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Equal Voice News Happy IWD! EV Newsletter March 2013

What a fabulous start to 2013! 



Happy IWD!

Current Affairs

Year in Review

EVE Awards

EV in Evolution

Chapter Spotlight

Leadership & Staff Updates

Thanks to our Sponsors 


Happy International Women's Day!

In honour of International Women's Day (IWD) - March 8th - a heartfelt thank you from the Equal Voice National Board of Directors, Advisory Board, staff, and chapters to each of you for all you do to promote women's equality & political participation in Canada.

How fitting that our first e-newsletter of 2013 should coincide with such an auspicious occasion as IWD since these updates are all about the tremendous achievements of women right across Canada. 

In Ottawa, we marked IWD last night with "Cocktails & Conversation" at The Westin hotel. Over 100 attendees enjoyed remarks on strengthening women's participation in democracies around the world from the Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour, Lois Brown (MP for Newmarket-Aurora & Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation), Kathleen Monk (Strategic Advisor at the Broadbent Institute), and Isabel Metcalfe (Public Affairs Counsel).

Regionally, many EV chapters are hosting or participating in local events to commemorate IWD. We hope you celebrate well our collective successes where you are, too.

Please enjoy this email, pass it on, and stay in touch. And if you are not yet an official EV member, please join today!


Current Affairs


Have you heard? Over 87% of Canadians are now governed by a woman premier! 


The past year has seen tremendous breakthroughs for women on the regional political landscape.  Alison Redford's electoral victory in Alberta last April and Kathleen Wynne's recent success in the Ontario Liberal leadership race added two more to what was already an historic club of four: Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland & Labrador; Eva Aariak, Premier of Nunavut; Pauline Marois, Premier of Quebec; and Premier Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia.

And the buzz couldn't be louder. Our Executive Director Nancy Peckford and board leaders were seen and heard in a flurry of media coverage in January, while former Prime Minister and EV National Advisory Board member, The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, weighed in with a Globe & Mail op-ed. Check out some related media stories on our website.

Pictured (clockwise): Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia; Pauline Marois, Premier of Quebec; Alison Redford, Premier of Alberta; Eva Aariak, Premier of Nunavut 

Photo : Windsor Star


As encouraging as the 'Six Women Premiers' phenomenon is, there remain significant disparities in the number of women in politics in Canada.

Only in the Quebec and British Columbia legislatures do women comprise more than 30%. Even places governed by women have low numbers of elected women, as is the case in Newfoundland & Labrador (17%) and Nunavut (11%). Federally, our celebration of achieving 25% has lessened with the departure of two women from the House of Commons.

EV offers a cross-country overview of percentages of elected women in a fact sheet for you to download and share broadly. There's much more work to be done, so spread the word. 


Year in Review

Since our last e-newsletter, EV has been engaged on a wide range of issues & initiatives. In addition to our work on the women premiers phenomenon, we: held a successful workshop in Halifax in February called "Getting on the Ballot" with support from Status of Women Canada and in partnership with EV Nova Scotia; bestowed two EVE Awards (see below); renewed our leadership (see below); and monitored & spoke out about women's involvement in provincial and municipal elections in Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. We hosted a "Women Leaders in Parliament" event in September and a luncheon panel in June called "Women in Politics - Some International Perspectives". 

EV chapters across Canada have also been busy organizing popular events and effectively raising awareness about women in politics. Everyone's efforts have been and continue to be extraordinary. We look forward to your active involvement.

Photo : "Women in Politics: International Perspectives" panellists (L-R) Edda Mukabagwiza, High Commissioner of the Republic of Rwanda to Canada; Else Berit Eikeland, Ambassador of Norway to Canada; Elena Stefoi, Ambassador of Romania to Canada


EVE Awards

Equal Voice was pleased to honour two dynamic women with EVE Awards this past year: the first woman Leader of the Ontario NDP, Andrea Horwath, and Alberta's first woman Premier, Alison Redford.

Celebratory luncheons in Toronto and Ottawa were co-hosted by local Canadian Clubs. You can view Ms. Horwath's remarks online & find lively event photos on EV's Flickr page. A special thanks to EV's National sponsors and the Aga Khan Foundation who supported these events.

