Caroline Cochrane on Committee Motion 110-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Public Information on Aspects of Being a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Carried
Committee Motion 110-18(3): Special Committee to Increase the Representation of Women in the Legislative Assembly Interim Report - Public Information on Aspects of Being a Member of the Legislative Assembly, Carried Consideration In Committee Of The Whole Of Bills And Other Matters
Thank you, Mr. Chair. This motion is one that I hold dear to my heart and I really do support it. I hope everyone will support it. I just want to share that women are well-known within their communities as leaders; however, they tend to be on the ground in providing services that stay in the communities, and they don't usually get to the higher levels such as being an MLA or a Minister or Premier. My own experience is I worked for over 20 years with homeless women and low-income women. I came into the government not because I wanted to be a politician, but because I felt that our needs weren't being heard, and so I wanted to make change and have the power to do that. In fact, I apologize to Joe Hanley, a previous Premier. I was so unaware of politics in general that I didn't even know who Joe Hanley was. That is an embarrassment, and I should have known.
The first thing I asked when I became a Minister was, "What is my job description?" I was told, "You are a Minister. You have no job description. You can do what you want." From then on, very quickly, I was told, "But you can't do that. But you can't do that. But you can't do that." I am a firm believer that this motion is critical to not only women, but to all Members, so that we have a clear idea of what we can do and what our limitations are. I hope that all of my fellow colleagues and female colleague will support this motion. Thank you, Mr. Chair.