All women candidates in the Comox Valley have been invited to present at the 4th annual Person’s Day lunch, which is 3 days prior to the Oct 20 Municipal election. As of 2014, Comox Valley female politician electoral statistics included:  Mayor 33% of the total; City Councillors 44%, Regional Director 0%. It is time for more gender equity at the local level of governance.

Women were acknowledged as “Persons” in Canada approximately a decade after most had been granted the right to vote. This status permits greater participation in public life, however Canada has a low ranking on global gender equity lists. Too many women live in poverty, especially seniors and single mothers; too few Canadian women are appointed to senior leadership positions in large organizations or elected to government.  Pay gaps continue, making it more difficult for many women to organize election campaigns.

The October 17 Person’s Day lunch celebrates 3 milestones along the journey to equity for Canadian women. We honour the leadership of the Famous Five who fought for this status, winning the battle in 1929. All 16 women running for Mayor, Councillor, or Area Director and the 7 for School Trustee have been invited. Most will attend.  Candidates will have opportunity to present, distribute election materials and meet women voters. MP Rachel Blaney and MLA Ronna Rae Leonard will be represented.

Lunch is buffet style at the Conference Room level, Westerly Hotel at 1PM ($25). A non-ticketed event, registration begins at 12:30. Small table settings provide opportunities to talk informally with candidates. Donations placed within the table teapots offset overhead expenses.

This lunch is an opportunity to have some fun, acknowledge women’s political leadership and to learn more about the unique  “herstory” we share. We will “take stock of the progress we’ve made as a country and recommit ourselves to achieving shared goals such as gender equality” (Status of Women web page).

For further information, please contact Betty Donaldson (edonalds@ucalgary.ca)

Betty Donaldson