A crowd of public servants booed Global News reporter Vassy Kapelos when she asked questions at a press conference at the headquarters of Global Affairs Canada (formerly known as Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada).
Liberals say they’ll retroactively fix gendered pay inequity in cabinet
Kapelos asked Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion about the U.S. government’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline bid on Friday. But it was her last question, relating to the five women given junior positions in Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s cabinet, that got the crowd riled up.
“Why are they all women and will in fact their salaries now be changed to be equal to the other ministerial salaries?” she asked.
There was a chorus of boos.
“I understand that they are full ministers, they will work with us,” Dion said.
“I will have the great pleasure to work with Minister Bibeau and let me tell you, she’s not junior in my mind one minute. And all the people working here for development, international development, they are on the same footing as everybody else in this wonderful Pearson building.”
The crowd cheered his answer.
The crowd of public servants also had lots of cheers for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who emerged after a cabinet meeting in the building.
WATCH ABOVE: Newly sworn-in Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau receives a rock star type reception at the Foreign Affairs office in Ottawa.
“We’re going to need your help. We’re going to need your support,” Trudeau told the assembled crowd.
Public servants are generally supposed to be politically impartial. The Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector states that “public servants recognize that elected officials are accountable to Parliament, and ultimately to the Canadian people, and that a non-partisan public sector is essential to our democratic system.”