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Record percentage of women, gender diverse candidates on ballot, but advocates say 'not good enough'

Last Updated Sep 8, 2021 at 12:00 pm MDT

A voter casts a ballot in the 2011 federal election in Toronto on May 2, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Women and gender diverse people make up a record percentage of the candidates in this federal election

But advocates say more work needs to be done to make sure they are elected to the house of commons

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — This federal election has seen a record percentage of candidates who are women or gender diverse, but advocates say more work needs to be done to achieve equality.

Technically the total number of candidates who are women or gender diverse is down from 2019 but due to less candidates running overall the percentage is sitting at a record 43 per cent.

The NDP leads the way, followed by the Bloc Québécois, the Green party, the Liberals, and the Conservatives.

Eleanor Fast with a group, Equal Voice, says while she’s happy to see the share go up, it’s “not good enough.” She wants to hit 50 per cent, but still, the biggest challenge remains getting these candidates elected.

“We need more women and gender diverse people in the house. Representation does matter,” she says.

“We need the people that represent us to look like, like Canada.”

After the last election, less than a third of the MP’s were women, and Fast says part of the problem is parties run many of these candidates in areas where they will lose.

“That campaign we had 42 per cent of all candidates, being women and gender diverse and then on election night, 29 per cent of the MPs who are elected were women. So there’s a big difference there,

Fast places a lot of the blame on the parties since many of these candidates are too often running in ridings they won’t win.

So, as the voting day nears, Fast is urging everyone to get out and vote on or before September 20. Advance polls open next weekend.