CEO Statement on the 2018 Ontario Election Results
On June 7, Ontarians voted for a majority Progressive Conservative government, elected with 76 seats in the Ontario Legislature. The New Democratic Party will be the Official Opposition with 40 seats. The Liberal Party has seven seats and Green Party leader, Mike Schreiner, won the party's first ever seat.
This election was an opportunity for all parties to put gender equity front and centre. Regrettably, to date the Premier-Designate has failed to release a plan to achieve gender equity. His party refused to answer an election survey on gender-based violence and failed to send a representative to our Election Town Hall focused on gender equity. This failure to do so is not only a missed opportunity, but reflects a short-sighted approach to public policy and disrespect for the interests of the women and children of this province.
YWCA Toronto's focus, as the city's largest women's organization, is first and foremost to continue providing direct services and tackling systemic issues to help women escape violence, move out of poverty, and access safe, affordable housing. However, we cannot do it alone; your support is critical to how we move forward.
In response to community pressure important gains were made by the previous government, notably the gender-based violence action plan; and the increased minimum wage, which disproportionately benefits racialized, Indigenous and newcomer women. We need to protect these hard-fought victories.
Ontario also has serious challenges ahead: gender-based violence services are chronically underfunded, child care fees are amongst the highest in Canada, and over 185,000 households are waiting for social housing - many of them women-led families. We need to stand together and push for action.
YWCA has existed for more than 145 years through almost every iteration and political persuasion of government. Starting today, our work begins to hold this new government to account and ensure that issues of gender equity are at the forefront in the months and years ahead. There is a lot of work to do so let's do it together - donate today and stand with us in the movement to better the lives of women and girls in Toronto.
CEO, YWCA Toronto