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Montreal’s 2017 municipal election features more gender parity than in 2013 vote

Montreal mayor candidate Valerie Plante chats with a passerby on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Montreal. Plante is one of the many women running for a municipal seat this election.
Montreal mayor candidate Valerie Plante chats with a passerby on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 in Montreal. Plante is one of the many women running for a municipal seat this election. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Women make up a higher percentage of candidates in Montreal’s municipal election this year than they did in 2013.

READ MORE: Montreal elections 2017: Live results across Greater Montreal

There are currently 130 women and 168 men running for Montreal’s 103 open positions in city government, including elections for mayor, borough councillor, borough mayor and city councillor. That means women account for 43 per cent of the candidates.

In 2013, there were 183 women and 302 men — so women were just 38 per cent of the candidates, though there were many more candidates overall.

There is a higher percentage of women running for municipal posts in Montreal than elsewhere in the province — across Quebec, just under one third of candidates are women.

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READ MORE: Women make up 31% of candidates in Quebec municipal elections

Mayoral candidates Denis Coderre and Valérie Plante have both pledged that if elected, they would appoint an executive council with an equal number of men and women.

However, neither party is running an entirely gender-equal slate of candidates: 46 of Coderre’s 103 candidates are women. Plante’s party comes as close as you can without having more women than men: 51 out of 103, according to a report in the Montreal Gazette.

Across Canada, it’s historically been difficult to get women to run for office. Only 18 per cent of Canadian mayors and 28 per cent of councillors are women, according to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.