Christine Lagarde is known for her diplomacy. But the IMF's managing director was just a little bit rude with her hosts during her visit to Canada earlier this month. The world ought to get used to it.
On Sept. 14, the day after she dined with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and members of his cabinet in Ottawa, Lagarde said, 'Thank you,' with a finely honed critique of Canada's efforts to make women a bigger part of its economic life. Trudeau may be the first Canadian leader to appoint as many women cabinet ministers as men, but he can do much better, Lagarde wrote in a blog post. The percentage of men in the labour force is 10 percentage points greater than that of women, and the IMF reckons that is contributing to Canada's chronically weak productivity rates by limiting the size of the labour pool. "Canada must improve its labour productivity, which is about 20 percent below the level in the United States, and is growing at less than 1 percent per year," Lagarde wrote. "Women are part of the solution."
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