June 16, 2014 7:07 pm

Diversity at record high at Queen’s Park

Ontario reached a milestone last week by electing the most female MPPs in the province’s history. Thirty-nine in total will spend their days at Queen’s Park. Having diversity in the halls of power is good for democracy, according to political science professor Karen Bird, with McMaster University.

“It brings forward more ideas because you have more people from different backgrounds. There’s also an argument that it enhances the communication and trust between the legislatures and the constituents.”

Here’s what the gender breakdown of the newly-elected Members of Provincial Parliament  looks like:

New Queens Park 3 (iCharts)

The Liberals have the most females with 20, although the NDP have the highest ratio of women with 52% of their 21 MPPs being female.

When it comes to racial diversity, the Liberals are also in the lead. They have 16 members who are visible minorities. The NDP has two and the Progressive Conservatives have none.

New Queens Park 1 (iCharts)

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Compared with the past two general elections in Ontario, the numbers of females and visible minorities represented at Queen’s Park are both up. Experts say this is a positive step that’s helping to fuel the next generation of politicians.

Dalia Hashim, a student at the University of Toronto with aspirations in politics, is encouraged by the results of last week’s election but says there’s always room for improvement.

“The direct representation is a testament to them knowing where we come from, what our background is, but also what we’re looking for in terms of policies.”

Ontario is now in second place when it comes to females in provincial politics. British Columbia is the only province with more. Both have female Premiers.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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