UPDATE 6-Canada PM Trudeau sworn in, reveals diverse gender-equal Cabinet

Wed Nov 4, 2015 6:36pm EST
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(Adds Parliament to return Dec. 3 to push through tax changes; plans firm on Syrian refugees)

By Randall Palmer and David Ljunggren

OTTAWA Nov 4 (Reuters) - Liberal leader Justin Trudeau named a young, ethnically diverse and gender-equal Cabinet on Wednesday as he was sworn into office as Canada's 23rd prime minister, marking the end of nearly a decade of Conservative rule.

Trudeau, 43, kicked off his majority government with some controversy with his decision to name an equal number of men and women to a slimmed-down Cabinet, the first time gender parity has been achieved in Canada's team of ministers.

The Cabinet, 30 ministers plus Trudeau, included rookie politician and corporate executive Bill Morneau as finance minister and former Liberal leader Stephane Dion as foreign minister, a split between the old and the new reflected throughout the team.

"It's an incredible pleasure for me to be before you here today to present to Canada a cabinet that looks like Canada," Trudeau told reporters after he was sworn in with his team, which includes immigrants, aboriginals, religious minorities, a quadriplegic and 15 women.

Trudeau, the first son of a prime minister to take office in Canada and the second-youngest in the country's history, has grabbed international attention for his good looks and retail approach to politics.

Asked why he felt gender equality in the Cabinet was important, Trudeau said simply: "Because it is 2015."

Trudeau will have Parliament meet from Dec. 3 to Dec. 11 and intends to push through, in time for the New Year, a tax cut for the middle class and a tax hike on top earners, senior minister Dominic LeBlanc said.   Continued...