Women candidates a minority for Tories, Liberals
49 seats up for grabs, but N.B. Tories and Liberals fielding only 13 women
New Brunswick's last sitting legislative assembly had the fewest female MLAs in the country. Will that change in this election?
This year, changes to the electoral map means there are 49 seats in total.
The Progressive Conservative party has 13 women running, one fewer than the previous election campaign in 2010.
When asked if the party considered fielding more women candidates, leader David Alward would only say he was proud of his incumbents' records.
"Only half of our 15 new candidates are very strong women with a great track record," Alward said.
Brian Gallant's Liberals aren't doing any better to close the gender gap in the legislature. Like the Tories, the Liberals have 13 women candidates.
"For us it's crucial that we do a better job as a province and as a society when it comes to women being represented in the legislature," Gallant said.
The NDP, which had the most women candidates in 2010, has 14 women vying for seats in this election.
Of the Green party's 36 candidates, 19 are women.
The People's Alliance has five women on its 15-candidate slate.
New Brunswick's legislature has had a dismal record of gender equality. In the last sitting, only eight MLAs out of 55 were women — the worst split of all provincial legislatures.
"Society loses by not having a balance of genders," said Gretchen Kelbaugh, a filmmaker who has documented the lack of women in politics.
Kelbaugh said it may be time to impose a quota system to ensure more women run, similar to what exists in Germany, Norway and Switzerland.