All Comox Valley federal candidates invited to address crowd at annual Persons Day Lunch

Oct. 18 luncheon will address issue of gender inequities

The Famous Five paved the way for women to participate in matters of public life. Black Press file photo

All Courtenay-Alberni and North Island-Powell River candidates in the Oct 21. federal election have been invited to address the fourth annual Persons Day Lunch on Oct. 18 in Courtenay.

Each first 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 Q and A, meet voters and distribute election materials.

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 childcare 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.

The Oct. 18 Person’s Day lunch celebrates three milestones along the journey to equity for Canadian women. It will honour 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.

Lunch is buffet style at the Conference Room level, Best Western Hotel at 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 have some fun, 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.

For further information, please contact Betty Donaldson at edonalds@ucalgary.ca

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