Meet our Champions!

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We are very excited to introduce you to Equal Voice's champions from every political stripe and a variety of sectors . Over the coming weeks, we will be featuring all one hundred of EV's champions - men and women - who are dynamic leaders in their own fields. 

We are particularly pleased to to welcome our four Hill Champions: Hon. Lisa Raitt, Megan Leslie, Dr. Hedy Fry and Elizabeth May.

#EVchampions the official hashtag

Champions

  • Hon. Lisa Raitt, MP

    Minister of Transportation

    "Studies have proven that women improve the management and performance of companies. Meaning that we, as women in politics, must also be improving the management and performance of this country. So I will continue to work to ensure there are more women. This is not only an issue of moral or ethical equality - it's just good sense."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell

    Canada's 19th Prime Minister

    "It makes a difference and Canada is still lagging in this important measure of democracy."

    www.kimcampbell.net

    Sector: Politics

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  • Dr. Hedy Fry, MP

    Member of Parliament for Vancouver Centre

    "We need more women at all levels of government in order to make better and more balanced public policy decisions. Women still face multiple barriers to running for elected office, and it is important that elected men and women encourage, mentor, and support them."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Elizabeth May, MP

    Saanich-Gulf Islands, Leader, Green Party of Canada

    "Why should you join Equal Voice? Do you want your voice to be equal or do you want your voice to be 24% of the male voices that dominate Canada's Parliament? Do you want Canada's Parliament to rank 45th out of 189 countries in terms of representation of women? You should join Equal Voice because you want to be represented, and you are no longer willing to be embarrassed by this country's poor record. Women are needed in Parliament, and only you can get us there. "

    Sector: Politics

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  • Hon. Raynell Andreychuk

    Senator

    "Involving women in the democratic process is about more than improving the representativeness of our political system. It is about fostering a policymaking process that is truly receptive to and reflective of the unique perspectives Canadian women bring to the table. Done properly, greater inclusiveness results in policies that more accurately reflect the breadth of Canadian society and experience, and that are more adept at upholding the common good for all Canadians."

    raynellandreychuk.sencanada.ca/

    Sector: Politics

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  • Lesia Babiak

    Executive Director, Government Affairs, Johnson & Johnson

    "Johnson & Johnson, Family of Companies in Canada has been a sponsor of Equal Voice since 2005. I am proud of Johnson & Johnson's involvement in helping to encourage more Canadian women to seek public office. But as in public life, so too must corporate Canada remove barriers for women keen to serve boards and lead in senior executive positions. Equal Voice is helping to change the face of Canadian politics, but also stimulating important discussion in corporate Canada. I am excited, personally and professionally, to be a part of the EV team."

    Sector: Healthcare

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  • Tina Beaudry-Mellor

    Political Scientist

    "I want our daughters & sons to be so used to seeing women in public leadership roles that it is no longer "exceptional.""

    www.tinabeaudrymellor.ca

    Sector: Academia

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  • Laura Beaulne-Stuebing

    Chief political correspondent, Yahoo Canada

    Sector: Media

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  • Avril Benoit

    Humanitarian Aid Worker

    "Canadians are in no position to hector others on their discriminatory practices against women unless we show, through the meaningful representation of our elected officials, that women have a role in decision-making for the greater good. "

    Sector: Healthcare

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  • Carolyn Chisholm

    Senior Advisor, Natural Resources & Environment, Global Public Affairs

    "It's high time that I leaned in. Equal Voice is a great organization that I am pleased to support as a way to give back. I believe passionately that women leaders are key to strengthening our democracy and our nation."

    globalpublicaffairs.ca/our_people/carolyn-chrisholm/

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Michael Chong

    Member of Parliament (Wellington—Halton Hills)

    "Canadians have only one democratically elected voice in the federal government: their locally elected Member of Parliament (MP). Women and visible minorities are underrepresented in the House of Commons, not reflecting the diversity and composition of the Canadian population. This makes it even more important to ensure that MPs from these under-represented constituencies be accorded the respect necessary to give voice to their views and aspirations. That's why I support Equal Voice's #RespectHER initiative."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Nancy Coldham

    Equal Voice Toronto Co-Chair

    "I applaud Equal Voice for its efforts to portray images of strong, dynamic women leaders, regardless of political party affiliation, embedding a national consciousness that women’s leadership makes a difference and matters to all. We don’t have to “Be Her”, but we will celebrate her, write a cheque for her and vote for her. Let’s break the glass ceiling in Ottawa."

