National Council of Women of Canada - Blog

A Blog gives you current information and items of inerest. The National Council of Women of Canada (NCWC) has done two blogs on the meetings of the Commission on the Status of Women, 2010, and 2011. We are continuing now with a blog, on a range of topics of interst to members and the public. The NCWC has a very complete web site where you can learn more about the history and members of Council.

A blog (a blend of the term web log) is a type of or part of a website. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order.

Most blogs (including this one) are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites

Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pates, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs.

As of 16 February 2011 (2011 -02-16), there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

The above from Wikipedia!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Parliament gets a makeover; An influx of young women could help change Canadian politics for good,

Parliament gets a makeover; An influx of young women could help change Canadian politics for good, writes Nancy Peckford
Ottawa Citizen
Fri May 6 2011
Page: A15
Section: Arguments
Byline: Nancy Peckford

Image makeovers - large and small - in the world of politics have a long history: Preston Manning worked on lowering his vocal register; Hillary Clinton lost the headband; and Jack Layton abandoned his trademark orange tie. But this week's election has arguably resulted in a radical makeover in the House of Commons.
The last Parliament boasted only 22 per cent women (68 women versus 240 men). Only five of these female MPs were under the age of 40, compared to 25 men, and Canada ranked 52nd in the world for its representation of women, the lowest in its history. The only female leader of a national party, Elizabeth May, held no seat and was virtually invisible on the national scene.
Oh, what a difference one election makes.
When Parliament re-convenes later this month, Canadians will see a distinctly different House. While the overall number of women elected has only risen by eight, the diversity and age range among women in Parliament will dramatically change.
Some Canadians may argue such change is unnecessary because MPs are elected to represent the interests of all of their constituents, regardless of gender. Yet, 90 years after the first female MP was elected, women indicate the perspectives they bring to Parliament -whether in committee, during debates in the House or at the cabinet table -are important.
The demise of the Bloc Québécois and Liberal parties has meant that many seasoned female MPs who had made their mark over several terms won't be returning. The radically reduced caucus of the Bloc now includes only one woman, down from 14 in the last House. The Liberal party re-elected six women from last Parliament's total of 19.
The Conservatives, on the other hand, have succeeded in electing eight more women, including two mothers of young children, a real estate agent and an orthopedic surgeon. They will join a small but strong contingent of female Conservatives MPs such as former ministers Lisa Raitt, Gail Shea and Rona Ambrose.
Green Party leader, Elizabeth May will finally have a voice in the House as the only female national party leader. Her commitment to change the tone of the House could certainly help to create an environment that many Canadians will welcome.
But the real story is the women of the NDP. More than half of their caucus is from Quebec (57), and of these newly elected MPs, 27 are women, many of them under the age of 30. This represents the single biggest influx of young women into the House of Commons in Canada's history. It also represents one of its biggest opportunities, not to mention challenges.
Over the past decade in Equal Voice's work with young women, we have continually heard them point to a significant disconnect between the issues they care about and what's happening on the Hill. Many have a difficult time conjuring up the names of female MPs who have made a positive difference. Further, the heightened media scrutiny applied to younger female politicians such as Ruby Dhalla, Belinda Stronach and Ambrose, remains etched in their collective memories as a reason women should think twice about getting involved. Few tell us they want to stand for election.
With so many young women now about to sit in the House as representatives for their ridings, it's likely that these impressions are about to change. Despite their young age, most have postsecondary degrees and a number are committed community activists. All of a sudden, not only has the face of the House got much younger, but the issues that motivate many women, young and old -including safer communities, the environment, the global gap between rich and poor, child care and education, to name just a few -are about to get more frequent play on the Hill.
American academic and former congressional candidate Jennifer Lawless has written extensively on what it takes to successfully recruit women into political life. Her findings reveal that women are much less likely to self-identify as candidates for fear that they lack sufficient experience, expertise or networks to succeed. The domination of men in the political sphere has meant fewer women see elected office as a place where they could make a real difference and one where their talents and skills are welcome.
The 41st parliament could change these notions for good. It may not only re-frame the game for younger women but serve to inspire many mid-career women, not to mention our daughters and nieces, to aspire to political life. To which Equal Voice would say, it's about time.
Nancy Peckford is executive director of Equal Voice, a political junkie, and the mother of two young daughters.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Important information you should read about the gun registry

On May 2nd, Harper won his sought-after majority government. Out of the 153 MPs who had voted to save the gun registry last September, 81 were defeated, including certain long-time gun control advocates who have defended it vehemently, such as Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois), Michael Ignatieff (Liberal), Mark Holland (Liberal), Marlene Jennings (Liberal), Tony Martin (NDP), and many others. They will be missed greatly. We know that the gun lobby has actively helped Conservative candidates, and targeted MPs who supported the gun registry using NRA-inspired campaigns. In spite of tremendous pressure, all six NDP MPs who switched their vote to help save the gun registry last September were re-elected. (A complete list of defeated Members of Parliament is available on request)

The election results are a major setback, and although we do not know exactly what will happen next, there is no doubt the Conservative government will try to repeal the long gun registry. You can count on us to do everything possible to stop them, or at least slow them down. We will continue our fight to defend the integrity of our gun control laws, and to save the long gun registry.

