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Equal Voice Celebrates Achievement of Women in Ontario Cabinet

Feb 20, 2013

 

 Toronto, Ontario:  When Ontario’s first female premier, Kathleen Wynne, was recently sworn in, she unveiled her new cabinet, promoting women to four of the Province’s top five jobs.

 
The women to join the highest ranks are Kathleen Wynne (Premier), Deb Matthews (Deputy Premier, and Minister of Health), and Liz Sandals (Minister of Education).
 
The other five women who have been appointed to cabinet are: Laurel Broten (Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minster Responsible for Women’s Issues); Linda Jeffrey (Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing); Tracy MacCharles (Minister of Consumer Services); Madeleine Meilleur (Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs); and Teresa Piruzza (Minister for Children and Youth Services).
 
Together, they account for over 78 percent of Ontario’s budget commitments.
 
Equal Voice hopes to see this trend continue in the future.
 
"We have made significant strides with our first female Premier and an increase in the number of women represented in the Province’s top jobs. Ontario also boasts a woman Leader of the NDP, Andrea Horwath and a woman Deputy-Leader of the PC Party, Christine Elliott. And now we look forward to what the future holds for a sustained female representation at Queen’s Park," notes co-chair Lesley Byrne.  
 
A growing body of research reveals the importance of diversity in decision-making. Political culture and policy outcomes improve when women are represented at the cabinet table, which has historically been dominated by males.
 
According to the United Nations, a threshold of at least 30 percent of female legislators is required to ensure that public policy reflects the needs of women. With 19 men and eight women, Wynne’s cabinet fulfills this threshold.
 
Under previous governments, the share of women in cabinet has exceeded 30 percent. After the 2007 general election, Dalton McGuinty appointed nine women to a cabinet of 28. Following a cabinet shuffle in January 2010, the share rose to 42 percent. It remains the highest percentage of women in cabinet – a record that was first achieved by Bob Rae’s government in the 1990s.
 
Equal Voice, a multi-partisan organization that has been working to promote the election of women in Canadian politics for over a decade, is proud of the recent accomplishments of women in Ontario politics.
 
Equal Voice, Toronto Chapter will be hosting a Welcome Back to the Legislature event at Queen’s Park in the coming weeks to officially welcome back all MPP’s, women party leaders and Wynne’s new women in Cabinet.
 
For further information:
 
Nancy Peckford, Executive Director, Equal Voice: 613-292-7941, npeckford@equalvoice.ca
 
Lesley Byrne, Chair, Toronto Chapter - Equal Voice:  416-469-5248, Lesley.byrne@sympatico.ca 

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