Women in the 39th Canadian Parliament

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Upon the dissolution of the 39th Canadian Parliament, 65 of the 308 seats (21.1 per cent) were held by women. Canada ranks 45th in the world in representation of women in the national lower house.

There were 64 women elected to Parliament in the 2006 election, and the victory of Bloc Québécois MP Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac in a byelection on September 17, 2007 brought the number to 65. This matched but did not exceed the all-time record of 65 female MPs elected in the 2004 election, and the number of women in the House returned to 64 with the resignation of Lucienne Robillard on January 25, 2008.

It nominally increased to a record 66 with the by-election wins of Martha Hall Findlay and Joyce Murray on March 17, 2008, although the resignation of Brenda Chamberlain from the House effective April 7, 2008 reduced the number of women back to 65 just one week after Findlay and Murray were sworn in as MPs.

General notes[edit]

Fifteen of the 65 female MPs in the 39th Parliament, or 23.4 per cent, were elected for the first time in the 2006 election. The longest-serving female MPs were the Liberals Albina Guarnieri and Diane Marleau, both elected for the first time in the 1988 election. (New Democrat Dawn Black was also elected for the first time in that election; defeated in the 1993 election, she won her seat back in the 2006 election.)

From Confederation to the end of the 39th Parliament, a total of 193 female MPs sat in the Canadian House of Commons, 4.79 per cent of the 4,023 total MPs ever to serve. The 65 female MPs upon dissolution of the 39th Parliament constitute 33.6 per cent of this total.

The percentage of women in the House has remained more or less stable since 1993.

By province[edit]

Province Number of women MPs Number of seats Percentage of women
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 7 0%
Nova Scotia 1 11 9.1%
Prince Edward Island 0 4 0%
New Brunswick 0 10 0%
Quebec 23 75 30.6%
Ontario 23 106 21.7%
Manitoba 4 14 28.6%
Saskatchewan 2 14 14.3%
Alberta 2 28 7.1%
British Columbia 10 36 27.7%
Territories 1 3 33.3%
Totals 65 308 21.1%

By party[edit]

Women were 23.3 per cent of all candidates in the 2006 election, and 24.8 per cent of candidates from the parties that won representation in Parliament.

The NDP nominated the largest proportion of women: more than a third of all New Democratic candidates were women, and nearly a third of all female candidates in the election were New Democrats. Furthermore, the NDP ended up with a higher proportion of women in its caucus than women candidates, meaning it ran women in ridings they could win – 18.8% of female MPs are New Democrats while the NDP holds only 9.4% of the seats in the House. As of 2007, the 12 women and 18 men currently sitting as New Democrats constitute the most gender-balanced party caucus ever elected to the Canadian House of Commons by a party with official party status.

However, it was with the Bloc Québécois that women candidates had the highest chance of winning: nearly three quarters of female Bloc candidates were elected. (As the Bloc runs candidates only in Quebec, the election of 50 Bloc MPs meant that any Bloc candidate had a 66.6% chance of winning.) 26.6% of female MPs are Bloquistes, while the Bloc holds only 16.2% of the seats.

As for the winning party, only 12% of Conservative candidates were women, and 11% of Conservative MPs are women, a total of fourteen; 21.5% of female MPs are Tories in a House that is 40.6% Conservative.

Party Number of female candidates Number of candidates Percentage of candidates who are women Percentage of women candidates to be elected Current number of female MPs Current number of MPs Percentage of women
     Conservative 38 308 12.3% 36.8% 14 126 11.1%
     Liberal 79 308 25.6% 26.6% 21 96 21.8%
     Bloc Québécois 23 75 30.7% 73.91% 18 49 36.7%
     NDP 108 308 35.1% 11.1% 12 30 40.0%
Green 72 308 23.4% 0% 0 1 0%
Other 60 327 18.3% 0% 1 3 33.3%
Totals 380 1 634 23.3% 16.8% 65 308 21.1%

Cabinet[edit]

The 27-member Cabinet contains six women ministers (22%), including one senator.

Of the 25 parliamentary secretaries, five (20%) are women.

Ten of the fourteen female government MPs (71%) are ministers or parliamentary secretaries.

Senate[edit]

The 105-seat Senate currently has 90 sitting senators, of whom 32 (35.5%) are women. Stephen Harper has only made two Senate appointments to date, both men (Michael Fortier and Bert Brown). The previous prime minister, Paul Martin, made 17 Senate appointments, of whom six (35.3%) were women.

Two current Senators are members of the Cabinet; as noted above, one of them is a woman, Marjory LeBreton.

