Women's election issues highlighted at Sudbury town hall

Women's issues took centre stage at an election town hall hosted by YWCA Sudbury on Wednesday night.
YWCA Sudbury hosted an election panel in Sudbury on Wednesday, highlighting women's issues ranging from child care to mental health and homelessness. (Robin De Angelis/CBC)

Women's issues took centre stage at an election town hall hosted by YWCA Sudbury on Wednesday night.

Members of the public and local provincial candidates were invited to listen to a panel of speakers, which covered topics including child care, economic equity, Indigenous women, mental health and housing.

Marlene Gorman, the executive director of YWCA Sudbury, said the goal of the town hall was to help voters make informed decisions about issues affecting women.

"Women make up 52 per cent of the population," Gorman said. "We're not a special interest group, we are a majority and it's time that we become equitable in our society."

Gorman said it is important that the next government is a "feminist" government.

"That's a government that takes into account the equity of women and their families," she explained.

"In all of the decisions that they make, they put a gender lens on those decisions and policies that they're creating to make sure that the policies and the decisions that they're making are not going to oppress women and their families."

Panelist and Thorneloe University women's studies professor Jennifer Johnson said it is especially important to examine equity and inclusion this election, because the parties are polarized on so many issues.

"It really is up to the individual voter to go and look at their platforms, discover the issues that are most important to you as a voter and to take action, vote on the basis of that," Johnson said.

She said whichever party is elected will need follow through on election promises like accessible and affordable child care, and new legislation dealing with racism and workplace violence.

"There have been a lot of promises. I would like to these parties actually deliver on what those promises are going to be."

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