He was dynamic, irascible, exasperating, intriguing. And he was always three steps behind his wife, Queen Elizabeth, who utterly adored him throughout their 73-year marriage, flaws, faux pas and all.
Across a variety of industries in Regina, there has been a steady increase in female representation over the past several years, but some say there are still barriers to come down.
On International Women’s Day, local leaders in politics, policing and business are highlighting challenges of the past, the progress that has led to the present and the hurdles that are still in the way when looking to the future.
SLOWLY INCREASING REPRESENTATION
In November 2020, Sandra Masters became the first elected female mayor in Regina. She said when she announced that she was running, she was met with enthusiasm from both women and men.
“I believe it was time,” Masters said. “It’s not just women who feel it. There are a great number of male leaders who are looking for women to participate at the table.”
Masters believes that being a woman helped her in some aspects of her campaign.
“I met with a retired gentleman who you would classify as a leader in the community when I was discussing the potential of my running and he was very supportive,” Masters explained. “The words out of his mouth was ‘I think the fact that you’re a woman is to your advantage’ and I sort of cracked the joke back that never in my lifetime did I actually think that I would hear that relative to politics.”
Staff Sergeant Laurel Marshall of the Regina Police Service’s North District Community Services Division said she has noticed more women being welcomed into her line of work as well.
Marshall said the number of women in the profession has more than doubled in her 22 years on the force.
“There was less than 40 women when I started, and there’s 108 women now among our membership,” Marshall said. “When I first started, I realized how the woman that came before me actually forged the way, the path, to create opportunities for us.”
Staff Sergeant Laurel Marshall of the Regina Police Service’s North District Community Services Division. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
She said back then, it was not common to see women in leadership roles.
“I do see those barriers slowly coming down,” she said. “We see these women in [leadership] roles and I’d say ten to 20 years ago, you didn’t see that representation there.”
The increase in female representation is also being witnessed in Regina’s business community.
“We’re getting there, honestly every single day, and we’re very fortunate to work with a lot of female-owned and operated businesses,” Morgan Mayer, the owner of Sweet Pea & Noelle Bridal Boutique, said. “But they’re honestly all under the five year mark and we’re all still very new.”
All three women agree that there are still challenges they face today, but feel the progress that has been made so far is promising.
“I think there’s always challenges. [Policing] was, and still is, a predominantly male profession,” Marshall said. “You feel that you have to maybe work harder or better to feel accepted in that same role.”
In Regina’s business sector, Mayer said there are still hurdles that up and coming entrepreneurs are facing.
“There are still some boys’ club mentalities, however we’re making the steps and I believe the female entrepreneur is only getting stronger in our community,” Mayer said.
Mayer’s bridal boutique offers dresses that are all created by independent Canadian designs. She said in her experience, tasks like applying for loans is often easier when it’s a woman on the other side.
Morgan Mayer, left, is the owner of Sweet Pea & Noelle Bridal Boutique. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
“Men, and I understand, didn’t quite get the vision or why it was important or why it needed to be brought here. I was very fortunate that I did find female advisors that were 100 per cent in my corner,” she said.
Mayer said she is fortunate because the challenges she has faced haven’t been as blatant as what some of her peers experience.
“I do know quite a few females that do face these hurdles, whether that depends on their class, their race, all of these things can make it absolutely more difficult. In that way, we have an even longer way to go,” Mayer said. “There will always be challenges but we’re here to fight every step of the way.”
Within the city, Mayor Masters said she’s beginning to see how many people are supporting the idea that when women are successful in society, society as a whole becomes more successful.
Sandra Masters is Regina’s first elected woman Mayor. (Stefanie Davis / CTV News Regina)
“The barriers exist, they’re built into the system,” Masters said. “But I’m really encouraged by the number of men who are in positions of power who are looking for women to join their board tables, their senior levels of management in terms of their organization, or promoting and supporting female entrepreneurs.”
INSPIRING FUTURE GENERATIONS
On International Women’s Day, Masters said it’s important to highlight the various roles that women play to inspire the young girls who might hold similar titles in ten or 20 years.
“It’s not lost on me that being a woman politician and being the mayor of the city of Regina, that representation is important,” Masters said. “For young women and girls to see a woman in the role and being granted that role of leadership by the election cycle means something significant to them in terms of the opportunities that lay before them.”
Owning a bridal store, Mayer is able to uplift women every day as they plan for one of the biggest days of their lives. She said that, along with inspiring youth, is what her entire business is all about.
“You want to make sure that everyone sees themselves through kind eyes instead of judgmental eyes,” Mayer said. “I want to be able to show the younger generation that we are here for you, we are helping to pave the way and we hope that you find the courage and the community that we are trying to build.”