    Sector: Business

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  • Lana Cuthbertson

    Equal Voice Alberta North Chair

    ""Let's get to 50 percent.""

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Aimee Foreman

    Equal Voice New Brunswick Co-Chair

    "“Deep change in our political system is needed. I believe it will only be achieved when our elected officials truly represent our citizenship; including ensuring a balanced gender perspective. More women running = more women winning.”"

    Sector: Business

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  • Catherine Fortin Lefaivre

    EVNCR Executive Committee Member

    "Encouraging women of my generation to become leaders in their community has never been so critical. "

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Jenn Jefferys

    Research & communications, Equal Voice National Office

    "The more diverse the elected, the more democratically-engaged and impassioned the electorate. To exclude women from leadership is downright nonsensical."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Gretchen Kelbaugh

    Producer/Director of "Menocracy"

    "My great-aunt, Canadian Gertrude Harding, was the head of Mrs Pankhurst’s secret bodyguard during the militant women’s suffrage movement. Her spirit and I salute the work of Equal Voice."

    Sector: Arts & Entertainment

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  • Stephanie Kusie

    Equal Voice Alberta South Chair

    ""When I ran as a civic candidate, I was shocked by the number of women at the door who indicated that they did not pay attention to politics. Yet, I consistently hear women voicing concerns about issues of government on social media and out in public. What a difference women could make if they chose to be active in our fundamental democratic processes! I am proud to be involved in empowering women to take this initiative. ""

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Daryna Kutsyna

    Special Assistant at The Office of Roxanne James, M.P.

    ""A more representative government is a government that is more inclusive, more functional, and more accountable to its constituents. By getting more women elected to all levels of public office, we ensure a system that is better to all through being rooted in fundamental equality and complete franchise.""

    Sector: Politics

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  • Dana Levac

    National Treasurer, Equal Voice

    "Because equipping women with the tools, knowledge and confidence to become leaders will yield to positive changes in all aspects of life. "

    Sector: Financial Services

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  • Velma Morgan

    ""Electing more women is a no-brainer. Having diverse voices at the decision making table brings different perspectives and contributes to better public policies that affect us all economically and socially. I am proud to be a part of an organization that supports, celebrates and respects her.""

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Jennifer Mowbray

    Advocate

    "Everyone’s life is affected by politics and so everyone should be part of the process. Equal Voice is about ensuring women’s voices and ideas are heard."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Alanna Newman

    Equal Voice Toronto Co-Chair

    "We need to engage more women of all ages in the political process, and help them develop the skills and network they need to succeed. Girls interested in politics deserve strong role models. Quite simply, I want more little girls aspire to be Mayors, Premiers, and Prime Ministers. "

    Sector: Politics

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  • Sheilagh O'Leary

    Equal Voice Newfoundland and Labrador Chair

    ""Gender equity in politics is essential to enhancing quality of life for all. Encouraging mentorship for young, aspiring women is my personal mission.""

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Jill Poulton

    Executive and Life Coach

    "We each have value and are valuable. As women, our participation is vital to the process of creating a culture that is conducive to the pursuit of our potential. Leaders at all levels influence the creation of this culture. Future generations are looking to us to step up and lead the way."

    Sector: Business

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  • Alison Redford

    Premier of Alberta (former)

    "I know I have a strong caucus because it reflects Alberta’s diversity and includes the voices of some very smart and accomplished women. I’m proud to be Alberta’s first female premier and I get so encouraged when I hear other women talk about getting involved in the political process. With organizations like Equal Voice driving this cause forward, I know we’re going to keep making progress."

    alberta.ca/premier.cfm

    Sector: Politics

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  • Susan Richards

    ""Its simple to me. Equal representation should already be a thing in 2015; in all levels of government and in the boardroom. Let us make it so.""

