Ep. 03: Changing the Landscape: Women of Queen's Park




March 29, 2021  40 minutes (audio)



Stephanie: Welcome to the ON Parliament Podcast. I’m Stephanie and I’m here with Erin for a very special episode.



Erin: Hey everyone. Here at ON Parliament, we look at the history and function of Ontario’s parliament.



Stephanie: But today, we are doing something a little different. We are so excited to bring you some special guest interviews in honour of International Women’s Day, which this year, was on March 8th.



Erin: Over the last several weeks, we got to interview three former Members of Provincial Parliament to talk about their experiences as women in politics.



Stephanie: Trust us, you’ll want to stick around for those clips. But first, we want to provide a little bit of context about how the role of women in politics and at Queen’s Park has evolved over time.



Erin: The first time we see mention of women and politics is with the suffrage movement, which began in Ontario in the 1870s, but it took until April 12th, 1917, for some women to officially gain the right to vote in Ontario’s provincial elections.



Stephanie: Two years after that, legislation allowing women to run for provincial office was passed. Although two women ran as candidates in the 1919 provincial election, neither was elected.



Erin: Ontario would actually have to wait another 24 years to see the first woman elected as a Member of Provincial Parliament.



Stephanie: But it wasn’t just one. There were actually two women elected—Agnes Macphail and Ray Luckock were both elected in 1943.



Erin: Although Agnes Macphail and Ray Luckock broke down the barrier for women serving as MPPs, the road ahead wasn’t easy.



Stephanie: It’s true. After Agnes Macphail lost her seat in 1951, Ontario would wait until 1963 for another woman to be sent to Queen’s Park. This time only one was elected, Ada Pritchard. The next time more than one woman would become MPPs in the same year was in 1971, when Margaret Birch and Margaret Scrivener were both elected.



Erin: Fun fact: Margaret Birch also became the first woman named to Cabinet in 1972.



Stephanie: Since the first two women MPPs walked the halls of Queen’s Park, they have played increasingly important roles in Ontario’s parliamentary system; including such roles as Finance Minister, Deputy Premier, Leader of the Official Opposition, and even Premier.



Erin: Today, women make up 39.5% of all of the elected Members in Ontario’s legislature.



Stephanie: Women have certainly come a long way since 1917, from our first two being elected in 1943, to today where we’ve had over 140 women serve in the legislature.



Erin: We wanted to get the inside scoop about what it means to be a woman in parliament and how we can encourage more women to take the leap into politics. So, we spoke with three former MPPs about their experiences at Ontario’s legislature.



Stephanie: We had some great conversations and learned so much from all of our guests and we hope you do too.



Erin: First we spoke with Sharon Murdoch. Sharon Murdoch was the MPP for the riding of Sudbury from 1990 to 1995. During this time, she served as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Labour and introduced many pieces of legislation, including a private member’s bill to make the common loon Ontario’s official bird and a private bill granting Nipissing University, its charter. Sharon was also instrumental in helping to pass the Pay Equity Act, which enabled women, the legal right to equal pay for equal work. Prior to her time in the legislature, she worked as a teacher and principal and then obtained her law degree. After her time as an MPP, she was the Executive Director for the Sudbury and Manitoulin Workforce Planning Board, focusing on labour market analysis and community building. Thank you for joining us, Sharon.



Sharon: Thank you for having me.



Stephanie: To start us off, what were some of your personal experiences that prompted you to pursue a career in politics?



 Sharon: When I went to business school first and then law school, I took courses that were related to legislation. So, it was really interesting. Of course, I got in and I got bitten by the bug. And then finally, I think after, when I chose not to practise law, but to work as a constituency assistant to two MPPs, I did that before I ran myself.


[00:04:22] And the, and that really, if I wasn’t, if I wasn’t bitten by the bug, by then, I certainly was. I got involved in the riding association and that really got me off. And then I went to Toronto for training on how to run an election. When the Party said, you know, with your background, teaching law business, why aren’t you running as a candidate? And I said, well I never thought of it. So, and I hadn’t, I mean, I always thought I would be working for, to get somebody else elected. So anyways, so I checked with the riding president and, did it, cause I didn’t want to step on any toes shall we say? And yeah, so I, and then I ran and I lost in, that was in 87. I ran and then in 90 I won.



