom started". Nothing came of the comment except entertainment and a few laughs. The reason that nothing came of it is that Ms. Copps was feisty and tough and could take care of herself. In fact, she once called Prime Minister Brian Mulroney a "slime bag". She showed real toughness and a willingness to fight that actually does encourage women of quality and substance to get into political life. Contrast this with McKenna who, after being called Barbie, did the equivalent of running to her dad to ask for more allowance because her brother had called her a name.


It is also troubling that Ms. McKenna had nothing to say about the CBC skit where she was portrayed in the most sexualized way complete with blatant sexual comments. Could this have anything to do with Trudeau's deal with the public broadcaster to keep the public money taps flowing full bore for the CBC if he was to get elected? Sorry, Ms. McKenna, you can't have it both ways.


Ms. McKenna was given a rating of 5 because of the fact that her identity-politics is of the manipulative and opportunistic kind and I would guess that she knows exactly what she is doing.


McKenna's case is disappointing because she appears to be highly intelligent, very competent, and has the potential to improve our society instead of helping to degrade it. Simply put, she has a lot of innate talent.  Maybe she peddles identity-politics against her will as part of the Trudeau identity-politics machine - only she knows.   


If anyone has an argument against this rating, I am happy to entertain it. If there any errors contained in this piece, please email corrections.


Jonathon Kneeland   

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