    Sector: Financial Services

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  • Megan Leslie, MP

    Deputy House Leader for the New Democratic Party, Environment Critic

    "Working together we can reduce barriers for women in all aspects of politics from political research, writing and organizing, to running for elected office. Having legislatures and decision-making bodies that truly reflect gender balance in this country will create a better Canada for all Canadians – let’s get going!"

    Sector: Politics

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  • Hon. Jean Augustine, PC, CM

    Fairness Commissioner

    "Women’s voices need to be represented among all levels of government to ensure a civil and caring society. Our political structures require the full and active participation of women to truly reflect the concerns and issues of all Canadians."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Hon. Isabel Bassett

    Former Ontario Minster of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation

    "Every woman I talk to dreams of seeing more women elected to government. By joining Equal Voice each one of us can help turn these dreams into reality."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Clare Beckton

    Executive Director, Centre for Women in Politics and Public Leadership

    "Women are over 50% of our population and their participation is vital to the social and economic fabric of our nation. When women are proportionally represented in our institutions of democracy, all the richness of different perspectives are part of decision- making in our country, resulting in better policies,and programs. Now is the time to act and make equitable representation a reality. "

    Sector: Academia

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  • Hon. Carolyn Bennett

    MP (St. Paul's) & Chair of the federal Liberal Women's Caucus

    "At Women’s College Hospital the motto is Non Quo Sed Quo Modo – “it’s not what you do but how.” It’s the same in politics and more women change not only what is discussed but how we work together to make change in the public good. "

    Sector: Politics

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  • Allison Brewer

    Former Leader, New Brunswick NDP

    "Canadian women don't speak with one voice which is why EV is so valuable in uniting us all in our efforts to get involved, get connected and get elected at every political level throughout this country."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Etana Cain

    Legislative Assistant, Office of MP Craig Scott

    "You can call Equal Voice, and they will always be there - not only to explain how politics works for women - but to support female candidates and advocate for change. To me, EV is crucial to ensuring we build a parliament that better reflects the diversity of our country."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Mary Anne Carter

    Equal Voice NCR Chapter Co-Chair

    "I not only want more women in the House; I want more women managing finance, foreign affairs and national defence."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Jackie DaSilva

    Communications Co-Chair, EV Toronto

    "I can only be what I can see: we need a critical mass of women in politics to finally turn the tide on the centuries-old perception of politics as an 'old boys club', into a world that is abundant with women's voices."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Councillor Diane Deans

    Gloucester-Southgate Ward, Ottawa

    "Equal Voice allows women to learn from other women who may already have the experience, knowledge, and confidence to make a difference in this country. By inspiring and encouraging future generations, we can together change the future."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Claire Detheridge

    Councillor of 31 yrs, Cape Breton Regional Municipality

    "Women have a perspective that needs to expressed. We are an equal to our male counterparts; remember votes for women translate to stronger voices for women. "

    Sector: Politics

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  • Sheila Gervais

    Former National Director, Liberal Party of Canada

    "Women in positions of political leadership make a huge difference in how campaigns are run – and won – and improve the chances of having legislation adopted once elected because of their collaborative approach to decision-making."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Shari Graydon

    Founder, Informed Opinions

    "The only way we're ever going to achieve a more equitable distribution of the social costs of perpetuating the species is for women to be sharing our experience-informed perspectives in the corridors of power."

    Sector: Media

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  • Lynne Hamilton

    National Chair, Equal Voice

    "Electing more women is just common sense."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Michal Harewood

    Former National Youth Chair, Equal Voice

    "Young women are our future and engaging them now is key to ensuring a balanced and vibrant democracy going forward."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Megan Harris

    Columnist, Toronto Sun

    "Increased involvement of women in political leadership roles strengthens Canadian democracy."

