Ontario voters sent nearly 50 women to the legislature in Thursday’s election, a move that has boosted representation of women in the province’s halls of power — if only just slightly.
Amidst a majority sweep for the Progressive Conservatives, the polls report 49 women elected to the province’s 124 ridings, meaning they will now make up 39.5 percent of decision makers at Queen’s Park. Before the election (when there were also fewer ridings), women made up 35 percent of members of provincial parliament in Ontario.
Of course, given the way voters painted the province blue, more than half of these women are PCs — 25 women won seats for the Tories during the election after the party ran 32 percent women candidates, though they’ll be far outnumbered by their male colleagues at Queen’s Park (there will be 51 dudes representing the PCs in Ontario).
The New Democratic Party made history during the election campaign by running 56 percent women candidates — more than any other party in Ontario ever. Twenty of these women — out of 69 women candidates total — will line the opposition bench once the House is in session. That’s exactly half of the 40 seats the NDP won in this election. (How’s that for parity?)The Ontario PCs Got Their Majority. Have They Also Been Cursed?
A lot of these women will be rookies, taking on the role of MPP for the very first time (one of these is Toronto Centre’s Suze Morrison, whom Chatelaine followed along with two other women taking a dive into politics for the first time in this race).
There will, of course, be far fewer Liberal women in the legislature — a product of the party’s stunning loss in this election (they came out of the ringer with seven seats in the end, one short of what they needed to maintain official party status). But of those seven, four of them are women — including outgoing Liberal leader Kathleen Wynne, who managed to keep her seat in a VERY close race (she won by just .4 percent of the vote).
What will this all mean for women in Ontario? That remains to be seen. But expect Doug Ford to install some pretty powerhouse women to high profile cabinet positions — here’s looking at you, PC leadership candidates and newly minted Toronto-area MPPs Christine Elliott and Caroline Mulroney, as well as PC veteran and Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod. And given the women’s rights activism background of some of the women elected by the NDP, expect an official opposition that will hold Ford to account on issues of gender equity and sexual violence.
Here’s a full list of the newly elected women, gleaned from CBC News’s Ontario Votes 2018 results (the asterix marks seats that were already held by that party, not necessarily that same candidate):
Barrie-Innisfil – Andrea Khanjin PC *
Beaches-East York – Rima Berns-McGown NDP
Brampton Centre – Sara Singh NDP
Burlington – Jane McKenna PC
Cambridge – Belinda Karahalios PC
Carleton – Goldie Ghamari PC *
Davenport – Marit Stiles NDP
Don Valley West – Kathleen Wynne Lib*
Dufferin-Caledon – Sylvia Jones PC*
Durham – Lindsey Park PC
Eglinton-Lawrence – Robin Martin PC
Etobicoke Centre – Kinga Surma PC
Etobicoke –Lakeshore – Christine Hogarth PC
Flamborough-Glanbrook – Donna Skelly PC*
Glengarry-Prescott-Russell – Amanda Simard PC
Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock – Laurie Scott PC*
Hamilton-Centre – Andrea Horwath NDP*
Hamilton Mountain – Monique Taylor NDP*
Hamilton-West-Ancaster-Dundas – Sandy Shaw NDP
Huron-Bruce – Lisa Thompson PC*
Kanata-Carleton – Merrilee Fullerton PC*
Kitchener Centre – Laura Lindo NDP
Kitchener South-Hespeler — Amy Fee PC
London-Fanshawe – Teresa Armstrong NDP*
London West – Peggy Sattler NDP*
Mississauga Centre – Natalia Kusendova PC
Mississauga-Streetsville – Nina Tangri PC
Nepean – Lisa MacLeod PC*
Newmarket-Aurora – Christine Elliott PC
Nickel Belt – France Gélinas NDP*
Oakville North-Burlington – Effie Triantafilopolous PC
Orléans – Marie-France Lalonde Lib
Oshawa – Jennifer French NDP
Ottawa-Vanier – Nathalie Des Rosiers Lib
Parkdale-High Park – Bhutila Karpoche NDP
Richmond Hill – Daisy Wai PC
St. Catharines – Jennie Stevens NDP
Scarborough Centre – Christina Mitas PC
Scarborough-Guildwood – Mitzie Hunter Lib*
Scarborough Southwest – Doly Begum NDP
Simcoe North – Jill Dunlop PC
Thornhill – Gila Martow PC
Thunder Bay-Atikokan – Judith Monteith-Farrell NDP
Toronto-Centre – Suze Morrison NDP
Toronto-St. Paul’s – Jill Andrew NDP
University-Rosedale – Jessica Bell NDP
Waterloo – Catherine Fife NDP*
Windsor West – Lisa Gretzky NDP*
York-Simcoe – Caroline Mulroney PC