Criticism levelled at wife of prime minister Justin Trudeau rejected as sexist and spiteful after she says she needs more staff
The wife of Canadas prime minister has sparked a fierce national debate after telling she needs more help to expand her official role and take on more public duties.
Sophie Grgoire Trudeau last week told a French-language newspaperthat she wanted to do more, but fought with simply one staff member.
Grgoire Trudeau, a former TV presenter married to Justin Trudeau, has no office and reportedly answers official correspondence from her dining table.
Id love to be everywhere but I cant, she told Le Soleil. I have three children and a spouse who is prime minister. I require assistance. I require a team to help me serve the people.
Grgoire Trudeau said she received regular requests from charities to promote their causes, but she could not respond to them all without an extra hand.
Its hard to choose, because its touching when people ask for your help. People truly lay out their suffering in some of the letters I receive.
The statement inspired howls of outrage from opposition legislators, who accused her of being out of touch and noted that the wife of the previous prime minister coped with simply one aide.
Hearing statements like that certainly does not speak to the reality that Canadian females face and the kind of struggles that, you know, that theyre undertaking day in, day out, opposition MP Niki Ashton told.
Certainly the kind of statements we heard from the prime ministers wife, you know, speak to that disconnect with the reality that Canadian females face.
The prime ministers office said it was looking in to hiring a second staffer for Grgoire Trudeau.
Meanwhile, Twitter users likened her to Kim Kardashian and started the hashtag #prayforSophie.
The role of the prime ministers spouse has no real formal status in the Canadian system, but they traditionally get supporting in performing official activities, a point that was make use of supporters of Grgoire Trudeau.
The Toronto Star newspaper ran an editorial on Sunday titled: Sophie Grgoire Trudeau should have all the help she needs to fulfil her role.
The instant, often spiteful reaction from both social media and other legislators who should know better smackings of ignorance about the requirements of the role the prime ministers wife has taken on, it told.
CBC News indicated Grgoire Trudeau was targeted because she was a tall poppy, something Canadians loathe.
Grgoire Trudeau herself has not commented on the furore.
But some on Twitter indicated the hounding of Grgoire Trudeau was not just about politics, but sexism, while an open letter to her on Facebook noted society seems to have a problem when women ask for help.
Such articles was revised on 16 May to remove references to Sophie Grgoire Trudeau being Canadas first lady. There is no such title in Canadian politics.