Prince Rupert’s 1973 city council included two women - Iona V. Campagnolo (second from the left) and Audrey M. Anderson (second from the right). Prince Rupert has had a female representative on each council since until 2018. (Photo courtesy of the Prince Rupert & Regional Archives, Dr. R. Geddes Large fonds, LP984-29-1759-289)

COLUMN: Don’t let all-male council be our new norm

Response to Prince Rupert breaking the 46-year streak of always having a woman on council

The new council has been sworn in, and yes, every seat is occupied by a man.

We haven’t seen this kind of male-dominated leadership — on council at least — since 1972.

But does that mean we’ve stepped back in time? Many people have asked my opinion on the lack of diversity. First of all, I think we’ve neglected to acknowledge that one of our new council members is one of the youngest Indigenous councillors in B.C. Reid Skelton-Morven’s presence at least reflects one of the largest demographics in our community.

Also, Prince Rupert has one of the youngest councils in B.C., along with Saanich and Prince George. Let’s see what our millennial energy brings to the chambers.

READ MORE: All male council breaks 46-year Prince Rupert streak

As for feminine energy, Prince Rupert has had a strong history of female representation on council. Shortly after the Second World War, 1947-49, the city had its first female mayor, Nora Arnold, who also served on council from 1943 -1946.

There have even been women-dominated councils as early as 2008.

History has demonstrated that the current all-male council is an anomaly — but don’t let it become our norm. Although Sarah Dantzer and Charmayne Carlson didn’t garner enough votes this time around, they did provide a positive example for other women who may have considered running for office. We need role models to stand before us and show us how it could be done.

This was also the first time either of those women ran for office. Wade Niesh and Gurvinder Randhawa didn’t win their first time running for office. Even the new mayor of Port Edward, Knut Bjorndal, didn’t get elected as councillor in the previous election, yet this time around he collected enough votes to be mayor.

What I’m trying to say is we must not throw our hands in the air, or blame others, for not having at least one woman on council. It simply happened. Move on.

Looking forward, we — all of us, women, LGBT, Indigenous — who are unrepresented on council, we have four years to watch, listen and learn for our chance to represent and take our seat on council.

RELATED: Council and trustee results in Prince Rupert



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Port charged with burying burnt remains of treated wood

Burning the old dock on Ridley Island for five days in 2017 has led to four environmental charges

Prince Rupert students learn with scientific building blocks

Video on Geneskool, a learning program Genome BC brought to SD 52 Nov. 14 - 20

Prince Rupert rugby star to play in Dubai tournament

Emirates Airlines Rugby seven’s tournament draws some of the best players in the world

Quesnel Kangaroos bounce Prince Rupert Rampage

Alessio Tomassetti gets four points in 8-4 shootout win at West Fraser Centre

Prince Rupert Rampage fall to Stampeders

The Rampage lost their second game in a row in Williams Lake.

Kaien Island Craft Fair highlights

Video of a packed Prince Rupert civic centre where people came to buy local goods before Christmas

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read