Erin: So, during your time as an MPP, are there any pieces of legislation that you got to work on that you’re proud of?



Sharon: So, the Avian Emblem Act was definitely one that I really was proud of. And actually, Matthew Conroy, okay, who in grade six, won the award for choosing the loon as the avian emblem. And in fact, the Minister came up to Sudbury and he took Matthew on a helicopter flight. And he gave him a big, beautiful painting done by an Ontario artist of a loon as his prize. And Matthew, when I was elected was 17 years old. And what had happened was the Liberals prorogued the House and … and Matthew’s bill didn’t not, did not come up. So, he lost. So that was gone. It was gone off the table. Okay. So, one of the Members for the Conservatives brought forward the Avian Emblem Act again, and there was a big discussion about whether it should be the loon, or whether it should be the blue jay. And … and because, it had already been basically decided that Matthew should get the honours. They tried to bring it forward again and it too, prorogued without passing in the Legislature. So poor Matthew every time had to come up, and he’s a Sudbury resident. I talked to him and his mother and father, of course. I said, I promised them, I brought them down to Toronto. We did first reading. We did second reading. Matthew was there. We took a picture in front of the legislative doors because we couldn’t get inside taking picture. But anyway, and … and we took it and I promised him over lunch that day that it would get passed. Come hell or high water. My caucus House Leader negotiated with the Liberals and the Conservatives to get certain bills passed as you know, how it goes at the end of the session. And my bill was not on the list. So, I was really ticked off. And I just thought: No, you’re not doing this again to this poor kid he’s 17 years old and I had brought them down again to be there for when they got third reading and so we could cheer, and get all excited. And so, I went around all my caucus members and I said, we have to, so we pounded on the desks. They must have just loved me, but anyway, so it was passed. Third reading was passed. So yes, that bill in particular.



Erin: Huh, even though I talk about how bills become laws all the time, I always forget how long the process can be sometimes. And how challenging too.



Stephanie: Speaking of challenges. Were there times you experienced challenges in politics specifically because you were a woman? And if you did, how did you overcome them?



Sharon: Like I wore, okay. I was one of the first women in the legislature to wear pantsuits.



Stephanie: Oh!



Sharon: Yes, because women didn’t wear pantsuits and I always wore pantsuits, so it’d never entered my head that it was an issue until I wore one. And I remember, one of the Members, I mean, you know, look me from, and I’m only five feet tall. Okay? So, he looked me up and down, you know, just so disdainfully and, and said: “it’s really quite refreshing,” so sarcastic, “it’s really quite refreshing to see, how casual attire is being seen in the Legislature.”



Erin: Casual attire. Wow.



Sharon: Yes. So, I, I looked at him and I… I … like I was so stunned. I really, I just looked at him and I thought, you know, boy, it’s a sad state of affairs when you think pantsuit. And I said, “well, are you comfortable in your pants? So am I.” Yeah, actually that was why I didn’t really wear, the pantsuits until we did midnight sittings in the first year. And I thought I am not sitting, for 12 hours, I mean, I am sorry guys, but I’m sitting, you know, with a skirt on like, I was not into skirts that much anyway, but yeah. So, yeah, so that was some of the things. I, a couple of times, thought in, when I went out on the road for workers’ compensation, I did get some questions as to how much I knew. But that was easily resolved because, I knew a lot and I have a great memory and I read prodigiously. So, I, and I haven’t changed. I’m still that way even though I’m 74 now. So, yeah, that’s it. Really, I didn’t … no one was blatant about it. Let’s put it that way.



Stephanie: It kind of gets us thinking, what do you think are some of the barriers that are preventing more women from getting involved in politics?



Sharon: Yes. All right. I have a few thoughts on that.



Stephanie: Excellent.



