Burlington's MP - Karina Gould: She has been on a very steep learning curve during the past two years - and done rather well.

SwP thumbnail graphicBy Pepper Parr

March 23, 2017



The Gazette was able to get a short period of time with the Minister of Democratic Institutions, who happens to be Burlington’s Member of Parliament.

A call that was initially planned for a specific time kept being pushed back – her people were great at keeping us in the loop and letting us know that the Minister was going to be needed in the House of Commons for a vote.

When Karina came on the line she was her usual friendly and for the most part open person.

We wanted to know what has changed in her life in the past two years? She went from being the candidate who did a superb on the ground grass roots campaign that came close to shocking Mike Wallace – the Member she defeated.

Gould - Claite -Kyle - Fed Liberals

Karina Gould with members of her campaign team.

Gould did what everyone who wants to get elected has to do – get out on the street and put your face in front of people and let them get to know the real you. She did that and she won – handsomely!

When she got to Ottawa and the Prime Minister’s office began to look at the talent he had to work with and realized that Gould had some unique experience as a result of her work with the OAS – the Organization of the America States, which is organization that represents interests of the 35 independent states of the Americas.

She was now more than just a pretty face.

They made her the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Few, very few political novices get given jobs like this when they have next to no House of Commons experience. Gould got put on a fast track and had to learn – quickly. And she did,

Then – not much more than a year later she was asked to become part of Justin Trudeau’s Cabinet. That sort of thing just doesn’t happen every day. A women who has yet to celebrate her 30th birthday is now a Member of Cabinet.

We wanted to know how she was handling these very big and sudden changes.

Bandits - Gould opening pitch

A team player!

The interview was Ok – but the first part didn’t resonate with us.

We got the ‘I am proud, privileged and honoured to be able to serve the people of Burlington’.

They all say that – but what does it mean? I didn’t know so I kept asking questions – and kept getting the Pablum formula answers.

So I shifted the questions and asked how she was finding the job. Gould talked about the people who stepped up and guided her through the process of learning to become a Member of the House of commons. She said she was fortunate to have people like Cabinet Ministers McCallum and Bennett take her under their wing – and she was indeed fortunate to have these two people guide and direct her. They saw the promise and were prepared to put in the time Gould needed.

I still didn’t think I had gotten to what it is that makes Gould the person she is – the Pablum answers were not what I was looking for.

Gould then began to talk about values – and it was at this point that the real person could be seen. Karina Gould is a part of a family that knows what the Holocaust was all about. She doesn’t wear it on her sleeve – it is just a part of who she is

Gould meting with Afghany people

While serving as the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Development Gould met with people from other governments. Here she meets with a representative from Afghanistan.

She was at a Conference with the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie in Istanbul and she began to see how highly regarded Canada was. “I was learning first hand from people this country of ours had helped and beginning to understand who we were.”

“I saw our values being appreciated and valued by others” said Gould “and it was humbling because we tend to take them for granted.”

This happened to Gould again at a conference in Africa – seeing Canada through the eyes of people who envy what we have and aren’t yet able to do the same things for themselves because of the governments they are rules by.

Gould being sworn in

Karina Gould being worn in as a Cabinet Minister – the youngest woman ever to be appointed to Cabinet.

Gould then gets appointed to Cabinet – and again gets put on yet another steep learning curve. Within weeks of her appointment she is in front of a media scrum having to defend a decision made by the government she is now very much a part of.

Gould - first scrum

Gould at her first media scrum.

She handled it very well – and without the support she deserved from the Prime Minister. Gould would never say a word about the support she didn’t get from the Prime Minister. She went in front of the cameras and did what needed to be done took one for the team as it were – and was seen by the very senior members of Cabinet as someone to be watched closely – she could be relied upon.

When media is interviewing a Cabinet Minister there is always a handler on the line. The person that helps her get away and on to the next event.  John cut in and said “Pepper just another couple of minutes please”.

I asked about what it means to her to be a Cabinet Minister. “I can feel the weight on my shoulders” she said. I’ll bet she could – a few days before the interview Gould would have sat in on a Cabinet meeting where the approach to selling the budget that was going to be announced in a few days was decided.

Gould In the House while Obama speaks

Gould in the House of Commons while then President of the United States Barack Obama is addressing the House.

If this Prime Minister is anything like his Father he would have listened very carefully to each member of his Cabinet and then said what he wanted to say.

Gould had said earlier in the interview that the experiences she was having were “once in a lifetime”. What a life time it has been so far.

Hopefully this young woman will continue to  mature and we will hear what she thinks and feels. She is genuine – now let’s see how she works for the people she represents, which is not just the 175,000 Burlingtonians.

Tomorrow we will write about her comments on the budget that was released yesterday – and tell you a little bit more about the chatter in her Burlington office where she is well served.


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3 comments to Burlington’s MP – Karina Gould: She has been on a very steep learning curve during the past two years – and done rather well.

  • James

    While she seems to be quite adept at advancing her career within the Liberal Party, and she has ample selfies with Justin Trudeau to prove it, has she actually done anything of note for the people that she represents locally? Just curious.

  • Hans

    On TV yesterday, I saw her dodge a direct question from another parliamentarian by repeating the same non-answer several times. The member’s question was not answered.
    It was very disrespectful behaviour and I expected better. She should grow up, or find a job that she is more suited for.

    • Mike Ettlewood


      I believe that you’ve missed the point. Ms Gould is definitely growing up – into the beginnings of an accomplished politician. She has learned the venerable art of verbal thrust, parry and deflect. She can unerringly walk the party line while citing scripted ‘main messages’ that, while virtually meaningless, provide no threat of actual, troubling communication. I had hoped for far more frankly. But then I live in hope ;-}