London MPPs launch local Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities Recognition Program
LONDON — The city’s three London MPPs — Teresa Armstrong (London-Fanshawe), Terence Kernaghan (London North Centre) and Peggy Sattler (London West) — held a media conference Friday, International Women’s Day, to announce the launch of this year’s London-area Leading Women, Leading Girls Building Communities recognition program.
Although the government has decided to cancel the program at the provincial level, London MPPs Armstrong, Kernaghan and Sattler have taken the initiative to continue it locally, honouring London-area women and girls who have shown exceptional leadership.
“On International Women’s Day, we’re standing up to recognize the leadership, success and impact of women and girls in London,” Sattler said. “We’re disappointed by the government’s decision to discontinue the Leading Women, Leading Girls program. We’re further dismayed by the $47-million cut to rape crisis centres, cuts to the Ontario College of Midwives, halting implementation of the Pay Transparency Act and removing mentions of consent and gender identity from Ontario’s elementary sex-ed curriculum — changes that disproportionately harm women-identified and gender-queer students.”
Leading Women, Leading Girls celebrates the vital societal contributions of those who identify as women and girls, culminating in a community-wide awards ceremony.
“Ontarians and Londoners deserve to live in a province where women, trans and non-binary folks are free from gender-based harassment, where women are paid a fair and equal wage,” Kernaghan said. “We will work hard to ensure women are represented at every level of government, and to build a province where one’s gender doesn’t serve as a barrier to accessing opportunities.”
Friday’s event kicks off the Leading Women, Leading Girls nomination period, which will run until Friday, April 5. Winners will be presented awards at a ceremony held Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. at London’s Goodwill Centre, at 255 Horton St. E.
“The Leading Women, Leading Girls program is vital, as it promotes a future of equality and justice,” Armstrong said. “The government is intent on dragging this province backwards where gender parity is concerned. We will fight to ensure Ontarians and London’s women and girls are celebrated, represented and given equal opportunity to thrive.”