Sharon: As surprise, surprise. Well, okay. Family is a big barrier for women. So family, especially, yeah. And more, more that than almost anything else. I mean, cause women are workaholics for the most part. And we were, I mean, you know, you looked at some of our women that we did not know the meaning of not work. I, you know, like. The guys would go out and party in the bar and we would sit there and I’m like, we very seldom most of the women didn’t. I mean, in all the years, I was there four and a half years. I went to Eaton’s once because my sister needed something that she couldn’t get in Sudbury, but it was, it was available at the Eaton’s store. I went to one ball game. I’d never been to a Blue Jays’ game, so I saw them and they won the pennant that year.



Erin: Oh yeah.



Sharon: And yes, they did. And, and I went to one ballet. So, we know we booked it weeks and weeks in advance because that was the thing, you could, you know, like you, you really, there, you were at so many meetings that you just, when you did get a night off, you really, went home and relaxed in a bathtub. You know what I mean? So, yeah. So, in four and a half years, those were my three outings. Yeah, that’s really, I would say there’s probably other barriers, but that one is the biggest one. More than more than anything else. It’s not lack of knowledge or lack of ability or any of that. Those… It may be your self-confidence levels might need to be … because women tend to question themselves more frequently than men do. I don’t know.



Erin: What do you hope to see in regards to women’s involvement in politics going forward? And are there any things that you think that we can do to get there?



Sharon: Yes, I do.



Erin: Perfect.



Sharon: Surprise! First of all, I think that we should be starting civics classes every year as required from grade 7 to 12. It just, they need to have more of an understanding of how politics is important and, or sorry, how civics is important and how it affects their daily lives. Kids need to know that, like, I don’t think they realize, well, no, I don’t think that, they don’t realize that and adults too, you know, but if we start early enough, we can get them so that when they’re adults, which may be long-term thinking, but that’s another thing women do really well, that they will know what politics means and why their vote is important. So that’s number one. I think too, that women should get involved in their local riding association, which, uh, whatever politics they’re of. Because that’s how they’re going to become part of the group that, you know, and they can start thinking early, about whether or not they want to run. Good idea to run for local institutions, be in school board or, you know, just regular groups. I think that, you know, if it’s health or politics or municipal politics or school boards or whatever, that if you get involved or even if it’s your kids, a hockey team, I mean, becoming part of, you know knowing what children’s sports are all about, you get, become develop some expertise in a certain area and, and then get known by local media. I firmly believe, I was really good at this, whatever you decide, you’re going to be the expert on, or have knowledge, good knowledge or be a go-to person for that you make sure that you send a notice to the media of who you are, what you’re doing, make sure that they know you’re the go-to person for that. And you get known by the media. So, I think that’s really, really important. And, um, Yeah.



Stephanie: Wow. What an interesting life and an interesting time as an MPP. We loved chatting with Sharon, but we also had a chance to speak with Janet Ecker. Janet Ecker was the MPP for the riding of Pickering-Ajax-Uxbridge from 1995 to 2003. During this time, she served in many Cabinet roles, including Minister of Finance, Minister of Education, Minister of Community and Social Services, as well as Government House Leader. As Minister of Finance, she was the first woman to present a Budget in Ontario’s Legislature. Before entering politics, Janet was the Director of Policy for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. After her time as an MPP, she served as President and CEO of the Toronto Financial Services Alliance. She is also one of the founders of Equal Voice, a national, multi-partisan organization working to elect more women. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2016. Thank you so much for joining us, Janet.



Janet: Very pleased to be here.



Stephanie: We are really excited to be doing this special episode in honour of International Women’s Day. And we’ve been really enjoying our time doing these interviews and we want to dive right in. So, what were some of your personal experiences that really prompted you to pursue a career in politics?



