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Canadian Political Leaders Call for More Women in Public Office

Moderated by: Isabel Bassett, Equal Voice EVE Award Recipient and Former Ontario Minister

The Panel Includes:
The Honourable Sheila Copps, President, Sheila Copps & Associates, Former Deputy Prime Minister
The Honourable Barbara McDougall, Advisor, Aird & Berlis, Former Member of Parliament
Jennifer Lawless, ph.D Associate Professor, Department of Government, Director, Women & Politics Institute, School of Public Affairs, American University
Peggy Nash, MP, Parkdale – High Park, Federal NDP Leadership Candidate

If you don’t speak for yourself someone else will speak for you — but not necessarily with your interests in mind. Join Women of Influence and Equal Voice on December 2nd as we explore how women make their mark in a political climate that is complex, chaotic and often unforgiving. With Canada currently ranked at 39th in the world in terms of female representation, the need for more women to run has never been greater. So what’s the hold up? Why is it so important that more women seek this responsibility? How do female representatives make a meaningful impact in a profession still largely dominated by men? Is work life balance actually possible and is the relentless public scrutiny worth it? Isabel Bassett, former Ontario Minister and EV National Award Recipient, will tackle these questions head on. Hear what female politicians from across the spectrum have to say about a wide range of hot topics and what drives these trailblazers to continually make strides for women in Canada and around the world.

According to Equal Voice, Women represent:

25% of federally elected MPs
22% of provincial and territorial
25% of municipal councillors
16% of mayoral positions

During a period of significant change in the domestic and global landscapes, is the voice of women strong enough?

To continue to view the speech, click the arrow to the right of the video screen.


  •  Power exists. Someone’s going to have it. Why shouldn’t it be you?
  • Before we tackle the family balance issue that women in politics face, we need to make sure women think to run. It’s not an absence of fear that drives us to advance in politics. It’s overcoming the fear.
  • Set a goal. Understand your goals and practice them. Complete and practice “the ask”.
  • Whatever gives you anxiety is often the place you need to go. It can be the place with the most energy and a place where you will grow.