Coalition Encourages Women to Run for Stratford

Media Release

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The PEI Coalition for Women in Government encourages women to put their names forward to run for elected office in the Stratford by-election scheduled for May 1, 2017.

The council seat was previously held by a woman, Diane Griffin, and her appointment to the Senate of Canada opens up an exciting opportunity. Those who wish to run as candidates for Ward 2 – Stewart Cove have until 2:00 p.m, on Friday April 7th, 2017 to submit their paperwork for candidacy.

Municipal government is often assumed to be a more accessible avenue for women entering politics because it doesn’t require party affiliation or a nomination process. Yet, the percentages of women in municipal governments across Canada, including PEI, are well below parity. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities 31% of municipal councillors in PEI are women. In the Town of Stratford, Gail MacDonald is currently sitting as the only woman councillor.

Coalition for Women in Government Executive Director Dawn Wilson says, “If we want to see more representation of women in leadership, we must encourage and support women to run. Do you know a woman in Stratford who would be an outstanding municipal councillor? Ask her to run. Volunteer for her campaign. And encourage others to do the same.” She adds, “The Stratford by-election is an important opportunity to build momentum leading into the province wide municipal elections in the fall of 2018.“

Municipal government has been described as the level of government closest to the people. The Town of Stratford is a good example of how local government can create inclusive policies and spaces that reflect the needs of the community. Increasing gender and diversity representation at decision-making tables results in more nuanced discussion and better outcomes for all.

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For more information contact
Dawn Wilson, Executive Director PEI Coalition for Women in Government