Manitoba Women Get The Vote: A Centennial Celebration

Article 5 / 14 , Vol 40 No 3 (Autumn)

Manitoba Women Get The Vote: A Centennial Celebration

Manitobans are immensely proud that their province holds the distinction of being the first to give some women the right to vote. In this article, the author recounts how early suffragists waged a successful campaign to extend the franchise and profiles famous suffragette Nellie McClung’s role in the battle. She concludes by outlining some of the celebrations held in honour of the centenary in 2016 and by calling for everyone to ensure we continue the work of these pioneer women by striving for full equality for women in our democracy.

On January 28, 1916, Manitoba was the first province to grant some women the right to vote. One hundred years later Manitoba celebrated this centennial in a grand way. I was very honoured to be part of these celebrations in 2016. It was extra special for me because 2016 was also the year I became only the fourth female Speaker of the Manitoba Legislature.

Roundtable: Social Media Harassment of Women Politicians

Article 9 / 14 , Vol 40 No 3 (Autumn)

Roundtable: Social Media Harassment of Women Politicians

For politicians, shaking hands, kissing babies, cutting ribbons and being on the receiving end of angry diatribes from unhappy members of the public, all come with the territory. But women parliamentarians have been speaking up and speaking out about a particularly gendered form of social media bullying, harassment and threats that appear to have become more prevalent. In this roundtable three current or former women parliamentarians discuss the abuse they’ve encountered, how they’ve responded to it, and what they believe needs to be done to combat it.

Editor’s note: This roundtable contains unparliamentary language and, in particular, a derogatory slur. Prior to publication, the editorial board had a fulsome discussion and debate about whether to run this slur uncensored. Proponents of running the term uncensored noted that Hansard policy is to run slurs in an unedited form. Moreover, as women parliamentarians have had to hear or read these terms while serving the public, there was a sense that it would be hypocritical to censor the words for other readers in an article of this type. Alternatively, some members of the board felt running the slur unedited would revictimize women by perpetuating it and that it was beneath the dignity of the magazine to do it. And, in a very practical matter, it was noted that publishing these terms unedited could influence Web search engines to lower the Canadian Parliamentary Review’s ranking on these pages. By way of compromise, we have opted to run the terms with an asterix in place of a vowel to clearly indicate the slur or language being used, but to blunt its impact and eliminate search engine concerns. However, we include this note to explain that our decision to censor was not done without careful consideration and it is a decision we do not take lightly. We invite anyone who disagrees with the decision to send a letter to the editor, and have given all participants in this roundtable the opportunity to write a response which we will print alongside this article if they disagree with our decision.

Celebrating BC’s First 100 Women Members of the Legislative Assembly

Article 2 / 12 , Vol 38 No 1 (Spring)

Celebrating BC’s First 100 Women Members of the Legislative Assembly

Approaching the 100th anniversary of the election of BC’s first woman Member of the Legislative Assembly in 2018, the author reflects on some of the achievements of the first 100 women MLAs elected in the province. She notes that these women have often proven to be excellent role models for young people aspiring to a career in politics and public service.

Roundtable: Disability in Parliamentary Politics Vol 38 No 1

Article 3 / 12 , Vol 38 No 1 (Spring)

Roundtable: Disability in Parliamentary Politics

Although parliamentarians and public figures with disabilities have attained a heightened profile in Canada over the past decade, new research suggests that people who identify as having a disability are not seeking public office in numbers representative of their place in the general population. In this roundtable the Canadian Parliamentary Review gathered scholars, parliamentarians and public officer holders who have an interest in disability and politics to discuss the state of parliamentary politics for persons with disabilities and strategies for making political life more accessible to Canadians.

CPR: Prof. Levesque, your recent research suggests persons with disabilities are not seeking elected office in numbers representative of their place in the general population. Why is participation in elected politics among persons with disabilities so low?