Name Party Province (Division)
     Raynell Andreychuk Conservative Saskatchewan
     Lise Bacon Liberal Quebec (De la Durantaye)
     Catherine Callbeck Liberal Prince Edward Island
     Pat Carney Conservative British Columbia
     Sharon Carstairs Liberal Manitoba
     Andrée Champagne Conservative Quebec (Grandville)
     Maria Chaput Liberal Manitoba
     Ethel Cochrane Conservative Newfoundland and Labrador
     Joan Cook Liberal Newfoundland and Labrador
     Anne Cools Independent Ontario (Toronto-Centre-York)
     Jane Cordy Liberal Nova Scotia
     Lillian Dyck Independent NDP Saskatchewan (North Battleford)
     Joyce Fairbairn Liberal Alberta (Lethbridge)
     Joan Fraser Liberal Quebec (De Lorimier)
     Céline Hervieux-Payette Liberal Quebec (Bedford)
     Libbe Hubley Liberal Prince Edward Island
     Mobina Jaffer Liberal British Columbia
     Janis Johnson Conservative Manitoba (Winnipeg - Interlake)
     Marjory LeBreton Conservative Ontario
     Rose-Marie Losier-Cool Liberal New Brunswick (Tracadie)
     Sandra Lovelace Nicholas Liberal New Brunswick
     Elaine McCoy Progressive Conservative Alberta (Calgary)
     Pana Merchant Liberal Saskatchewan
     Lorna Milne Liberal Ontario (Peel County)
     Lucie Pépin Liberal Quebec (Shawinigan)
     Marie Poulin Liberal Ontario
     Vivienne Poy Liberal Ontario (Toronto)
     Pierrette Ringuette Liberal New Brunswick
     Nancy Ruth Conservative Ontario (Toronto)
     Mira Spivak Independent Manitoba (Manitoba)
     Claudette Tardif Liberal Alberta (Edmonton)
     Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Liberal New Brunswick

List of women MPs by province[edit]

Note: † indicates a cabinet minister, and * indicates a parliamentary secretary.

Newfoundland and Labrador[edit]

None

Nova Scotia[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax

Prince Edward Island[edit]

None

New Brunswick[edit]

None

Quebec[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Vivian Barbot Bloc Québécois Papineau
     France Bonsant Bloc Québécois Compton—Stanstead
     Sylvie Boucher* Conservative Beauport—Limoilou
     Diane Bourgeois Bloc Québécois Terrebonne—Blainville
     Paule Brunelle Bloc Québécois Trois-Rivières
     Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Québécois Beauharnois—Salaberry
     Nicole Demers Bloc Québécois Laval
     Johanne Deschamps Bloc Québécois Laurentides—Labelle
     Meili Faille Bloc Québécois Vaudreuil—Soulanges
     Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles
     Carole Freeman Bloc Québécois Châteauguay—Saint-Constant
     Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québécois Québec
     Monique Guay Bloc Québécois Rivière-du-Nord
     Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
     Francine Lalonde Bloc Québécois La Pointe-de-l'Île
     Carole Lavallée Bloc Québécois Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert
     Maria Mourani Bloc Québécois Ahuntsic
     Pauline Picard Bloc Québécois Drummond
     Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie
     Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Québécois Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher
     Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Québécois Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot
     Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques
     Josée Verner Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent

‡ Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac was elected to the House in a by-election on September 17, 2007. Lucienne Robillard resigned from the House on January 25, 2008.

Ontario[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Sue Barnes Liberal London West
     Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West
     Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's
     Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville
     Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph
     Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain
     Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina
     Pat Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton
     Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale
     Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk
     Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
     Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville
     Helena Guergis* Conservative Simcoe—Grey
     Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale
     Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill
     Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury
     Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe
     Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York
     Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park
     Bev Oda Conservative Durham
     Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East
     Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre
     Judy Sgro Liberal York West
     Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora

‡ Martha Hall Findlay was elected to the House in a by-election on March 17, 2008. Brenda Chamberlain has announced her resignation from the House effective April 7, 2008.

Manitoba[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill
     Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre
     Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul
     Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North

Saskatchewan[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar
     Lynne Yelich* Conservative Blackstrap

Alberta[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Diane Ablonczy* Conservative Calgary—Nose Hill
     Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove

British Columbia[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North
     Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam
     Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan
     Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East
     Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre
     Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells
     Betty Hinton* Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
     Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra
     Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North
     Denise Savoie NDP Victoria

‡ Joyce Murray was elected to the House in a by-election on March 17, 2008.

Territories[edit]

Name Party Riding
     Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavut

See also[edit]

External links[edit]