Nova Scotia Election: Tracking party promises on diversity

At the dissolution of the legislature in April, 14 of the MLAs were women, 36 were men and one seat was vacant. Marieke Walsh / Global News

EDITORS NOTE: Throughout the 2017 election Global News will track the promises each party makes on education, health care, infrastructure, transparency, budgets, and more. The stories will be updated as parties roll out their promises.

Diversity among party candidates became an issue on the first full day of the campaign.

READ MORE: All our Nova Scotia Election 2017 coverage

The NDP lead the pack on gender parity fielding 23 women out of a possible 51. The Progressive Conservatives are second with 17 women and the Liberals’ slate has 12 women on it.

The Grits though lead the way on racial diversity, fielding seven candidates who are minorities. The NDP have five candidates who are racial minorities and the Tories have one minority candidate.

READ MORE: Nova Scotia Election: Liberals field the most men, Tories the most white candidates

Increasing the per vote subsidy for women and minority candidates

  • The Progressive Conservatives said on May 2 that if they form government the per vote funding parties receive based on their last election result will be 1.5 times higher for votes cast for women, African Nova Scotians and Indigenous candidates. Leader Jamie Baillie said the subsidy would end once the legislature reflects Nova Scotians. “This is one of the most progressive things a Progressive Conservative party can do,” he said.
  • NDP Leader Gary Burrill said his part’s record on diversity shows a financial incentive isn’t needed.
  • Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil said “it’s not something that I’m running on today.” But he told reporters its something he would look at.

Gender parity in cabinet

  • The NDP are committing to gender parity on cabinet. “The principal of gender parity ought also to be honoured in the executive council and that’s the kind of cabinet that we would build.”
  • The Liberals said they won’t commit to gender parity. “We will continue to appoint the very best people,” McNeil said on May 2. In 2013 he appointed the most women ever to a Nova Scotia cabinet. Six women sat on the Liberal cabinet at dissolution.
  • The Tories aren’t committing to gender parity on cabinet. “When women are considered for cabinet, they’re considered on an equal basis with men,” Baillie said on May 2 in Halifax.

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