We know that the gun lobby will not be satisfied until gun control is dismantled. Conservative politicians and gun lobby groups are already in the media mentioning plans to dismantle the registry and even more .  

Urgent Action is Needed
During the election, it became clear many candidates were ill-informed about the issue. Parliament is scheduled to return on May 23rd, and we need your urgent aid in: 
  • Contacting your newly elected or returning MP to share your support for the gun registry and for gun control. An unofficial list of MPs and their contact information can be found here
  •  Helping to educate your MP and your friends and family. The gun registry is an important public safety tool, and should be maintained. If dismantled, there will be no turning back. Please distribute our Myths and Facts Handout within your network. You may also link to it on your website or social network. 

Gun Registry: Just the Facts
The evidence is clear, the gun registry is effective, efficient both in cost and function, and most importantly, saves lives.
  • Most firearm-related deaths in Canada are caused by rifles or shotguns. All guns are lethal, and any gun in the wrong hands is dangerous. We need controls on ALL guns.
  • Although there is more opposition to gun control in rural areas and in the Western provinces, there are also higher rates of gun death in those areas.
  • Gun control works: firearm death and injury have declined with stronger laws.
  • Police, public safety, crime prevention, women's organizations, and others support the existing law, and maintain that it contributes to public safety.
  • Registration is a one-time procedure, and it's free. The system is in place, and 6.9 million rifles and shotguns are already registered. Once the registry is scrapped and the data erased, there will be no turning back.
  • The gun registry is consulted over 14,000 times per day by police, including when intervening in domestic disputes.
  • The cost to administer the long gun registry is less than $4 million annually.

Why is the registration of all firearms essential?
  • Registering all firearms assists police in removing ALL guns from dangerous people, enforcing prohibition orders, and taking preventative action when there is a risk of suicide or domestic violence.
  • While screening and licensing firearm owners reduces the risks that dangerous people will have access to weapons, registration is essential to enforcing licensing, as it holds gun owners accountable for their firearms and reduces the chances that their guns will be diverted to unlicensed owners
  • The gun registry aids police investigations. For example, two men were identified and convicted as accessories to the murder of 4 RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, Alberta, in part because a registered gun was left at the scene of the crime.
  • All illegal firearms begin as legal firearms. Controls over legal guns are essential to preventing diversion and choking off the illegal supply.

Parliament overview
While the election results remain unofficial until May 23, the current breakdown in the House of Commons is:
Conservative: 167 MPs
Opposition: 141 MPs
  • NDP: 102
  • Liberal: 34
  • Bloc Québécois : 4
  • Green Party : 1
The current breakdown in the Senate is:
  • Conservative Party of Canada: 52 Senators
  • Liberal: 42 Senators 
  • Progressive Conservative: 2 Senators 
  • Independent: 2 Senators 
  • Vacant: 3 seats  

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Women Win One-Quarter of Seats in Newly Elected House of Commons May 3rd, 2011

Women Win One-Quarter of Seats in Newly Elected House of Commons May 3rd, 2011

Ottawa: Canadians will welcome 76 women to the House of Commons when it re-convenes later this month, an increase of eight from the last Parliament. With last night's election results, women now make up 25 percent of Canada's Members of Parliament, a notable increase over the 22 percent representation in the 40th Parliament.

The New Democratic Party leads the way with 40 women elected, or 39 percent of its successful candidates. The Bloc Québécois elected one woman of the four remaining BQ Members in the province. Women in the Conservative and Liberal caucuses comprise 17 and 18 percent, respectively. For the Conservative Party, this represents 28 women elected. For the Liberal Party, it is a total of 6.

Further, the Green Party made history in electing Elizabeth May, its national leader, who will now serve as the sole female leader in addition to being the only elected Green Party member in the House.


"Equal Voice is pleased to see that women now constitute a quarter of all federal Members of Parliament. This is a historic high. In fact, it is the single largest increase Canada has seen in over a decade," said Donna Dasko, National Chair.

"It signifies that Canada is moving forward," noted Dasko.

Canada now ranks in the top 40 countries in terms of women's representation in national Parliaments.

"Although only 17 percent of the Conservative caucus is women, we urge Prime Minister Harper to maintain his commitment to appointing a cabinet with strong female representation," added Nancy Peckford, Executive Director.

Equal Voice takes the opportunity to applaud all of the women who ran in this federal election.

"It takes a tremendous commitment to the democratic process, considerable tenacity and significant work to stand for election. No one should unde-restimate the sacrifice that women make to put themselves forward," said Peckford.

"While twenty-five percent is a significant achievement, Equal Voice is working towards the day when women comprise a minimum of one third of the House, " underscored Vicky Smallman who oversaw EV's candidate tracking.

Equal Voice will be releasing more detailed breakdowns throughout the day. 

National results (# of women elected of total seats - by party)




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For more information:

Nancy Peckford, Executive Director, Equal Voice - 613-292-7941 or npeckford@equalvoice.ca

Donna Dasko, National Chair - 416-920-9010 or ddasko@environics.ca