New Brunswick’s two major parties far from gender parity in slate of candidates

Click to play video: 'N.B. Green Party expects to have gender-balanced candidate roster' N.B. Green Party expects to have gender-balanced candidate roster
New Brunswick has nearly completed its fourth full day of election campaigning, yet most parties still haven't put together a full slate of candidates. As Silas Brown reports, just one of five parties is promising to field a gender-balanced slate – Aug 21, 2020

The Progressive Conservatives and Liberals are the only two parties fielding candidates in all of New Brunswick’s 49 ridings, but the Greens are the sole party to have reached gender parity with their slate of nominees.

“More than half our candidates are women running for the Greens in this election,” Green Leader David Coon boasted Friday afternoon, following the deadline for registration. The Greens will have 47 candidates.

“There’s a significant diversity among our candidates as well,” Coon said. “We have Indigenous candidates, candidates of colour, candidates from the LGBTQ community. It’s people from all walks of life, and small business people, and educators and artists to lawyers.”

Read more: Full New Brunswick election ridings list

Progressive Conservative Leader Blaine Higgs said he was pleased with his slate of candidates, seventeen of whom are women – or 35 per cent.

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“I am excited about the quality of candidates that have come forward to be part of our mission to save New Brunswick,” Higgs said Friday. “We will stay focused as a team, developing a mission for our province, and building on that mission.”

Click to play video: 'Residents hope to see focus on Northern New Brunswick in 2020 election' Residents hope to see focus on Northern New Brunswick in 2020 election
Residents hope to see focus on Northern New Brunswick in 2020 election – Aug 27, 2020

Liberal Leader Kevin Vickers expressed disappointment Friday that only 10 of his party’s 49 candidates are women – or 20 per cent. He put the blame on the snap election call.

“Because of the snap election we were under tight guideline,” Vickers said. “I’ll be frank with this: I am disappointed with the number of women candidates that we have in the party.”

“I myself have spoken literally with dozens of female candidates during the past year but we have to do everything possible to ensure that we attract more women. I’m proud to say Alice McKim of Saint John Harbour, a transgender, will be representing that segment of our society.”

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Read more: All our New Brunswick election 2020 coverage

The People’s Alliance party is running a record 36 candidates, up from the 30 they fielded in 2018. “The growth in support from voters and candidates is overwhelming,” Leader Kris Austin said Friday. Nine of the People’s Alliance candidates are women.

The New Democrats are fielding 33 candidates, 12 of whom are women. And the KISS party – which stands for Keep It Simple Solutions – has four candidates who are all male. There are nine Independents on the ballot – eight men and one woman.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 28, 2020.

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