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Equal Voice Issues Challenge to New Brunswick Political Leaders

Apr 20, 2010

 

NB – The New Brunswick chapter of Equal Voice (EVNB) issues a challenge directly to provincial party leaders to increase the number of female candidates for the next provincial general election scheduled for September 27, 2010.

“With less than 12% of the provincial seats currently held by women in this province, it is time for NB political parties to focus on increasing the number of women on the ballot for the next election,” says Lisa Merrithew, Founder & Chair of the EVNB. “Political parties are the main catalyst for ensuring women are elected, therefore an emphasis of responsibility will be placed on the political parties throughout the candidacy process in order to ensure we have more female MLAs sitting in the Legislature.”

Leaders are being asked to take part in the New Brunswick Challenge: Promoting More Women to Political Office. Letters were sent to Premier and Liberal Leader, Shawn Graham, PC Party Leader, David Alward, NDP Leader, Robert Duguay and Green Party Leader, Jack MacDougall.

EVNB is asking that each party leader publicly commit to nominating more women candidates than they did for the 2006 election. Specifically, EVNB is asking that each party leader define what percentage of female candidates would represent success to the party for the upcoming 2010 election.

In the 2006 NB provincial election, the parties offered the following numbers of women candidates:
 

  • NDP – 31% (15 of 48 candidates) 
  • Liberal – 18% (10 of 55 candidates)
  • PC – 15% (8 of 55 candidates)
  • Green – N/A

Parties have been asked to publically commit to a target and to sharing strategies and steps taken to improve the percentage of female candidates.

“Essentially, we are asking the parties to focus on attracting more female candidates which hopefully will result in more women in our Legislature,” says Merrithew. “While our ultimate goal is to reach equal representation at 50%, we understand that it is a process that will take some time and require the parties to not only accept the challenge but also set realistic targets and take ownership of the numbers.”

For the upcoming election, EVNB is tracking the numbers of women candidates nominated by each party and will be reporting these numbers to members, media and the public.

EVNB Goals
 

  • Secure equal representation of women at all levels of elected office: Call on political parties to train and promote women as potential candidates within their party ranks 
  • Renounce tokenism & promote the principle of nominating well-supported and prepared female candidates
  • Provide training, mentorship and support programs
  • Fundraise to support our stated goals and objectives
    Educate others to improve the climate for women’s participation in political life
  • Research and understand barriers to women’s advancement to elected office
  • Get more people involved in the discussion
  • Get more women involved in the political process

Equal Voice is a multi-partisan, non-profit, national organization devoted to the still bold idea that more women must be elected to every level of government in Canada. Our mission is to promote the election of more women to all levels of Government and ultimately, change the face of Canadian politics. Please visit: www.equalvoice.ca.

EVNB was officially founded in November 2009 with a record number of members signing up to participate across the province.

For more information, please contact:
Lisa Merrithew
lisa.merrithew@gmail.com
506-721-8290

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Thanks also to the Government of Canada (Status of Women & Canadian Heritage) for their financial support.