At the Regina Police Service, Marshall said interacting with younger girls in the community can often opens their eyes to a whole new line of work.
“To see that representation there, I think [girls] feel that it is really realistic and it’s something they might not have considered before,” Marshall said.
She said being able to mentor and inspire young women as they come up through the force is often just as fulfilling and she’s now getting ready to do that on a more permanent basis.
Marshall and a board of female police officers across the province are creating a non-profit organization called SWIP (Saskatchewan Women in Policing) to help create more leadership representation in women in the province. They will work to build relationships, connections and mentorship to advance more women within the profession in the future.
Prince Philip took a keen interest in Canada, but stayed above politics, former GGs and PM say
When former Canadian prime minister Jean Chrétien met the late Prince Philip for the first time, he told him that for an Englishman, his French was very good.
“He said ‘I’m not English and I’ve spoken French since before you were born,’” Chrétien told the Star Friday, commenting on his many encounters over 50 years with the Duke of Edinburgh.
“He was not dull, let me put it that way,” Chrétien said. “He had some strong views. Sometimes he had to show discipline to not speak up more than he would have wished.”
Philip, born in Greece in 1921 and husband to Queen Elizabeth II for over 73 years, died at the age of 99 on Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said he first met Philip when he was a little boy, described him as “a man of great purpose and conviction, who was motivated by a sense of duty to others.”
Former prime ministers and governors general spoke of a man who understood his role and knew not to get involved in politics, but who was very knowledgeable about Canada and took a keen interest in the country’s success.
“I was always impressed by their knowledge,” Chrétien said of Philip and the Queen, Canada’s head of state.
He said he can recall Philip asking about the prospect of Quebec separating from the rest of the country. “Not in a very political fashion, just in terms of interest. Of course he was interested to not see Canada break up. He would certainly say that to me.”
Statements from former prime ministers Paul Martin and Stephen Harper highlighted Philip’s devotion to the Canadian armed forces and charitable organizations, as well as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, an international self-development program for young people.
Former governors general David Johnston and Michaëlle Jean, through their role as the Queen’s representative in Canada, were also able to get to know Philip more intimately, particularly at the Queen’s Balmoral Castle estate in Scotland.
Jean recalls being “overwhelmed” by all the protocol recommendations ahead of a Balmoral visit with her husband and six-year-old daughter prior to taking office in 2005, only to find Philip and the Queen greeting them at the door, with Philip paying special attention to her daughter.
“The memory I keep of Prince Philip is that of an affable, caring, elegant and warm man,” Jean told the Star, adding he was a man who was very attentive to detail.
She recalled attending a barbecue on the Balmoral estate, just the four of them, and Philip telling her, “Don’t forget to congratulate Her Majesty for her salad dressing, because she made it herself.”
What Jean also saw was a man sometimes hampered by the limitations of his role, like when he talked about one of his favourite topics, the environment.
“He said ‘I do a lot about it, I raise awareness, I take actions…I feel that whatever I do, no one cares,’” Jean recounted. “What I got from that is how lonely he felt…There was a sense of not feeling appreciated in proportion to his contributions, a feeling of being misunderstood.”
Johnston, who succeeded Jean, said Canada’s constitutional monarchy — where the head of state is politically neutral and separate from elected office — is an “important and precious” form of government, and Philip was key to making it work.
Philip showed leadership as a servant, Johnston said, “not taking centre stage, but by ensuring that the Queen and the monarchy were front row and centre.
“He played such an important structural role, and did that with great diligence and commitment. He was selfless in that respect,” Johnston said in an interview.
For Matthew Rowe, who works on the Royal Family’s charitable endeavours in Canada, the Duke of Edinburgh’s political value to Canada was precisely that he was not political — that he, along with the rest of the monarchy, provided a stabilizing force outside of the partisan fray.
“His presence, and the role of Her Majesty and other members of the Royal Family, has been to be able to represent the nation, to represent Canadian interests, and commemorate Canadian achievements without being tied to a particular political ideology or regional faction,” Rowe, who met Philip at a ceremony at Rideau Hall in 2010, said in an interview.
Philip’s role meant he could speak more frankly than the Queen in public, and spoke “quite thoughtfully” about the constitutional monarchy in Canada, said University of Toronto history instructor Carolyn Harris.
At a press conference in Ottawa in 1969, Philip famously said that the monarchy doesn’t exist “in the interests of the monarch…It exists solely in the interest of the people. We don’t come here for our health. We can think of other ways of enjoying ourselves.”
Philip had a good, joking relationship with Johnston’s wife, Sharon. He recounted how the two joined the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral in August 2010, prior to Johnston’s swearing-in later that year.
