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Ontario Now Ranks Second in the Percentage of Women Elected to its Provincial Legislature

Jun 13, 2014

 

Ottawa: Apart from electing its first female Premier, Ontario voters achieved something else in last night’s election. The Ontario legislature will rank second in the country for its representation of women at a provincial level after electing a historic high of 35.5 percent women.

 

This percentage is only second to British Columbia which leads the country in terms of women's representation at boosts women's representation in 36.5 percent. 

 

As it turns out, both these provinces are governed by women. 
 
Kathleen Wynne, Leader of the Liberal Party, led her party to a 59 seat majority at Queens Park, which included several newly elected women.  New Democratic Leader Andrea Horwath also picked up three additional seats, two of which will be occupied by women. The Ontario Progressive Conservative Party hung on to some of its most impressive female MPPs, including Lisa MacLeod and Deputy Leader, Christine Elliot. 
 
“Equal Voice is delighted to see two of Canada’s largest and most dynamic provinces electing not just female Premiers but significantly increasing the numbers of women elected to their legislatures,” said Raylene Lang-Dion.  
 
“It goes to show that many women in these provinces are eager to put their name forward as candidates and that voters welcome the opportunity to show them their support,” Lang-Dion adds.
 
Of the total 38 women elected last night in Ontario, 21 are Liberals, 11 are New Democrats, and six are Progressive Conservatives. 
 
The story of Canada’s women premiers has been a rocky one over the last year. After Canadians saw six female premiers come to the fore just over a year ago, four female Premiers subsequently lost office in less than six months.
 
Premiers Kathy Dunderdale of Newfoundland and Labrador and Alison Redford of Alberta resigned as leaders this past January and March – well ahead of their terms as duly elected leaders with majority mandates.
 
Premier Eva Aariak of Nunavut, who had served for eight years, lost her seat in the fall of 2013 during the territory's elections. Finally, Pauline Marois’ Parti Quebecois went down in defeat in April after holding power in a minority Parliament for less than two years.   
 
“Of course, Equal Voice was disappointed to see the loss of four female premiers in rapid succession.  At the same time, last night's developments suggest that strong and dynamic female leaders can have the power to bring other women along with them. It can, undoubtedly, contribute to a breakthrough,” noted Nancy Peckford, Executive Director. 
 
By comparison, federally, women comprise 25 percent of Members of Parliament in the House of Commons where there is just one female leader, Elizabeth May of the Green Party. May leads a caucus of two, herself and a male colleague, which in her words is “perfect parity”.   
 
For more information: 
 
 
Nancy Peckford
Executive Director
npeckford@equalvoice.ca
613-292-7941
 

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