From MP to Minister: Karina Gould

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet underwent a shuffle last week.  The move was in preparation for incoming US President Donald Trump.  One noteworthy move was the ascension of MP Karina Gould to Minister of Democratic Institutions. At 29 she becomes the youngest female Cabinet Minister ever. To top it off she broke a nine year Conservative hold on the Burlington riding.

Community Minded

“First of all, it’s a tremendous privilege and opportunity,” says Gould. “I feel so honoured first of all to get elected in Burlington. You know it’s quite an accomplishment itself and I’m really grateful to the people of Burlington for supporting me.”

Gould grew up in Burlington and has been deeply involved in the community before she came into office.  She has worked with the Iroquois Bruce Trail Club, Halton Women’s Place and assisted the City in coordinating the effort to welcome in public and privately sponsored Syrian refugees.

“It keeps you grounded and makes you aware of what the issues are that are facing Canadians,” says Gould of the importance of serving her community. Gould spent a year volunteer at an orphanage in Mexico. Also while serving as the President of the Arts Undergraduate Society while attending McGill she organized a $20,000 fundraising campaign for the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake we learn from her media bio.

As a young MP she plans to bring positivity and a steadfast devotion to her community to her new post. “I’m so excited to be a part of the parliamentary cabinet and to serve Canadians and continue to serve the people of Burlington is a huge honour,” she says.

Getting Briefed

Her position as Minister of Democratic Institutions comes with an important task. She will tackle the proposed electoral reform brought up by the Trudeau government in the last election.  While some news outlets have portrayed her as ‘dodging’ any questions regarding that she says it is her duty to understand what she is commenting on. “I’ve always felt that it’s important to do your research and homework before you comment on an issue.”

Getting Noticed

Since being elected we’ve seen Gould be vocal during question period, continue her work and even get a shout-out from President Barack Obama.  For an MP from a smaller riding such as Burlington it is not often to be noticed within the caucus.  Gould lauds the Prime Minister’s approach to the appointment of his cabinet selection.


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“One thing I really appreciate about our Prime Minister is that he values what you bring to the table rather than your demographic,” she says.

Gould plans to stay in Burlington and travel to Ottawa when needed.  The past 15 months have been a whirlwind for the now Minister.  She recalls the night she learned of her election win. “The night that I found out I won the election was one of the best nights of my life.”

Her whirlwind year she credits to hard work; an ethic she plans to bring to Parliament Hill.

“It was very rewarding to know that the hard work that me and my amazing volunteer team have done leading up to the campaign is paying off,” she says.

About the Author James Gike