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Municipal Affairs: Breaking the Glass Ceiling

Welcome to a thought-provoking episode of 'Municipal Affairs.' I'm your host, Chris Brown, and today, we're diving headfirst into a dialogue that's not just about politics, but about progress.

We're shining a spotlight on a topic that has evolved over the years, yet still carries its weight in relevance and importance: Women in Municipal Politics.

In 1918, a trail was blazed. Hannah Gale, a courageous and determined soul, etched her name in the Canadian Lexicon of history by becoming the first woman in Canada to be elected to a municipal council, serving as an Alderman in the City of Calgary.

One year later Violet Barss was elected to Delia Town Council, alongside two other councillors. In January 1920, Barass was elected by her council as Reeve of the small Alberta Community.

That same year, Constance E. Hamilton added to this ongoing movement as she took her seat on Toronto's City Council, igniting a spark of change that would transcend generations.

It was 1936 when the tides of transformation truly surged. In the small Northern Ontario town of Webbwood, Barbara Hanley took the reins as Mayor, defeating incumbent Mayor Robert E. Streich by 13 votes, showcasing the profound impact that women leaders could have in shaping their communities.

Yet, as we stand here in 2023, it's evident that there's still a path to tread. According to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, women, while making remarkable strides, still comprise less than half of elected members on municipal councils. A journey that began with a single step in the early 20th century continues to unfold before us.

So Today, I am thrilled to welcome four exceptional leaders who are not only making their mark but are dedicated to accelerating the pace of change. Joining us for this dynamic roundtable discussion are Vancouver City Councillor Rebecca Bligh, Torbay Councillor Trina Appleby, Niagara Region Regional Councillor Diana Huson, and Strathcona County Councillor Katie Berghofer.

Our focus for this episode is crystal clear – it's about breaking the glass ceiling, shattering stereotypes, and inspiring more women to take their rightful place in the halls of municipal governance.

We're delving into crucial questions: Why is it that in 2023, the path to municipal leadership remains less traversed by women? What can be done to encourage and empower more women to embrace the call of public service? And let's not forget the hurdles – what are the unique challenges that women face once they've stepped into the political arena?

So, fasten your seatbelts and prepare for a riveting exchange of ideas, experiences, and aspirations. We embark on a journey toward a future where our municipal governments are not only diverse and representative but are a testament to the untapped potential that lies within our communities.

Stay with us, because the conversation starts right now. Welcome to 'Municipal Affairs.'"

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Municipal Affairs is a Division of the Cross Border Interviews.

Municipal Affairs with Chris Brown was Produced and Edited by Miranda, Brown & Associates Inc.

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