TORONTO — More female candidates than ever before are running in the federal election this year with all five major parties either maintaining or increasing the number of women and gender-diverse candidates that ran for them in the 2019 federal election.
The parties were required to submit their final list of candidate nominations to Elections Canada by the Aug. 30 deadline – 21 days before election day.
According to Equal Voice, a not-for-profit organization that tracks gender diversity in Canadian politics, women and gender-diverse candidates account for 43 per cent of all nominees across the five major parties – a slight increase from the 42 per cent total in the 2019 federal election.
“At Equal Voice we are pleased to see how many women and gender-diverse people are running in this federal election,” Equal Voice’s Executive Director Eleanor Fast said in a statement on Wednesday.
Digging into the numbers, the NDP has the highest percentage of women or gender diverse candidates on its list with 52 per cent, or 175 candidates – a slight increase from 2019 when it had 49 per cent.
The Bloc Quebecois has the second-highest percentage of women candidates with 47 per cent, or 37 of their 78 candidates, running in Quebec. That number is up from 45 per cent in 2019.
According to Equal Voice, the Green Party had reported 123 women or gender diverse candidates (44 per cent) of their 280 confirmed candidates, which is a slight dip from 2019 when the party had 46 per cent.
The Liberals’ slate includes 147, or 43 per cent, women candidates this year – an increase from 39 per cent in 2019.
Finally, the Conservatives have also increased their number of female candidates this year with 111 nominees, or 33 per cent – up slightly from 32 per cent in 2019.
In total, Equal Voice tallied 580 women or gender diverse candidates running in this year’s federal election.
During the last election, 98 women were elected, or 29 per cent of the total elected representatives in Parliament. Before Parliament was dissolved in August, there were 100 female MPs in the House of Commons, which placed Canada in 55th place in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s (IPU) global rankings of women in national parliaments.
This election, Equal Voice said they’re hoping Canadians will elect more than 136 women or gender diverse candidates on Sept. 20 so they can achieve 40 per cent gender parity in the House of Commons.
“Electing at least 136 women and gender diverse candidates this year and crossing the 40% mark would be a historic step in the right direction towards gender parity in Canadian politics,” Fast said.