Stay tuned for announcements about 2013 EVE Awards …


EV in Evolution


You, our base of valued members and supporters, are behind Equal Voice's mandate & mission because you are elected, seek to get elected, or want to encourage other women to pursue public office. That's the spirit behind our new membership drive launching now, on International Women's Day.

Even with six women premiers in Canada, we simply CANNOT let up on our collective efforts to ensure more women get elected. Building on the momentum gained this past year is absolutely critical. That's where you come in.  

Let's achieve 1000 in 100! In order to strengthen Equal Voice's capacity to encourage, equip, and elect more women, we are launching a drive to recruit 1000 new EV members in just 100 days! 

Every woman we honour is an inspiration to thousands of other women for her courage and commitment to serve in elected office. Which is no easy task given intense media scrutiny, enduring sexism, and the sheer work required to get & stay elected.

Become a 100-day champion.

To become a champion, all you have to do is recruit ten people to join Equal Voice at the membership fee of $50/year by June 3rd (100 days from now). We're aiming for 100 of you to commit to this goal. As a champion, your name will be celebrated over the course of the campaign and in perpetuity on the EV website, along with your reason for recruiting EV members.  Commit now by emailing

Three celebrity champions will help lead this membership drive by spurring each other on with challenges and helping spread the word. Watch for announcements about who they are later this month. 

The "Be Her. Support Her. Celebrate Her." campaign is now detailed on our website. There, we reiterate the value of an EV membership and what increased membership revenue will allow EV to accomplish; we highlight key programs; we recap some of our most vital achievements; and we showcase our video series in which 20 women (and counting) politicians share why they chose to run.

Visit the campaign page now, share it broadly with your networks, encourage everyone you know to take part, and consider becoming a champion.

And if you're not already part of our facebook community, "like" EV now. Another great way to stay in the loop is to connect with EV on Twitter. We actively use those social media channels to circulate updates, share important stories, and communicate with you, our community.


Chapter Spotlight

This new section of our e-newsletter showcases the activities & achievements of one of our regional chapters.

Today, we look to EV Alberta North and recognize Janet Buckmaster who stepped down in December as chapter founder & leader for a nearly a decade (she also once served as national vice chair). Our sincere thanks, Janet, for your excellent leadership, vision, and thousands of volunteer hours! Amanda Nielsen, President of the Athabasca University Graduate Students' Association and self-described "policy nerd" now helms the chapter, which holds its Annual General Meeting on March 13th in Edmonton. Join or renew your EV membership by March 10th to be eligible to vote. For more information, visit this chapter's webpage.

Remember, you can get to know all EV chapters through our website.

Pictured : Amanda Nielson (left) & Janet Buckmaster (right)

Photo : Amanda Nielson


Leadership & Staff Updates

New Board Hits Ground Running

Nominating & balloting took place in the fall for seven at large positions on our National Board of Directors. A re-vote on December 15th resulted in the election of seven dynamic women, four of whom now serve as national officers: Raylene Lang-Dion, National Chair; Lynne Hamilton, Vice Chair; Amy Kishek, Secretary; and Dana Gheorge, Treasurer. EV extends its sincere appreciation to Donna Dasko who served as National Chair for nearly four years. Heartfelt thanks also go to outgoing National Secretary, Megan Harris and National Treasurer Shiraz Ings. 

Meet the members of EV's National Board on our website.

Along with the regional chairs who also sit on the national Board, this group is already in the thick of a five-year strategic planning process. Expect a preliminary report on that in the coming months.  

Staff Updates

Please join us in welcoming Denise Siele as EV's new Director of Strategic Initiatives & Operations. Along with her experience as co-vice chair of the National Capital Region chapter and her passion for politics, Denise brings vast expertise as an events management consultant, including with EV, to this important role. We could not be more delighted to have Denise on the team.

That news means we bid farewell to Bethany Sutton who has worked tirelessly with EV since April 2011. Bethany's background in the non-governmental sector and sharp political & strategic instincts were instrumental in strengthening EV's operations, initiatives, and events. Thank you, Bethany, for your valued contributions. 


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