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Women breaking barriers and changing the face of politics in Regina – Global News

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The sound of confetti canons launching colourful paper streamers inside a Regina Atlas Hotel banquet room Monday night was a symbol of history in the making.

It was a small celebration, as mayor-elect Sandra Masters heard the news she will become the first woman elected mayor since Regina became a city more than a century ago.

Read more:
Sandra Masters will be Regina’s first elected female mayor

“I keep saying that I just live my life. I am who I am and when I set my sights on something I go forward and I do it,” Master said in her acceptance speech at city hall on Monday evening.

“You know it doesn’t occur to my (three) sons a woman wouldn’t be a leader. It doesn’t occur to my daughter this isn’t exactly where I shouldn’t be at this time. But the feedback I get from other parents is one of deep appreciation for representation.”

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With nearly half the seats on city council now held by women, incoming Ward 8 councillor Shanon Zachidniak said it’s a welcome change.

“I think it’s past time for us to have more women in elected positions,” Zachidniak said.

“I’d like to see more diversity across the board, cultural diversity, people of diverse backgrounds. I think it’s the beginning of a new trend of better representation on council of the city that we are actually representing and I think that’s positive all the way around.”

But with the city 117 years old, many are asking why it’s taken so long for Regina to see it’s first woman elected mayor.

“It’s one of those things where representation matters and if you don’t see yourself in the leadership of your community you don’t necessarily see yourself as somebody who would want to join,” said policy strategist, Winter Fedyk.

Read more:
‘She Should Run’ event encourages women to get involved in politics

Ahead of the provincial election at the end of October, Fedyk launched the website Women for Saskatchewan on Oct. 1, which provided a platform for women’s voices.

Fedyk said while they are taking a bit of break right now, there is a lot of interest in keeping it going.

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“We wanted to provide a platform for women to have a safe space to put forward some of their ideas and policies in a way that was non-partisan,” Fedyk said.

Meanwhile, when it comes to governing, Fedyk said while women don’t necessarily govern differently than men, women by nature tend to be more collaborative versus competitive.

“If you read about why women don’t run, it’s because the competitive nature of politics has an influence,” Fedyk said.

“So think with that collaborative nature, especially on city council, it will service well particularly in this era that we are in with this public health crisis. I think we need leaders who are willing to talk to other people, to learn and to bridge those gaps.”

With more women elected to power, including America’s first woman vice-president, Kamala Harris, it’s a momentum growing here at home.

Read more:
Hundreds turnout for Regina’s third annual Women’s March

“To keep the momentum going, people actually have to see that it has an impact in terms of how your city, or your province, or your country is governed when you elect a woman,” Fedyk said.

“I’m hopeful that Mayor Masters will take the opportunity to differentiate herself very quickly on that front and put forward some of those ideas, or those policies, or just the way of doing business, that will really demonstrate the value of having a woman mayor. I think that’s what will encourage people in the future to continue to support women in their runs, or run themselves.”

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Even though the dust from the election has barely settled, the eyes of younger generations are watching, as women continue to break barriers and change the face of politics.


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Sandra Masters comments on being first elected female mayor of Regina


Sandra Masters comments on being first elected female mayor of Regina

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Indian movie superstar Rajinikanth to launch political party – CKPGToday.ca

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His political prospects appear bright following a vacuum created by the deaths of Jayaram Jayalalithaa, an actor-turned politician with the governing party in the state, and Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the leader of the opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam party.

Cinema has always influenced Tamil politics by turning actors into popular politicians.

C.N. Annadurai and M. Karunanidhi were scriptwriters who went on to become chief ministers. M.G. Ramachandran, a top actor-turned-politician, also had a strong following.

Born Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, Rajinikanth worked as a bus conductor for three years before joining an acting school. He started in small roles as a villain in Tamil cinema and worked his way up, landing roles in Bollywood, the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai.

Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan also tried his hand in politics as a member of India’s Parliament, representing the Congress party in support of his friend, then-Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, in the 1980s. He resigned after three years following allegations that he accepted bribes in the purchase of artillery guns. His name was later cleared in the scandal.

Ashok Sharma, The Associated Press

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COVID-19 doesn't care about politics – NiagaraFallsReview.ca

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Remember the Team Canada approach to fighting COVID-19, the one where political parties would put the collective fight above partisan interests? Remember “we’re all in this together?”

That was all so yesterday. Today, there is very little non-partisan co-operation between federal parties. And Canadians, too, have become increasingly partisan and divided.

It was probably all inevitable, but it’s unfortunate, nonetheless.

Partisanship has entirely replaced bilateral co-operation in Ottawa. The government stands accused of flubbing Canada’s vaccine program. Because of that mismanagement we are at “the back of the line,” according to federal Conservatives.

It is true that the government, and especially the prime minister, have been unnecessary vague about vaccine delivery and rollout details. It is not true that we are at the back of the pack. Canada was the fourth country in the world to strike an agreement with Pfizer, one of the vaccine producers. It was one of the first to sign up with Moderna, another producer.

