Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 28/9/2015 (1772 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
There are fewer Manitoba women running for parliament in this election, and the province has made no progress on indigenous candidates.
This afternoon, candidates in the Oct. 19 federal election must submit their nomination papers to Election Canada, and it appears the province will only have 17 female candidates from the four major parties. That’s down five from the 2011 election.
And, only nine per cent of candidates running for the four major parties are indigenous, a rate unchanged from 2011 and much lower than the province’s population. Nearly 17 per cent of Manitobans identify as aboriginal.
Sylvia Boudreau, an organiser with Winnipeg’s Indigenous Rock the Vote campaign, said she’s not surprised to see so few First Nations, Métis or Inuit candidates. Across Canada, following a plea from Assembly of First Nations national chief Perry Bellegarde, indigenous people have been debating whether to vote in next month’s election or whether a vote represents participation in a foreign system.
Boudreau said that debate has really galvanized interest in the federal election. But it might be a few more campaigns before that translates into more indigenous names on the ballot. And, though it matters to indigenous voters to see themselves represented in political parties, what matters more is candidates willing to raise issues.
"Even though you’ve got the candidates, having those truly stand up and bring to light the issues is also important," she said Monday.
The Liberals have three Manitoba candidates who are indigenous, and the NDP has two, including former Brokenhead Ojibway Nation chief Deborah Chief. The Conservatives do not appear to have any indigenous candidates, now that Winnipeg South MP Rod Bruinooge and Saint Boniface MP Shelly Glover, both Métis, are not running again.
The Liberals and NDP also have slightly more women on their roster this time. The Greens and Conservatives have considerably fewer. In 2011, the Greens fielded a Manitoba slate that was half women. This time, the party has just three candidates.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.