Ontario women voters also have a lot to lose in the upcoming election should it result in a Doug Ford majority government. The current Liberal government is extremely women-friendly, headed by a nearly gender-balanced Cabinet (which recent organization research suggests fosters better decision-making than traditional male-dominated boards). While Mr. Ford has yet to indicate who will constitute his inner circle, past experience with the Ford brothers in Toronto City Hall suggests that the “boys’ network” would likely be back should he become Premier.
Philosophically, the policies of the current government have been developed from a belief that our province is strongest when all women in Ontario are able to meet their full potential. Some of the resulting programs and initiatives include:
- A Gender Wage Gap Strategy, which has created more opportunities for women by eliminating the barriers they face in the workforce;
- A mandatory target for women to make up at least 40% of all appointments to every provincial board and agency by 2019;
- The Advancing Opportunities for Women and Girls in Sport Action Plan which gives women and girls equal access to opportunities in sports (this includes funding for the Coaches Association of Ontario to recruit and train 250 female coaches and 90 female mentors);
- The $41 million Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment, which provides support for survivors of sexual violence and is helping to make our workplaces and campuses safer; and
- An anti-human trafficking strategy with up to $72 million in funding, including the Anti-Human Trafficking Act to help survivors and those who are affected.
One of the key recommendations of the Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee was to make child care more affordable and accessible. This recommendation was actioned in the 2018 budget.
Ontario’s first ever stand-alone Ministry of the Status of Women was created to ensure that the government met its targets for helping women achieve their full potential. It is dedicated to improving the security, equality and empowerment of women in our province.
Here in Kingston and the Islands, Sophie Kiwala has amply demonstrated that a woman MPP can be at least as effective as a male as our representative at Queen’s Park. Click here to view some of Sophie’s key accomplishments in her first term. Both the projects/investments which she has championed and the list of her more personal initiatives further down that page speak to how important a healthier, safer and more liveable community is for her. And the extraordinary hours she has put in to make all that happen, on top of her ongoing responsibilities as an MPP, speak volumes for the fact that she’s in that role first and foremost to be of service to our community, not for her own ambitions. She’s proven, she’s experienced, and she’s the only woman in a field of five candidates. She deserves your vote.