Janet: Well, I actually started off my career as a journalist, for a very, very, very brief time. Then I had an opportunity to come and work for the Ontario government, and it seemed to be a kind of an exciting thing to do. So, I really, really enjoyed it. Left government, had done a number of different jobs. And, but was always not too far away from politics. I found I enjoyed it. I, you know, volunteered, worked for a lot of candidates and in my riding or around, and really liked it. So, I never thought I would run. Absolutely never thought I would run. And apparently, I’m the only person who knew that I wasn’t going to run. Everybody else was sure I was going to run. And after six months when the riding came to me actually, for the 1990 Election, they approached me and said what I want to be a candidate. And it was not a good time, personally, for me. I had, was relatively new, in, in a particular job, my husband and I had bought a house. We had a big mortgage and all of that. So, um, but I knew they’d come back. Probably. And you know, and they did in ’95. So, after six months, of arguing with myself about whether I should, or I shouldn’t my husband and I were sitting at our little local, little local pub one Sunday afternoon. And I looked up at him and said, very brightly, you know, “dear, I’m going to run, I’m going to do it.” And he sort of looked at me and said, “of course, you are dear.” But I’m very glad I made the decision. I also too, was in a position, as a woman, where I could run, many women who maybe want to either don’t get the chance or not able to because of personal circumstances. So, I felt that I should, I should do it. But also, too finally, I think a lot of it was just, I wanted to see if I could. To see if I could do it. I mean, having been involved, having given advice to politicians over the years, et cetera, there was a part of me that just wanted to see if I was as, you know, terrific, as I thought I was. As I say, the rest is history.



Stephanie: You spoke about how you spent so much time, in Government, not as an Elected Official, but on the back end. Was it a culture shock to kind of go from being behind the scenes, to then in front of the scenes especially as a Minister in multiple Ministries?



Janet: Yes and no. The good news is that I knew what I didn’t know, which is always helpful. No matter what job you go into, you gotta know what you don’t know. So, I was a familiar with a lot of it, but it is still very different when you’re, if I can put it this way, the focal point, you’re the elected official and just as an anecdote. In the campaign, so I, I had, uh, you know, was a candidate and the Party was doing one of those big events with the … the turned out to be the Premier, the Party Leader at the time where, you know, you bring in all the candidates, you know, just to show what a great team you have. And of course, having worked for many politicians, before, you know, when you walked in the room and of course there’s all these cameras and everything. So, I immediately started ducking out of camera range, right. Because, Hey, I’m a staffer, you know, you’re not supposed to go. And I can remember one of the events guys, the organization guys on the … the event, so laughing and grabbing me by the arm and pulling me into the mainstream, say, Hey, Ecker you can’t get out of it now. So, it is a different, a different role, a different perspective. And I think that’s one of the things that’s really important, not only in politics, but in any new job you take. And as somebody had said to me, luckily, very many years ago, he said, you know, Janet, he said, everything you did before today, got you this job. But after today, it’s day one. So, you know, you can’t rest on your laurels. It’s a new day you need new skills a new way, potentially that you’ve got to learn. You’ve got to know what you don’t know. So luckily, I knew I needed to adjust and for me it was very good that I didn’t get into Cabinet the first year. I mean, while on the one hand, I know I was on the sort of the list as a potential. Um, and while for about 30 seconds, I got phone call from him friend who said, Hey, you know that you’re, you’re not going to be in Cabinet this time, you know, there’s a momentary disappointment, but a little voice in the back of my head said, you know, this is good because I spent that first year, just trying to learn how to be an MPP, a politician, how to establish myself with, you know, my riding, because you need to build the team and your riding. I mean, luckily, I had some great people out here in, in this area. But it, it takes time and you need to learn it. And so, I had that opportunity for that first year to learn how to be an elected official, which was a good grounding. So then when you ended up being an actual Cabinet Minister, hopefully you won’t put your foot in your mouth as often as can happen with a rookie Cabinet Minister.



Erin: And I know one of the parts of the bio was about how you were the first woman to introduce the Budget. That must have been a pretty momentous occasion, I would assume just as like on a personal level.



