WiTOpoli Weekly: December 5, 2014

A roundup of some of the latest news in women, Toronto, and/or politics this week. What stories did you read this week? Tell us in the comments.

  • Tomorrow is the National Day for Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This year, December 6th marks the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre. Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam hosts a commemoration today from 12:00-1:00 pm in the Member’s Lounge at City Hall. We’ve also compiled a list of other memorials being held around the city as well as information on a postcard campaign from the Coalition for Gun Control, which was founded in the wake of the Montreal Massacre.
  • Justice Minister Peter MacKay was criticized for remarks he made earlier this week, claiming that the motivation for the Montreal Massacre was unknown. Both Liberal leader Justin Trudeau and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were swift to point out that the shooting was clearly an act of gendered violence and needs to be recognized as such.
  • Twenty-five city councillors signed a letter to Premier Kathleen Wynne, urging her to challenge the constitutionality of Canada’s newly drafted prostitution laws (Bill C-36) at the Ontario Court of Appeals. The signatories expressed concern over the bill’s “danger to some of the most vulnerable women we represent”. The letter will be presented in council today marking the National Day for Remembrance.
  • Mayor John Tory was sworn in this week, unveiling his new Executive Committee and appointing Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong as Deputy Mayor. At the top of Tory’s agenda is his plan to relieve traffic congestion. Be sure to check out Neville Park’s Cheat Sheet on how to keep up with council meetings and upcoming dates to follow.
  • Kathryn Borel came forward this week, identifying herself as one of the original sources in the Toronto Star’s Jian Ghomeshi investigation. Borel reveals how her workplace harassment was repeatedly mishandled by the CBC and how it affected her career.
  • A grand jury declined to indict an NYC police officer this week after the death of an unarmed black man named Eric Garner, despite having video evidence of the officer choking Garner to death. Protesters have been gathering across the U.S., echoing many of sentiments that continue to be expressed in Ferguson following last week’s failed indictment in the Michael Brown case.
  • As a part of the launch of Project 97 this week, Toronto MPP Cheri DiNovo shared her own experience with sexual assault. The Project 97 site was launched by Rogers media in order order to promote “a year-long conversation about sexual assault, abuse and harassment”.
  • The Canadian Labour Congress released a study this week documenting the impact of intimate partner violence in the workplace. The stats reveal how violence affects employees’ work performance and their ability to maintain their job. Ontario is the only province where intimate partner violence is recognized as a workplace safety issue.
  • Maclean’s columnist Scott Gilmore questioned why more women weren’t pursuing political office when their voices are so badly needed. We encourage you to peruse these A+ responses from #cdnpoli voices such as Equal Voice, Lauren Dobson-Hughes, Jordan Owens, Jenn Jeffreys and Vass Bednar.

 

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New Infographic from Elect Women Ontario and WiTOpoli

As Ontarians prepare to go to the polls in one week, Elect Women Ontario and Women in Toronto Politics have compiled data on the number of female candidates running for provincial office. The infographic below details the percentage of female candidates running for each of the four major parties, across 22 Toronto ridings. Click here for a list of these candidates and their contact information.

Of the declared candidates for the four major parties, 29.5% of candidates are women. 5 out of 26 women candidates in the Toronto region are incumbents: Laura Albanese, Mitzie Hunter, Soo Wong, Cheri DiNovo, and Kathleen Wynne. In comparison, there are 16 male incumbents in the Toronto region.

The numbers tell an interesting story: The Liberals run a lower percentage of women candidates in the Toronto region, where they dominate electorally, compared to in the rest of the province. In contrast, the PCs run a significantly higher percentage of women in the region of Toronto, where they have historically had limited electoral success, compared to in the rest of the province. Recent polling shows that the NDP is competitive in five central Toronto ridings; one of the NDP candidates in these ridings is a woman.

In addition to stats on Toronto ridings, Elect Women Ontario’s Tumblr contains information on the percentage of female candidates across the province, as well as data from past elections and other provinces. At dissolution, female MPPs made up 29% of the 40th Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Elect Women Ontario is committed to achieving gender parity at Queen’s Park, and we at WiTOpoli share in their passion to see more women engaged in all levels of politics.

Women Candidates in the GTA