Women as Policy Makers: Local Initiative Mirrors Global Challenge

by Eric Greenway, Managing Director of Advancement at the YWCA Regina  

On March 22, 2012, sixteen women gathered in the living room of a Regina home to wrestle with how to increase the representation of women in political office, with a focus on the October Regina municipal election. The group included a current MLA; leaders from business, education, labour and the arts; former and potential political candidates; and YWCA staff and volunteers.

The conversation was lively, non-partisan, and pragmatic. The moderator pointed out that advancing the leadership of women and girls has been a core concern of the global YWCA movement over its 150-year history. As well as curbing the voices and concerns of women, the under-representation of women in government sends a powerful implied message to youth that men are more suited to leadership. In contrast, when women are empowered as decision-makers, they influence public policy in positive ways.

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Renegotiating Municipal Funding: The Case of Saskatchewan

by Laurent Mougeot, CEO of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA)

It all changed in the fall of 2006. For more than 15 years, municipal elected officials had to mortgage their capital investments and infrastructure reserves in order to fund their ongoing operational needs. Aggressive budget cuts by the federal and provincial governments had virtually eliminated most of the government’s grant and revenue sharing programs. This resulted, from 1991-92 to 2006-07, in an estimated shortfall of approximately $600 million in funding to Saskatchewan local government operations.

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