Canadian broadcast journalist Marci Ien was sworn in as the federal Minister for Women, Gender Equality and Youth. Ien becomes the second person of colour to hold a cabinet post; Jean Augustine was the first.
Ien was first elected in October 2020 after winning a by election to replace former Finanace Minister Bill Morneau. She was reelected in the Toronto Centre seat in last September elections beating out, among other, Green Party leader Annamie Paul.
Her father, Joel Ien, came to Canada in the late 1960s to attend university and went on to a career in education as a teacher, principal, and school superintendent in Toronto. Marcia was born in Toronto in 1969. Ien graduated with a degree in radio and television arts from Ryerson University in 1991.
Hers was a storied career in radio and TV journalism: CHCH-TV in Hamilton; 1997 with CTV as a reporter in Atlantic Canada; 1995 she won a Radio Television Digital News Association Award; recipient of a Black Business and Professional Association Harry Jerome Award; 2014, given the Planet Africa Award for excellence in media; 2015, garnered a Canadian Screen Award nomination; 2016, honoured with an African Canadian Achievement Award for her journalistic achievements.
According to one analysts: “There are multiple reasons why the Liberals were likely keen to get Ien into a ministerial role. She holds the high-profile riding of Toronto Centre, replacing former finance minister Bill Morneau. She’s a former television personality for CTV’s The Social and Canada AM, giving her the communications skills and charisma that are a strong asset on the front benches. And she’s a Black Canadian of Trinidadian background, improving the cabinet’s ethnic diversity.”
Marcia Ien will make her first appearance as a cabinet minister in the House when Parliament opens in late November. She will be one of 19 women ministers.