Canada: All-party support for legislation to end gender inequality in politics

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Canada: All-party support for legislation to end gender inequality in politics

As MPs start debate on Bill C-237, MP Kennedy Stewart (Burnaby South) announced politicians from across party lines support his private member's bill aimed at bringing gender parity to Parliament.

"Most of the time in Ottawa, politicians from different parties can't agree with each other on pretty much anything," said Stewart. "But with women holding only 26% of the seats in our House of Commons, a cross-partisan consensus is emerging to tackle gender inequality by passing Bill C-237."

Bill C-237, the Candidate Gender Equity Act, proposes to create a financial incentive for political parties to run more women during federal elections. A party would face a reduction in its public subsidy if they fail to ensure its candidate list is gender-balanced.

With support from every party, the following MPs and Senators have endorsed Bill C-237:

Pam Damoff, Liberal MP 
Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, Liberal MP
Andy Fillmore, Liberal MP
Mobina Jaffer, Liberal Senator
Sheila Malcolmson, NDP MP 
Niki Ashton, NDP MP
Irene Mathyssen, NDP MP
Sheri Benson, NDP MP
Nancy Ruth, Conservative Senator
Elizabeth May, MP and Green Party Leader
Marilène Gill, Bloc Québécois MP

"While more than enough women come forward to run for office, the real problem is that political parties do not ensure equity in their nominations. My Bill C-237 aims to fix that," continued Stewart. "With backbench support from across party lines, it will now fall to Prime Minister Trudeau to decide whether it takes Canada until 2075 to achieve gender parity."