In 1999, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) created the FCM Canadian Women in Municipal Government Committee, in response to concerns of men and women holding office across the country. They felt strongly that there was a need for a more inclusive municipal process that would lead to more responsive local governments that better reflect the communities they serve.
In June 2003, the FCM launched a one-year research project with funding from Status of Women Canada. The purpose of the project was to contribute to changing municipal consultation practices and policies so that the full diversity of Canadian women would have a meaningful voice in the decisions that affect their daily lives. The results were published in September 2004 under the title “Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Decision Making.”
(See More on this Issue for the link).
In May 2004, then President of FCM, Ann MacLean announced that the FCM, with the support of Status of Women Canada, would be launching a series of workshops across the country. These workshops would discuss how to establish a national strategy to achieve better gender balance on local councils and community advisory boards. In 2005, Gatineau Councillor Louise Poirier was appointed as the first chair of the new FCM Standing Committee for Increasing Women’s Participation in the FCM. For information on the nation-wide activities of this Standing Committee, consult the FCM website referred to in More on this Issue.