Monday, March 8 is International Women’s Day – a day to mark and acknowledge the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women on a global scale
Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson hopes to lead by example as she now has another platform from which to support women in the riding, provincially, nationally and at the commonwealth level as Chair of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians – Canada Region.
“Women around the world have had to challenge society to change as we strive to ensure opportunities for women in an equitable manner,” said Thompson.
“I hope to utilize this honour to shine a spotlight on women who paved the path for us. For instance, Agnes MacPhail from Grey County (and taught school in Bruce County) was one of the first women elected to Queen’s Park; and Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario lead by example by championing change throughout the years,” she added.
The CWP-Canada Region was founded in 2005, and it is composed of women parliamentarians of the provincial and territorial Canadian legislatures and the federal parliament. Its aims and objectives include providing opportunities for strategic discussion and development for future and current parliamentarians; increasing female representation in Canadian governments – at all levels; fostering closer relationships among Canadian women parliamentarians and other countries having close parliamentary ties to Canada; and to provide a forum to discuss, and act on gender-related issues.
Representing Canada at this level has already meant 5 a.m. zoom meetings and the opportunity to participate in a zoom panel discussion post-election with parliamentarians from Trinidad and Tobago.
Thompson, who is the first chair person from Ontario, hopes to expand the organization’s reach with women of all ages to get them engaged and to encourage them to ‘choose to challenge’ (2021 International Women’s Day theme) the status quo and advocate for positive change for their local communities and at the provincial and federal levels as well.
The local MPP hosted an outreach program in 2016 for her CWP colleagues from across Canada that included initiatives in Toronto, Guelph, Kincardine and the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.
In 2017 Thompson also celebrated local women holding ‘Remarkable Women’ events in Huron County, co-hosted by then South Huron Mayor Maureen Cole, and Bruce County, co-hosted by Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie. More than 350 women were recognized for their achievements and contributions.
That same year she was also pleased to welcome many women’s groups from Huron-Bruce to Queen’s Park in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women earning the right to vote in Ontario.
Thompson added that this unique experience allows her opportunities to continue to promote the riding Huron-Bruce at an international level, and the role of women in community economic development initiatives and the agri-food sector.