PLACE AUX FEMMES EN PO­LI­TIQUE

Le Reflet (The News) - - LA UNE - ALEXIA MARSILLO alexia.marsillo@eap.on.ca

Ma­rie-Noëlle Lan­thier, conseillère à la Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­té de La Na­tion (à gauche), est une par­mi une poi­gnée d’élues mu­ni­ci­pales dans Pres­cott-Rus­sell. À l’oc­ca­sion de la Jour­née in­ter­na­tio­nale de la femme et en cette an­née d’élec­tions, nous les avons in­ter­ro­gées.

In light of In­ter­na­tio­nal Wo­men’s Day on Thurs­day, March 8, and consi­de­ring this is an elec­tion year at both mu­ni­ci­pal and pro­vin­cial le­vels, la Com­pa­gnie edi­tion An­dré Pa­quette Inc. caught up with some of the region’s fe­male mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss what it means to be a wo­man in politics to­day.

Krys­ta Si­mard is a mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cil­lor for Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land and Cin­dy Sau­cier sits on the Rus­sell Township coun­cil. Both wo­men are ser­ving their first man­dates on their res­pec­tive coun­cils.

Al­though both have had po­si­tive ex­pe­riences thus far, Si­mard and Sau­cier are al­so both aware of the chal­lenges, and the si­gni­fi­cance brought on by being a wo­man in politics.

Of the 52 elec­ted of­fi­cials on mu­ni­ci­pal coun­cils in Pres­cottRus­sell, 13 are wo­men. On­ly one of them Jeanne Char­le­bois of Hawkesbury, is the mayor.

“It would be nice if there were more wo­men in politics,” said Si­mard. “If we want change that re­flects how wo­men feel, we must step up.”

“I do feel there is a cer­tain im­por­tance to ha­ving wo­men in politics. We can bring ano­ther pers­pec­tive on cer­tain is­sues,” ad­ded Sau­cier.

Al­though both have des­cri­bed their ex­pe­riences in politics as smooth, both wo­men are no stran­gers to the le­vel of ef­fort re­qui­red to fit in­to what some consi­der to be a boys’ club.

“I’m youn­ger, I’m a fe­male, as well as a ‘new­bie’ to politics. One of the chal­lenges is being ta­ken se­rious­ly,” said Si­mard.

Si­mard spe­ci­fi­cal­ly re­counts cer­tain ins­tances where ques­tions about her ward were di­rec­ted at the man stan­ding next to her ins­tead. “Wo­men in politics, as well as in the work force in ge­ne­ral, are jug­gling a lot and the res­pect isn’t al­ways gi­ven about how much we ac­tual­ly get ac­com­pli­shed in a day.”

Sau­cier al­so knows what it feels like to be the new­bie on the block, ser­ving her first man­date. “So­me­times people may not take you se­rious­ly or think you are sui­table to a po­si­tion in politics,” she ad­mit­ted. “I do not feel gen­der is an is­sue real­ly. If you are se­rious about the job, you will work hard and de­serve the same res­pect as your male coun­ter­parts.”

Whe­reas Si­mard can so­me­times feel her age to be a di­sad­van­tage, Sau­cier be­lieves her age is an as­set. “I am al­so a se­nior wo­man, so maybe life ex­pe­rience has so­me­thing to do with my de­ci­sion ma­king or how I re­spond to po­li­ti­cal de­ci­sions.”

She conti­nued, “I hear the in­for­ma­tion and I try to make in­for­med de­ci­sions. They may be ba­sed on ethics, mo­rals […] or what I feel is best for this com­mu­ni­ty, and if that is be­cause I am a wo­man, then I am com­for­table with that.”

“So­me­times people may not take you se­rious­ly or think you are sui­table to a po­si­tion in politics,” she ad­mit­ted. “I do not feel gen­der is an is­sue real­ly. If you are se­rious about the job, you will work hard and de­serve the same res­pect as your male coun­ter­parts.”

—pho­to­ss four­nies

Dans le cadre de la Jour­née in­ter­na­tio­nale de la femme, le jeu­di 8 mars, la Com­pa­gnie d’édi­tion An­dré Pa­quette Inc. a ren­con­tré des conseillères mu­ni­ci­pales de la ré­gion pour dis­cu­ter de ce que si­gni­fie être une femme en po­li­tique au­jourd’hui.

À gauche : Krys­ta Si­mard ter­mine cette an­née son pre­mier man­dat au con­seil mu­ni­ci­pal de Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land. À droite : Cin­dy Sau­cier ter­mine cette an­née pre­mier man­dat au con­seil mu­ni­ci­pal de Rus­sell.

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