Moderna co-founder and chair Noubar Afeyan, who came to Canada as a refugee from Beirut before he moved to the U.S., says this country is in good shape. In an interview with CBC News, he said “Canada’s not at the back of the line,” adding “Each of the contracts we negotiated — and Canada was among the first to enter into a supply arrangement with Moderna — is individual, and of course the people who were willing to move early on, with even less proof of efficacy, have assured the amount of supply they were willing to sign up to. I know in the case of Canada their number is about 20 million doses.”

It is fair to criticize the Liberals for their communication to date around vaccines, but it is not factual to claim Canada is at the back of the line. However, that is a good example of how partisan strategy has replaced the collaboration that was a welcome feature of the pandemic’s early days.

It is also true that Canada will not get vaccines as quickly as countries like the U.S. and U.K., where vaccines were developed and produced. This country doesn’t have that production capacity. It did at one point. There was publicly owned Connaught Labs, which was privatized under the Mulroney Conservative government in the ’80s. Later, the Harper government cut research and development spending and other pharmaceutical companies closed shop and moved elsewhere. Now that capacity is largely gone, and it needs to be replaced, urgently.

A similar partisan divide exists among Canadians overall, according to recent opinion polling data. In general, Liberal and NDP voter respondents in several different polls were more likely to be primarily concerned about the health impact of COVID-19, while those who identified as Conservative were more likely to be concerned about the economic and business impact. According to polling by the Angus Reid Institute, 89 per cent of respondents who voted Liberal, NDP or Bloc reported regularly wearing masks, while 71 per cent of Conservative voters reported doing the same.

Interestingly, one poll by Leger suggests many Canadians are not so concerned about getting the vaccine at the same time as the U.S. or U.K., where vaccines are produced. Forty-eight per cent said that they were “not that concerned” and feel “a few months won’t make much of a difference,” while 37 per cent said they are worried that we won’t get the vaccine at the same time.

The point that matters most is this: COVID-19 doesn’t care about our political leaning. It is an equal opportunity virus. And that should unite us more than anything else.

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SIMPSON: If pettiness of politics around Surrey feels familiar, there's a good reason why – Surrey Now-Leader

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If you had to describe Surrey’s political climate in one word, which would you choose?

Divisive? Too easy.

Defective? Depends on whose side you’re on.

Dysfunctional? You can’t argue with that, can you?

Anybody who follows municipal politics in our area knows that for a journalist, the city council beat can be a particularly juicy one, especially when presented with the right mix of contentious issues and strong personalities.

Stories about certain council members’ inability to deal with disagreements like grown ups are nothing new. Just say the word ‘pencil’ down near White Rock’s City Hall and see what reaction you get.

And over the years, our newsroom has been privy to many tips and tidbits about our elected officials. Some were worthy of publication, while others were… well… definitely not.

Somebody’s sleeping with someone’s husband.

These two are dating.

Somebody’s a home-wrecker.

These two were photographed coming out of a hotel together.

These two were caught making out in the back of a car.

But the gossip isn’t always sexual (although it’s disturbingly common) – so-and-so hit ‘like’ on a Facebook post that made fun of a fellow slate member.

Wait. We actually did that story and I got yelled at for it.

Anyway, you get the point.

OUR VIEW: We expect integrity from leaders

The politics surrounding Surrey has gotten too nasty and too personal – and it can make it difficult to stick to the issues.

In the past few months, we’ve told you about attack ads featuring doctored photos of councillors. We’ve shared full exchanges from chambers that would tell you all you need to know about the pettiness on council.

Name-calling.

Finger-pointing.

Mic-muting.

Fake photos.

Bullying.

Threats.

Enough, already!

OUR VIEW: No time for childish spats, Surrey council

Consider the response we received after we asked a councillor if it’s fair to publish an attack ad if it uses doctored photos and inaccurate quotes.

“I can’t answer that,” was the terrible answer he gave.

Does any of this feel familiar to you? If it does, there’s a good reason why.

Let former U.S. President Barack Obama explain.

“More than anything, I wanted this book to be a way in which people could better understand the world of politics and foreign policy, worlds that feel opaque and inaccessible,” he said in an interview with The Atlantic about his recently released book.

“It’s interesting. You’re in high school and you see all the cliques and bullying and unfairness and superficiality, and you think, Once I’m grown up I won’t have to deal with that anymore. And then you get to the state legislature and you see all the nonsense and stupidity and pettiness.

“And then you get to Congress and then you get to the G20, and at each level you have this expectation that things are going to be more refined, more sophisticated, more thoughtful, rigorous, selfless, and it turns out it’s all still like high school.”

That it does. That it does.

Beau Simpson is editor of the Now-Leader and can be reached at beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com



beau.simpson@surreynowleader.com

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