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Candidates to speak at 4th Person’s Day Lunch on Oct. 18

Oct 1, 2019 | News, Politics

By Guest Writer

All Courtenay-Alberni and North Island Powell River candidates in the federal
election will attend the 4th Annual Persons Day Lunch on Oct. 18.

“The lunch celebrates three milestones along the journey to equity for Canadian women. It honours the leadership of the Famous Five who fought for this status, winning the battle in 1929. Some women attending this lunch were not legally a “person” when born,” co-organizer Betty Donalson said.

Candidates will respond to a pre-question: If elected, what would you do to reduce gender inequities in Canada?

Then, candidates will have an opportunity to present their platforms, respond to a general question and answer period, meet voters and distribute election maaterials.

Both women candidates reside in NIPR: Rachel Blaney (NDP incumbent) and Shelley Downey (Conservative). The five male candidates include Mark de Bruijn (Green Party) and Peter Schwarzhoff (Liberal) in the NIPR. Courtenay-Alberni candidates include Gord Johns (NDP incumbent; Bryon Horner (Conservative) and Sean Wood (Green Party).

Women were acknowledged as “persons” in Canada approximately a decade after most had been granted the right to vote. This status permits greater participation in public life including appointments to the senate and senior judicial levels.

However, Canada has a low global gender equity ranking, and in the Comox Valley financial wage inequities have increased since 2010. According to Amnesty International (Canada) other acute issues include: lack of affordable housing, skyrocketing child-care costs, precarious work and low wages, a lack of personal autonomy, persistently high rates of gender-based violence and reduced funding for women’s organizations.

Lunch is buffet style at the Best Western Hotel at 12 noon ($25). This year, for the first time, advance tickets are available. A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door. Laughing Oyster Bookstore and committee organizers have had a good response; approximately 100 attendees are anticipated. Donation in table teapots help offset overhead expenses. Small table settings provide opportunities to talk informally with candidates and other attendees.

“This lunch is an opportunity to highlight women’s issues prior to an important election, and to learn more about our shared unique “herstory”. Attendees will leave more informed about gender-based issues and perhaps become more engaged in voting a few days later,” Donalson said.



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