WiTOPoli Weekly: Friday, August 22

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.

  • City councillor Karen Stintz has dropped out of the Toronto mayoral race, citing low poll numbers and insufficient campaign funds. At a press conference at city hall on Thursday, Stintz admitted that she was “disappointed that my visions and ideas did not gain the traction I had hoped,” and indicated that she will be leaving politics permanently.
  •  Warren Kinsella, a senior advisor on Olivia Chow’s mayoral campaign, was in hot water this week over comments he madeabout candidate John Tory’s SmartTrack transit plan. Kinsella dubbed the plan as “Segregation Track” on Twitter Tuesday, pointing to the way it avoids two neighbourhoods with sizable black populations. “I unreservedly and genuinely express apologies for hurting your feelings,” wrote Kinsella in a blog post addressed to Tory.
  •  Stephen Harper has ruled out a national inquiry into missing and aboriginal women, despite persistent requests after the murder of 15 year-old Tina Fontaine. “We should not view this as sociological phenomenon,” the PM told a news conferenceThursday. “We should view it as crime.” Aboriginal women make up 4.3 per cent of the Canadian population, but account for 16 per cent of female homicides and 11.3 per cent of missing women.
  • A New Democrat MP has quit the caucus over what she felt was an excessively pro-Israel stance on the current conflict in Gaza. Sana Hassainia, who represents the Montreal-area riding of Vercheres-Les Patriotes, was specifically critical of NDP Leader Tom Mulcair in a blog post that appeared online Wednesday. Party members have responded by suggesting that Hassainia was simply looking for an excuse to cover up her poor attendance; so far this year, Hassainia has the worst voting record of all MPs, showing up for only 8.7 per cent of votes in the House of Commons.


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