    Sector: Media

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  • Eugene Haslam

    Owner, Zaphod Beeblebrox

    "I am pleased to be an Equal Voice Champion; to encourage, empower and support women for full and proactive leadership and decision-making in all levels and facets of Canadian life."

    www.zaphodbeeblebrox.com

    Sector: Arts & Entertainment

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  • Amy Kishek

    Law student, University of Ottawa

    "It's about damn time."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Rita Komarova

    Treasurer, EV National Capital Region

    "We need more women elected so young girls can have more role models. Electing more women isn't just a desire, it is a necessity for Canada's future. "

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Raylene Lang-Dion

    National Chair, Equal Voice

    "Canadians' support for electing more women from coast-to-coast-to-coast is so encouraging! Join EV so that we can further empower Canadian women to have their voices where it counts - at the political decision making table. Let's make this happen and ...now!"

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Rosemarie Leclair

    Chair & CEO, Ontario Energy Board

    "Research shows that there is a direct correlation between a corporation's performance and the number of women in the boardroom and C-suite.  Why wouldn't we want to see those same results in politics and government? By supporting Equal Voice's membership campaign, one day we will."

    Sector: Business

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  • Alison Loat

    Co-founder, Samara

    "A Parliament that better reflects the Canadian population is an important step toward making the institution more relevant to its citizens."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Nicole Loreto

    Vice-President, Communications & Stakeholder Relations, The Royal Ottawa

    "We need to bring gender balance to all levels of government. EV is a national organization that can help create that parity"

    Sector: Healthcare

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  • Minh Luu

    Chief Social Architect, M&C

    "The lack of women in leadership decreases diversity. When we decrease diversity, we decrease the pool from which we draw ideas and solutions. Equal Voice understands that diversity in leadership enriches us all and that's why EV's work is important to a stronger Canada."

    Sector: Business

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  • Monica Lysack

    Instructor, Sheridan College

    "As a former candidate, I know how important it is to be encouraged to run and have the right set of supports and networks – even across party lines. EV’s work is so crucial to getting more women on the ballot. "

    Sector: Academia

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  • Sandy Mayzell

    Founder, Dancing Backwards

    "Through my project on women and politics, I see how hungry young people are for fairness and equality, and how ready they are to get creatively involved. What they need - what we all need - is the kind of role models and support offered by EV. "

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Anne McGrath

    National Director of the New Democratic Party, the Official Opposition

    "Women's participation and leadership is fundamental to our democracy. It's not always easy but more women in politics gives us the potential and possibility of the best possible contribution to progress in society."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Catherine McKenna

    Executive Director, Banff Forum

    "Equal Voice is critical because I can't wait 390 years for the gender gap in Canada - in terms of women's political representation - to be closed!"

    Sector: Academia

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  • Dr. Zul Merali

    President & CEO, University of Ottawa Institute of Mental Health Research

    "I am proud to be an Equal Voice Champion because of the strong role women have played in shaping who I am. Women need to bring their voice to the governance of our country. "

    Sector: Healthcare

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  • Kathleen Monk

    Strategic Communications & Public Affairs Consultant

    "Equal Voice challenges women to move beyond exercising influence at the ballot box and supports women in winning seats on the political benches. I’m an Equal Voice champion because I want to see more women winning."

    Sector: Business

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  • Amanda Nielsen

    President, Athabasca University Graduate Students' Association

    "I am proud to call myself an Equal Voice Champion because, with the Canadian Parliament consisting of just 25% elected women and the Alberta Legislature consisting of just 26% elected women, our organization still needs to exist. Until we work ourselves out of a job by seeing more elected woman to all levels of Canadian government, Equal Voice matters."

    Sector: Academia

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  • Sarah Onyango

    Civic Engagement Advocate

    "If we - as women - want to 'be the change' we want to see in our communities and country, we must drive that change by making sure we help get more women - from diverse backgrounds - to the decision-making table at all levels of government. Gender balance in our legislatures and on our city councils is key to the very legitimacy of our democracy. I want to be a part of the change by being an EV Champion. I invite you to join this powerful movement!"

