High Profile N.B. Women Pushing For More Female Candidates In 2018 Election

Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 13:44 PM

Twelve influential New Brunswick women have joined forces in an effort to have more female voices in the provincial legislature.

The effort, called Women for 50%, kicked off at the Union Club in Saint John with many high-profile, recognizable women gathered under one roof. Founders include Moncton mayor Dawn Arnold, MLA Madeline Dube, former cabinet minister Mary Schryer, and minister Lisa Harris.

The aim of the initiative is for women to make up half of the candidates for each party for the upcoming 2018 election.

Over the past 10 years women's representation has gone down when it comes to overall seats in the New Brunswick legislature and, according to Innovatia CEO Roxanne Landry who serves as co-chair of Women for 50%, New Brunswick is second from the bottom when it comes to female representation with 16-percent.

"We are currently lagging behind the pack," Fairweather told the crowd, "The momentum isn't taking off."

Former cabinet minister and deputy premier in the McKenna government Aldea Landry, the other co-chair, says that since 1987, she hasn't seen much in the way of progress when it comes to women's representation in the legislature.

She says this is only the first step.

"I'm feeling optimistic that things will change, and if they don't change there will be consequences," she says.

The group is hosting a conference on February 13 at the Richard J Currie Centre at UNB in Fredericton. The first woman ever to step into the role of Canada's deputy prime minister, Sheila Copps, is going to be the guest speaker at the conference.