The Town of Smithers and the District of Kitimat have been provided a grant for a program to encourage women to run for government.
$10,000 was provided by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Canadian Women in Local Leadership for the Elect Her! Northwest BC campaign.
The program will provide sessions and resources to support women who want to run for office and to help them thrive once elected.
It will be overseen through a steering committee of women currently in elected positions in local and indigenous government.
Through this program the committee will work to normalize the role of women in local government, inspire women to run for office and remove the barriers which can impede women’s participation.
According to a news release, the program will also include those who self-identify as underrepresented women, Indigenous, Black, other racialized women, youth and members of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
“This campaign is about supporting women who may want to run for local government in our communities and about addressing the barriers that could prevent them from doing so. It is also about creating a support network that will ensure they thrive in their elected roles,” said Smithers Mayor Gladys Atrill.
The news release added during the program’s first year, the campaign will offer a support network and resources for women who are already in office.
Public outreach and events will also take place aimed at encouraging diverse women to run for office and for their community to learn how to support them.
The program will cover areas like the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en.