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The wages paid the Trudeaus’ nannies—between $11 and $20 an hour—offer an echo of that point.Why Grégoire Trudeau went public with the need for a team is unclear.
This is Trudeau’s first trip to Washington since becoming Prime Minister.In the late 20th century, Rosalynn Carter sat in on cabinet meetings, Nancy Reagan acted as one of her husband’s closest advisers, and Hillary Clinton took an active policy role, carving out an ill-fated health care bill.Since Clinton, who was strafed for her active role, first lady causes have been dialled back to domestic issues revolving around education and children: literacy for Laura Bush, childhood obesity, poverty awareness and fitness for Michelle Obama.(Olivier Douliery/Getty Images) Since election night, the couple’s PDAs—heads touching, loving gazes, hands on hearts—have telegraphed happiness and an 180-degree shift from the chillier optics of the Harper marriage, which was marked by stiff hand-holding and Laureen making John Baird her date at public functions.Toronto marketing strategist Clive Veroni revives the Obama comparison.Certainly a prime minister’s spouse setting up her own office has precedent; Mila Mulroney had a staff of three in the ’80s, garnering criticism that she was emulating her friend Nancy Reagan. Margaret Trudeau with Sophie Grégoire Trudeau in Ethiopia on a Water Can mission October 6, 2006.
Perhaps Trudeau’s call for help was, as many people thought, a nod to the U. The former wife of Pierre Trudeau is honorary president of the Ottawa charity that places fresh water wells in East Africa.
“The kids’ lunch to the finances to the spending to the house, groceries, everything. And you know, I choose my battles, so he can have that.” Because it was 2015, it made the PM seem all the more progressive.
Grégoire Trudeau assuming a more formalized role was something she alluded to days before the election in an interview on CTV in which she spoke of herself as part of a political team: “If we are honoured enough to have Canadians give us their trust, I will push that even more forward,” she said, referring to her advocacy work.
“I want to use the platform I’m blessed to have been given,” she said, calling it a “natural extension of the work I was doing before I met my husband.” The difference, of course, is that she was often paid for her labour then (she was on the roster for a speakers’ bureau).
Were Grégoire to charge for speaking she’d be accused of exploiting her position.
Her causes were unassailable—the Canadian Mental Health Association, Me to We (Free the Children), Fillactive, a foundation that encourages girls to adopt a healthy lifestyle—and uncontroversial.