Female Representation Growing Slowly in Ontario Says Equal Voice Toronto

Toronto: With the closing of Ontario Election candidate nominations today (September 15th), there has been a modest increase in female candidates running for provincial office. Combined, there is a total of 130 women running, representing 30.4 per cent of all candidates across the 107 Ontario ridings.

While this is an overall improvement from the 2007 numbers, there are only four more women running across the four major parties.

In February 2011, all three elected provincial parties pledged to run more female candidates in this year’s Ontario election than they did in the 2007 election.

“Two parties, the Liberals and the NDP have more than one third female candidates. However, we were really hoping to hit a critical mass of 33 per cent women across the board this time around,” said Chapter Chair Lesley Byrne.

The Liberals and the Green Party saw the most improvement, with each growing their female candidate roster by four per cent since the last election. There is also a female leader in the mix with Andrea Horwath at the helm of the provincial New Democrats.

In the 2007 election, 126 women ran (29.4 per cent). This year the parties collectively increased female representation in candidates by a single percentage point.

“Parties should continue to improve their outreach to potential women candidates well in advance of an election. Without women on the ballot, the public cannot elect more women to government. It’s a pretty simple equation,” said Ms. Byrne

In terms of individual party percentages, the Liberals have 42 female candidates (39 per cent of their total), the New Democrats have 38 (35 per cent), the Greens have 26 (24 per cent) and the Progressive Conservatives have 24 (22 per cent) according to nominations tracking for Equal Voice by Graham Murray of G.P. Murray Research.

Equal Voice is a multi-partisan organization working to get more women elected in all levels of government in Canada.

For media inquiries on the Ontario Challenge, please contact:
Lesley Byrne, Equal Voice Toronto Chapter Chair
416-469-5248 or 416-420-0481 lesley.byrne@sympatico.ca

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