The Saskatchewan NDP commemorated Persons Day in Canada by pledging to have a gender-parity cabinet should they form government on Oct. 26.
“For the NDP, making space for women of all colours and all backgrounds is more than a talking point. It’s a core value,” said Ashlee Hicks, the NDP candidate for Saskatoon Riversdale.
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Hicks was joined by numerous NDP women candidates in Saskatoon on Sunday, when party leader Ryan Meili made the announcement.
“At least half of our cabinet members will be women,” Meili said. “We must have a cabinet that reflects the people of Saskatchewan. It’s long overdue and when we do, the right decisions get made for everyone’s benefit.”
Sunday marked the 91st anniversary of Persons Day in Canada, which is celebrated every year on Oct. 18.
It marks the day in 1929 when the historic decision to include women in the legal definition of “persons” was handed down by Canada’s highest court of appeal, says the Canadian government.
This gave some women the right to be appointed to the Senate of Canada and paved the way for women’s increased participation in public and political life.
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“The Persons case shows us, when government sides with women, and we make the right choices, our communities get stronger,” Meili said.
“We wanted to honour Persons Day by making this commitment.”
The Saskatchewan Party has a different stance on how its cabinet would be formed.
A spokesperson for the party said if the Sask. Party is elected, leader Scott Moe “will select a cabinet based on the experience and the capability of the various MLAs.”
“That cabinet will include both women and men,” spokesperson Jim Billington said in a statement.
The last Sask. Party cabinet had five female ministers including Finance Minister Donna Harpauer, who is the longest-serving female minister in Saskatchewan.
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