No Independent Office Space: the PEI Experience

Article 3 / 14 , Vol 37 No 2 (Summer)

No Independent Office Space: the PEI Experience

Members of the Legislative Assembly in Canada’s smallest province are not provided with a budget to establish their own constituency offices. Instead, as Deputy Speaker Paula Biggar explains, backbench MLAs must do constituency work and hold meetings in a variety of locations including their offices in the capital buildings, local government-run information access centres, libraries, coffee shops or even in their own homes. Biggar notes that while PEI MLAs are the lowest paid in the country, they tend to be, and are expected to be, the most accessible to constituents.

CPR: Constituency offices seem to have developed haphazardly across Canada over the past 40 to 50 years and are now well-established in many jurisdictions. Why do you think Prince Edward Island has not adopted them for provincial politics?

“The People’s Office”: Constituency Offices in the Far North

Article 6 / 14 , Vol 37 No 2 (Summer)

“The People’s Office”: Constituency Offices in the Far North

In this roundtable discussion, three MLAs from rural/northern parts of the Northwest Territories reflect on the unique challenges parliamentarians face when doing constituency work in remote communities. They explain that offices often tailor themselves to the needs of the community. For MLAs, an office helps to create work/life balance, offers a source of much-needed local employment, and provides an additional connection to the seat of government. They are also the office of last appeal for constituents frustrated by bureaucratic decisions.

CPR: When you represent a geographically vast district, how do you decide where to set up your constituency office(s)? How do you balance where you spend your time?

British Columbia Reaches a New Benchmark for Women’s Representation

Article 7 / 14 , Vol 37 No 2 (Summer)

British Columbia Reaches a New Benchmark for Women’s Representation

With 36 per cent of its MLAs now women, British Columbia currently has the highest proportion of women parliamentarians in Canada. Moreover, women hold key decision-making positions in the province as Lieutenant Governor, Premier and Speaker. While celebrating these milestones, in this article, B.C. Speaker Linda Reid warns against complacency and urges parliamentarians across Canada and the Commonwealth to continue implementing changes designed to facilitate a level playing field for women interested in political life. She provides several examples of innovations which have contributed to the province’s success at bolstering the number of women representatives and improving the quality of their work life in politics.

Time to Consider Abolition of the Senate

Article 3 / 13 , Vol 36 No 4 (Winter)

Time to Consider Abolition of the Senate

On November 6, 2013 the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan Assembly voted to repeal the Senate Nominee Election Act. Immediately thereafter the Premier introduced a motion that the Legislative Assembly of Saskatchewan supports the abolition of the Senate of Canada. Following speeches by the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition and other members the motion was adopted. The Government House Leader then asked the Speaker to transmit copies of the motion and verbatim transcripts to the Prime Minister of Canada and the leaders of the opposition parties in the House of Commons, as well as the premier of each Canadian province and territory. This article is a slightly abridged version of the Premier’s speech on the motion.

This is an important issue that we are about to debate in the Legislative Assembly. It is not the most important issue facing the province of Saskatchewan. For most people, it probably would not rank in the top twenty. So we are not going to spend a lot of time on the bicameral nature of our federal government and whether that should change. But we are going to make, I believe, an important pronouncement not just to our own provincial citizens to whom we are responsible, for whom we work, but I think as well to the country, to let them know that the province of Saskatchewan after some considerable deliberation — and not at all revolving around current affairs, though perhaps informed to some degree by them — have come to a view of what might be best for the country with respect to that bicameral parliament.

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians’ Celebrate Women’s Success

Article 4 / 13 , Vol 36 No 4 (Winter)

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians’ Celebrate Women’s Success

The Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, as part of the larger Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, works towards better representation of women in legislatures throughout Canada and the Commonwealth. In July, the 2013 Steering Committee Meeting and Conference of the CWP was held in Edmonton. This article looks at the agenda of the conference and strategic projects for the CWP (Canada).

The CWP-Canadian Region is governed by a steering committee that promotes the views and concerns of women parliamentarians throughout the region and is responsible for developing programs to further the aims of the CWP within the region. It is composed of one representative from each province and territory and one representative from the federal parliament. Each member serves a three-year term. Its operations are overseen by a Chair, who also represents Canada on the CWP Steering Committee-International.