Toronto

More women, minorities running in GTA in federal election

Many GTA voters can look forward to voting for either a woman or a person from a diverse background during this year’s federal election.

Where do the federal parties stand when it comes to nominating women and minorities?

Toronto NDP MP Peggy Nash, who is also her party's industry critic, says she's pleased to see more female candidates running in this year's federal election. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

Many GTA voters can look forward to voting for either a woman or a person from a diverse background during this year's federal election.

While the nomination process is ongoing — the deadline for candidates isn't until Sept. 28 — there has already been a concerted effort by the federal parties to court women and minorities to run in Toronto-area ridings.

When it comes to women, the NDP leads the way with 21 of its 50 nominated candidates being women. The Liberals trail closely behind, while about one-in-four Conservative and Green Party candidates are female.

Percentage of female candidates

  • NDP: 46%
  • Liberal: 40%
  • Conservative: 23.5%
  • Green Party: 23.1%

Incumbent NDP MP Peggy Nash, who is running again in Parkdale-High Park, said it's positive to see so many women in the race.

"I think that a strong slate of women, really offers Canadians a full choice and broad representations so that they're full range of views are getting heard," Nash said.

While the number of female candidates in the GTA and the rest of Ontario is going up, the co-founder of Equal Voice — an organization that encourages women to run — says there's still work to be done, especially given the fact that just 25 per cent of the the 41st Parliament was female.

"That doesn't nearly approximate the percentage of women in the population. And it does suggest that our democracy is not fair," said Donna Dasko.  

The number of minority candidates also appears to be on the rise, with the Liberals leading the way.

Percentage of minority candidates

  • Liberal: 41.5%
  • NDP: 36%
  • Green Party: 30.3%
  • Conservative: 27.5%

Ratna Omidvar, of Ryerson University's Global Diversity Exchange, said growth in this area is inevitable given Toronto's diversity, particularly in the suburbs.

"Think of Brampton, think of Scarborough, it is then inevitable that all parties will be running candidates from these communities," Omidvar said. 

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