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Kerry Patterson-Baker

    Product and Partner Communications MBNA, a division of TD Bank Group

    "Women remain stubbornly under-represented in Canada’s boardrooms and legislatures. I have long supported initiatives that work to remove the obstacles that limit a woman’s ability to take their rightful place as leaders and decision makers. This campaign illustrates the ways in which we can all move this important objective forward: BE her, SUPPORT her, CELEBRATE her. I hope you will help."

    Sector: Financial Services

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  • Nancy Peckford

    Executive Director, Equal Voice

    "Equal Voice is about change. Changing the face of Parliament, the composition of our legislatures and municipal councils, so that the incredibly diverse voices of women are well-represented at every committee meeting, debate, Cabinet discussion and vote. We should expect no less of our democracy or ourselves."

    www.equalvoice.ca

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Laura Ross, MLA

    Regina Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan

    "Having capable, qualified women elected to public office is important in the development of well balanced policies."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Rebecca Scott

    Regional Director, Extendicare Assist at Extendicare & EV Toronto Co-chair

    "I know so many strong, inspiring, intelligent women with innovative ideas. I am a part of Equal Voice because I want to ensure they are encouraged to share their talents with the public to improve our country! "

    Sector: Healthcare

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  • Fred Sherman

    Partner, SEMgroup Public Affairs

    "It's really a no-brainer! Better representation means more robust input at decision-making tables. That means better policy outcomes. That's good for Canada."

    Sector: Business

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  • Denise Siele

    Managing Partner, SEMgroup

    "Equal Voice gets it and Canadians get it. Strengthened participation means a strengthened Canada."

    Sector: Business

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  • Vicky Smallman

    Director, Women's & Human Rights, Canadian Labour Congress

    "As a longtime member, I am proud to help build EV's membership so women can work together to confront our common challenges. A critical mass will make a difference for women's equality and I'm committed to helping us get there."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Peggy Taillon

    President & CEO, Canadian Council on Social Development & Founder, HERA Mission of Canada

    "If we want politics to be better, to do better, to reflect the rich diversity of this country and to consider the greater good, we need more women to make their voice heard. "

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Councillor Jane Twinney

    Ward 3, Newmarket, Ontario

    "Back in 2010, I had submitted my name to run for municipal office and I won, beating out an incumbent. This was after losing to this particular man in 2006. I didn’t give up and I want to encourage other women not to give up. I encourage women in my community to think about running for office at every opportunity. It has been a wonderful experience and I hope I see more women taking the plunge."

    Sector: Politics

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  • Anita Vandenbeld

    Member of Parliament for Ottawa West—Nepean

    "When a woman runs for office, she learns certain lessons. Why should every woman learn them from scratch? Together we can build on each others' experiences and get much further ahead"

    Sector: Academia

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  • Kimothy Walker

    CTV Ottawa News Anchor

    "How can we NOT want more women as leaders in politics and business? How can we not want more role models for Canadian girls? How can we not develop public policies that reflect the needs of all citizens to help Canada flourish? How can we not want to be a shining example to other countries where women are silenced?"

    Sector: Media

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  • Kathleen Walsh

    Operations Coordinator, Rideau Institute

    "I want to see more women in politics so that that one day it will no longer be acceptable for the media to concentrate on a female politician's appearance rather than her policies. I believe EV can, and does, help shape the media's portrayal of women in politics."

    Sector: Public Service

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  • Joan Weinman

    Principal, The Melbourne Group

    "Hillary Clinton recently said that 'the rights of women and girls is the unfinished business of the 21st century.' I became a national board member for Equal Voice because I would like to help 'finish the business' of attaining greater gender balance in all levels of government in this country. I not only believe we can ... I believe we must."

    Sector: Business

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  • Elizabeth Weir

    Research Fellow in Residence, University of New Brunswick

    ". . . because it’s taken too damn long!"

    Sector: Academia

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Thanks also to the Government of Canada (Status of Women & Canadian Heritage) for their financial support.