Marci Ien considers it a perfect fit: her appointment as minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth and her commitment to the issues that motivated her to get involved in politics.
“Ever since entering politics, I’ve been very clear about who I’m and why I chose to run.” says the former broadcast journalist who is only the second Black female cabinet minister in Canada. “I did it because of George Floyd, and so I’m always trying to bring my perspectives and policies that are important to me to the table,”
She says one of her priorities is to stay focused on dealing with the historical vulnerability women and youth, especially those in minority communities.
In a recent telephone interview, the newly appointed minister told The CONTACT that she has had a first-hand reminder of the extent to which women are disproportionately marginalized by witnessing the impact the Covid-19 crisis continues to have on them.
“They were the ones on the frontlines, many with children at home dealing with the crisis,” she says. “Our government have recognized their vulnerabilities and is making sure to provide for them.”
Ien is the Liberal MP for Toronto Centre, a highly diverse riding that covers the heart of downtown Toronto with more than its fair share of marginalized communities with a large several immigrant population in areas such as Regent Park, St. James Town and Cabbagetown.
It is also home to significant LGBTQ2 community in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.
She has always been proud to say that she was born and spent much of her early life in Toronto Center where her parents settled not long after arriving here from Trinidad.
Another priority she has set for herself is to deal with what she described as the “disenfranchisement of youth across Canada.”
And talks about working other ministries within the government to have in place “mentorship programs” that are both effective and relevant to the particular needs of young Canadians, wherever they might be.
“In that way, I see my ministry as the glue that binds other ministries and departments together to serve two very important demographics women and youth.”
Before taking the leap into politics to replace former finance minister Bill Morneau in Toronto Center in 2020, Ien, an award-winning journalist at CTV News also served as a co-host of Canada AM, then at the Social, two of the network’s flagship shows.