Legislative assembly

Guelph was one of 20 ridings selected by the Liberals for female nominations

Ahead of the 2022 provincial election aims to increase the number of women MPs at Queen’s Park

More than 20 ridings across Ontario have been selected by the Ontario Liberal Party as female-only candidate ridings, an initiative the party is undertaking to increase the number of women MPs in Queen’s Park.

Guelph will be one of those ridings, as the Guelph Liberals announced the appointment of Raechelle Devereaux, Executive Director of the Guelph Community Health Center, as the Ontario Liberal Party (OLP) candidate in the provincial election slated for 2022.

Devereaux was acclaimed as the local candidate for Guelph in August.

Devereaux said her understanding of the process of nominating and cheering for the Guelph constituency candidate was that the party would only have accepted and included female nominees who demonstrate strong leadership and can compete in the constituency. .

“Even though I was acclaimed, that didn’t mean I was the only candidate,” Devereaux said. “It was likely, and I understand that there may have been at least two other candidates who may have been male. “

Devereaux said the riding of Guelph had never entered a competition because it was selected as a women-only riding and was acclaimed for being the only candidate.

“One of my key values ​​is fairness, and we know fairness is very different from equality,” said Devereaux. “Equality is an outcome, and fairness is an action to achieve equality, and therefore fairness means efforts to level the playing field and inherently recognizes that the rules of the game are not level.”

Devereaux said they help break down barriers the party has set out to achieve, achieving greater diversity in the political landscape and giving hope to the younger generation to see themselves in politics instead of older white men. , of which Guelph is strongly represented by.

The LPO’s move aims to close the gender gap in the legislature, with current figures placing 38% of MPPs identifying themselves as women.

An emailed statement from PLO campaign manager Christine McMillan said: “Ontario Liberals are committed to achieving gender parity on our team for 2022. In the previous election, everyone parties have treated gender parity as an ambitious goal, but under the leadership of Steven Del Duca we are using real tools to make it a reality. So far, female-only designations have been used in more than 20 ridings to nominate a variety of strong candidates. Steven is the strong and diverse team needed to beat Doug Ford’s Tories and lead Ontario after the 2022 election. ”

Tamara A. Small, associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph, said it is important that these decisions are not just aimed at getting more women to come forward, but to get more women to come forward. present where the party is competitive and can win.

“The Ontario Liberal Party is in dire straits right now, so in some ways it’s laudable that it is trying to ensure its list is gender balanced,” Small said.

She went on to say that parties must do this if we are to have more diverse and female representation in the Legislature.

In nine elections since the formation of the provincial riding of Guelph in 1987, a woman has been elected six times.