All Courtenay-Alberni and North Island Powell River candidates in the Oct 21federal
election will attend the 4th Annual Persons Day Lunch on October 18. Each first will
respond to a pre-question: “if elected, what would you do to reduce gender inequities in
Canada”? Then, candidates will have an opportunity to present their platforms, respond to
a general Q and A, meet voters and distribute election maaterials.. Both women
candidates reside in NIPR: Rachel Blaney (NDP incumbent) and Shelley Downey
(Conservative). The five male candidates are NIPR: Mark de Bruijn (Green Party), Peter
Schwarzhoff (Liberal). Courtenay-Alberni candidates include: Gord Johns (NDP
incumbent; Bryon Horner (Conservative) and Sean Wood (Green Party).

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
including appointments to the Senate and senior judicial levels. However, Canada has a
low global gender equity ranking, and in the Comox Valley financial wage inequities
have increased since 2010. According to Amnesty International (Canada) other acute
issues include: lack of affordable housing, skyrocketing child-care costs, precarious work
and low wages, a lack of personal autonomy, persistently high rates of gender-based
violence and reduced funding for women’s organizations.

The October 18 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. Some women attending this lunch were not legally a
“person” when born.

Lunch is buffet style at the Conference Room level, Best Western Hotel at 12 noon ($25).
This year, for the first time, advance tickets are available. A limited number of tickets
will be sold at the door. Laughing Oyster Bookstore and committee organizers have had
a good response; approximately 100 attendees are anticipated. Donation in table teapots
help offset overhead expenses. Small table settings provide opportunities to talk
informally with candidates and other attendees.

This lunch is an opportunity to have some fun, to highlight women’s issues prior to an
important election, and to learn more about our shared unique “herstory”. Attendees will
leave more informed about gender-based issues and perhaps become more engaged in
voting a few days later.
For further information, please contact Betty Donaldson (edonalds@ucalgary.ca)

Betty Donaldson

The organizing Committee