Ruby Barclay represented the riding during the Daughters of the Vote initiative Sunday through Friday in Ottawa. Photo submitted

Nanaimo woman represents riding as part of gender-equality initiative

Ruby Barclay spoke in the Senate this week during Daughters of the Vote

Nanaimo-Ladysmith’s House of Commons seat remains vacant for another month, but this past week, one young woman from Nanaimo sat there as she tried to get a feel for politics.

Ruby Barclay represented the riding during the Daughters of the Vote initiative Sunday through Friday in Ottawa.

Daughters of the Vote brought together one woman from each of Canada’s 338 federal ridings for a week of networking, education, panels and generally exposure to politics and women in and around politics.

“There were so many powerful messages from qualified women,” said Barclay. “I was so inspired to be in a space where women don’t typically occupy and to hear from women who have reclaimed our right to be in politics and to be in those political spaces.”

Barclay, a 23-year-old VIU grad who works as a youth advisory council coordinator at the Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, got a chance to speak in the Senate. She addressed sitting senators and gallery members about a particular area of interest for her, youth in care, and her perceptions of “social injustices” of a care system that sees an over-representation of indigenous children.

“Child welfare systems are governed by provinces, however, I think it’s important that in federal government the youth in care and the foster care systems and child welfare systems are addressed,” she said.

RELATED: Walrus Talks speakers define leadership in different ways

Over the course of the week, Barclay met fellow representatives from across the country and with various political leanings, and had opportunities to hear from women in the Senate, House of Commons and local government, as well as former politicians and members of the media.

Barclay wants women to have equal representation in politics, and she said that balance should include representation for trans women, women of colour and women from different socio-economic experiences.

“We need to make space for under-represented voices and as women, we need to be allies for one another for each other’s voices to be heard and celebrated,” she said.

Barclay said with women only making up one-quarter of the 338 members of Parliament, the strength and resiliency of those MPs inspires her.

“I can only imagine how hard those women had to fight to be there and how challenging and how high-barrier those spaces are to occupy, and how fiercely qualified they are to be there,” she said.

Barclay said she wishes more women and girls in Nanaimo could have the experience she did this past week. She hopes the initiative leads to more conversations and actions around the issue of gender equality in politics, “to ensure that young women have strong role models that represent their experiences in spaces they aspire to be.”



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

First Nanaimo-Ladysmith all-candidates’ meeting is tomorrow

Six candidates expected to debate issues Thursday, April 25, at the Beban Park social centre

Nanaimo Astronomy Society already anticipating next moon mission

Society’s next meeting is on Thursday, April 25, at Beban Park social centre

Historian happily surprised about Morden Mine funding

What took so long for support for restoration work, asks columnist

Lantzville looking to ban beach fires as youths aren’t respecting beaches

Lantzville the only municipality south of Comox Valley that allows beach fires, district staff say

NDSS 50th reunion planned this spring

Organizing committee looking to reach Nanaimo grads from the Class of 1969

VIDEO: Police dog in Oregon struck by 200 porcupine quills during pursuit

The German shepherd had to be sedated and was in treatment for more than two hours

Upgrades planned for Gabriola ferry terminal

Plans call for new loading ramp, creation of a vehicle holding area and new terminal building

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor skips feds, urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man charged with daughters’ murders

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

Most Read