One evening, they were returning to the castle from a barbecue at a renovated shepherd’s hut on the estate — just the four of them, the Queen driving with Johnston in one land rover, and Philip driving with Sharon in the other ahead of them on narrow, highland roads.
“We were coming home at about 10 p.m., as black as could be, he and Sharon were ahead, kind of weaving, and we could hear these gales of laughter coming out. They were cracking jokes at one another,” Johnston said.
“I had a vision of him going over the edge and down half a mile into the valley, and my first thought is: Do the Queen and I rustle down to rescue them?”
Chrétien said “it must be terrible” for the Queen to now find herself alone after a marriage that lasted for more than 70 years. He noted it’s been almost seven months to the day since he lost his wife, Aline.
“It’s a big change in life but she’s an extremely courageous person and she will face the situation with the strength that she has been able to show to the world for the almost 70 years she’s been queen,” Chrétien said.
After warning, McConnell softens posture on corporations’ taking political stances
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., softened his stance on corporations’ getting involved in politics Wednesday, a day after he warned companies not to weigh in on hot button issues.
“I didn’t say that very artfully yesterday. They’re certainly entitled to be involved in politics. They are,” McConnell told reporters. “My principal complaint is they didn’t read the darn bill.
“They got intimidated into adopting an interpretation … given by the Georgia Democrats in order to help get their way,” he said.
McConnell was referring to a controversial voting law recently passed in Georgia, which came about in the aftermath of former President Donald Trump’s campaign of falsehoods about the election result in the state last fall.
The law led the CEOs of Delta and Coca-Cola — which are based in Atlanta — to condemn the measure. And last week, Major League Baseball pulled this year’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta in protest. The game will, instead, be played in Colorado.
In recent weeks, McConnell has excoriated corporate America for boycotting states over various GOP-led bills. He said Tuesday that it is “stupid” for corporations to take positions on divisive political issues but noted that his criticism did not extend to their donations.
“So my warning, if you will, to corporate America is to stay out of politics,” McConnell said in Louisville, Kentucky. “It’s not what you’re designed for. And don’t be intimidated by the left into taking up causes that put you right in the middle of one of America’s greatest political debates.”
Major League Baseball’s decision drew the most outrage from Republicans, as Trump called for a boycott of baseball and other companies that spoke out against the Georgia law. McConnell said Tuesday that the latest moves are “irritating one hell of a lot of Republican fans.”
McConnell, long a champion of big money in politics, however, noted Tuesday that corporations “have a right to participate in a political process” but said they should do so without alienating “an awful lot of people.”
“I’m not talking about political contributions,” he said. “I’m talking about taking a position on a highly incendiary issue like this and punishing a community or a state because you don’t like a particular law that passed. I just think it’s stupid.”
Source:- NBC News
Facebook Removes 1,000 Fake Accounts Seeking to Sway Global Politics
(Bloomberg) — Facebook Inc. said it removed 14 networks representing more than 1,000 accounts seeking to sway politics around the world, including in Iran and El Salvador, while misleading the public about their identity.
Most of the removed networks were in the early stages of building their audiences, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Tuesday. Facebook’s announcement on Tuesday, part of its monthly reporting on efforts to rid its platforms of fake accounts, represents one of the larger crack downs by the company in recent months.
“We have been growing this program for several years,” said David Agranovich, Facebook’s global threat disruption lead. “I would expect to see this drum beat of take downs to continue.”
In one example, the company removed a network of more than 300 accounts, pages and groups on Facebook and the photo-sharing app Instagram that appear to be run by a years-old troll farm located in Albania and operated by the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq opposition group. The group appeared to target Iran, but also other audiences with content about Iran, according to a report released by Facebook.
The group was most active in 2017, but increased its activity again in the latter half of 2020. It was one of a handful of the influence campaigns that likely used machine learning technologies capable of creating realistic profile photos to the naked eye, Facebook said in the report.
The company also removed 118 accounts, eight pages and 10 Instagram accounts based in Spain and El Salvador for violating the company’s foreign interference policy. The group amplified criticism of Henry Flores, a mayoral candidate in Santa Tecla, El Savador and supportive commentary of his rivals, the company said.
The social media giant also took down a network of 29 Facebook accounts, two pages, one group and 10 Instagram accounts based in Iran that was targeting Israel. The people behind the network posed as locals and posted criticism about Isreali prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Facebook. The company also took down networks based in Argentina, Mexico, Egypt and other nations.
Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said the company has improved its ability to identify inauthentic accounts, but said bad actors continue to change their strategies to avoid Facebook’s detection.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.