February 12th, 2020

NDP only Party with women candidates in byelections

HALIFAX-- New Democrats are once again leading the way on women’s representation in politics. The NDP is the only party that has women candidates running in the Cape Breton Centre and Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River byelections.

“The NDP prioritizes recruiting women to run and it shows in the strength of our caucus today,” said Claudia Chender, NDP spokesperson on the Status of Women. “Kendra Coombes and Kathleen Kevany will be excellent MLAs, and when they join us, they will add to the history of exceptional New Democrat women.”

The NDP has a long history of women leaders. Alexa McDonough was the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when she became Leader of the Nova Scotia NDP in 1980. Audrey McLaughlin was the first woman to lead a major political party in Canada when elected as leader of the federal NDP in 1989.

“I’m proud to be following in the footsteps of women who have challenged sexism and fought for our right to be equally represented,” said Cape Breton Centre NDP candidate Kendra Coombes. “It’s thanks to women like Alexa McDonough, Helen MacDonald, and Tammy Martin that I’m running today.”

Five of the seven NDP MLAs elected in 2017 were women, giving the Nova Scotia NDP caucus the highest proportion of women of any party caucus in Canadian history.

“If a party really values diversity and equality, it walks the walk,” said Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River NDP candidate Kathleen Kevany. “We will improve our world when we expand the perspectives of who gets to make decisions. The NDP strives to ensure underrepresented voices are heard, including those of women.”

The NDP’s candidate search process requires local associations to demonstrate they have attempted to recruit women and people from diverse communities to run before a nomination meeting is approved. The NDP also has the Women in the Legislature Fund which helps support women candidates.