Women in politics – facts and figures

This entry was originally published on the Niagara Next blog on November 6, 2015, and can be found here.


So after I mentioned that only 20% of Niagara’s current municipal politicians were women, someone inquired whether that figure had gone up or down since the last election. Also, in my interviews with Debbie Zimmerman and Laura Ip, both mentioned the need for more women to run as candidates in municipal elections. (As I have more time for further research, I will be updating this page.) Continue reading “Women in politics – facts and figures”

“You have a right to be here.”

Debbie Zimmerman speaking at WINspirational Women. Photo credit: Renate Hodges.
She spoke these words a few times over the course of the evening and – most powerfully – she ended on them. “You have a right to be here.”

Debbie Zimmerman, CEO of Grape Growers of Ontario and long-time local politician was speaking to a room full of women (and a few men) at Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce‘s Women in Niagara (WIN) Council event: WINspirational Women. I had the additional pleasure of sitting beside Debbie’s mother, Pearle Roy, and chatting with her about how strong all of her daughters are. Continue reading ““You have a right to be here.””

Women in Politics – Interviews with Laura Ip and Debbie Zimmerman

This was originally published on the Niagara Next blog and can be found here on November 2, 2015.


Following my post about Mishka Balsom’s treatment by Regional Councillors, I received a lot of shock both at the decorum of Regional Councillors and the lack of women on Regional Council (only 4 women out of 31 positions.) Many, myself include, believe there’s a connection between these two issues. Continue reading “Women in Politics – Interviews with Laura Ip and Debbie Zimmerman”

Creating an environment that engages women

This was originally written by me and published on another blog on January 6, 2015. Given some of the posts I have planned and some other projects that are in the works, it is relevant to revisit it.


Over the last six months or so, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know some of the members of the local JCI branch. Just before the holidays, I received an invitation to speak to JCI St. Catharines about creating an environment that engages women. Continue reading “Creating an environment that engages women”

How we differ

In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s election, I’ve had many discussions about the ways in which Canada and the United States differ. At a fundamental level, our values appear to be different.

It is a difference between valuing the individual and valuing the community.

There’s been a great deal of criticism directed at “lefties” and “lieberals” who just can’t take a loss; who are “crybabies” taking to the street to throw their “temper tantrum;” who label everyone who voted for Trump as racists and bigots. That last point is the one we hear the most about. People who voted for a racist and a bigot are upset that they’re being called racists and bigots themselves. Continue reading “How we differ”

The brute, brute heart of a brute like Trump

E. Stanley guest blogs about Donald Trump’s win and his thoughts and feelings about what this means for the United States and the rest of us.
*blog title borrowed from Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy.”

Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential race, and we all lost – even those who supported him. I watched the results on election night like millions of others, hoping Clinton would take Florida early so I could go to bed. Instead, the act of national self-mutilation was dragged on until after two o’clock in the morning when I finally retired, emotionally exhausted and numbed by whiskey, and woke up the next day to find that America had elected a fascist pig to the highest office in the country. Continue reading “The brute, brute heart of a brute like Trump”

The new President

Karen M. guest blogs to share her thoughts and feelings about what’s just happened south of our Canadian border.

On Wednesday, November 9, I woke up and was immediately shrouded in a feeling of immense doom. And sadness. It was when I realized that it wasn’t a bad dream, that Donald Trump had actually been elected President of the United States. The unthinkable had become reality. Continue reading “The new President”

Dear Americans

This morning, I woke up feeling sick to my stomach. I didn’t eat; couldn’t fathom eating anything until quite late in the day. I was certain that if I tried to eat something, I would absolutely vomit. I have been walking around all day stunned and mostly silent after last night’s American election.

Yes, I’m a Canadian. Yes, that means I didn’t vote in this election. Yes, that means many Americans think I should mind my own business. Continue reading “Dear Americans”