by Margaret Wente
Originally published: June 10, 2016
This week, a male cabinet minister in Ontario sacrificed himself on the altar of gender equity. It was not a pretty sight. “Sometimes the best way for a man to advance the equality of women may be to step back and make room at the table,” declared Ted McMeekin as he announced his resignation as minister for municipal affairs and housing.
Nobody was fooled. I suspect that Mr. McMeekin (one of our lower-profile politicians) was about to be shuffled out and decided to put a noble spin on it. Kathleen Wynne, the Premier, has declared she will make room for more women in her cabinet. She also wants women to make up at least 40 per cent of all appointments to provincial boards and agencies by 2019. She expects the boards of public companies to follow suit.
Quotas for women (or “targets,” which is a euphemism for quotas) are all the rage these days. Some people say they’re long overdue. I say they are an insult. Women are quite capable of high achievement on their own.