Janet: Yeah, it was actually, and it was funny because we hadn’t really thought about it. At the time. I mean, it was just, it was just going to be my first Budget. I had the privilege of, of delivering two Budgets to the Legislature. But, um, and you know, we got into it and something, I don’t know, I can’t remember who actually sort of figured it out, but, and I had actually, the previous, the first woman to be in the spot, it was in those days, it was Treasurer, was Dr. Bette Stephenson. So, she was actually appointed, but it was a minority government. They only lasted about two or three months. So, she never got to actually do the whole financial cycle. So yeah, so it turned out I was the first woman to actually deliver a Budget in the Legislature. I was also the second Finance Minister from the town I grew up in Exeter, Ontario. Which, uh, so there’s not very many small towns in Ontario that can boast two Finance Ministers. And, what I did was I actually quoted, it was Charles McNaughton. So, I actually quoted from Charlie’s first Budget that he had delivered in my Budget, when I, then I invited his family to come sit in the gallery as my guest. And so it was, it was kind of a special moment kind of fun. And so, you kind of enjoyed it a little bit.



Erin: You speak so fondly of your time at Queen’s Park. So, thinking of other women who may be considering making the leap into politics, what advice would you give them?



Janet: First of all, I’d tell them to do it. But secondly, I’d say think like think through your life plan. I mean, you know, sometimes when people are, you know, 22 and again, we’ve had some very successful politicians who ended up winning a riding in their early twenties, and you know, and, and did very well. But I think if you, you know, so. We have an opportunity. I mean, you take it, you run with it. But I think if you’re thinking about running, I think you need to sort of set yourself up a little bit. And, and think about the career experience you might want to have the skill sets you might want to develop the things you might want to learn. Before, cause you, and again, life experience is helpful in politics. Again, as I said, people have different experiences, different perspectives, but having experience having, you know, done things in your life, and again, it doesn’t all have to be, I mean, it used to be, it was mostly lawyers, you know, who ran for office and whatever. Um, you know, you don’t have to, it doesn’t have to be a cookie cutter. But having a career experience of some kind or a work some resume that you did, some things, before you step into the political arena is a good thing because when you leave politics, unfortunately, there’s a lot of individuals out there, employers who don’t necessarily appreciate what good experience with elected experience can mean, you know, what is the skill set? They don’t necessarily recognize it. So sometimes when you’re, and when you’re sort of moving back into civilian life, as it were, you need to fall back on some of that previous work experience. So, think through plan it a little bit, and why and why you want to run because the funny thing about it, I more candidates for office candidates to run for leader of a party frequently struggle with being able to articulate why. They like, they want to do it and they’re well motivated to do it. But when you ask them that question, okay, so what do you want to run for? You know, or what are the two or three things you’re going to do? It’s sometimes a challenge for people to answer that question. So yeah. Why do you want to do it? I was very lucky to have actually ended up in Government, in Cabinet, in portfolios where I could actually make a difference and, and like to think I did make a difference. So yeah, it’s a great chapter in life and I highly recommend it to, to others of whatever gender or political persuasion they may be.



Erin: Well, what do you hope to see in regards to more women’s involvement in politics in the future? Are you sort of hopeful for that?



Janet: Yeah, I, I want to, I want it, I want us to get to the stage where we stop talking about getting, I mean, when I first started working late seventies, early eighties or whatever, it was all about power dressing for women. And how could we go up the corporate ladder? And it was like, you know, and I’m sitting here in 2021, and I’m thinking, when are we going to stop talking about it? When is it just going to be there and done? And in many ways, we are making great progress. I think we can, we, you know, we, we, shouldn’t not, you know, we shouldn’t ignore that.



Stephanie: Do you think that we’ll get to that point where we’ll get to a point where we, we don’t talk about getting more women involved in politics anymore?



Janet: I hope so. I mean, that’ll be that to me, that’ll be the definition of success.



Stephanie: Who would’ve thought that we would get to speak to the first woman Finance Minister to deliver a Budget in Ontario. That is a pretty cool accomplishment to have. Our final interview was with Mary Anne Chambers. Mary Anne Chambers was the MPP for the riding of Scarborough East from 2003 to 2007. She also served as the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Minister of Children and Youth Services, while at Queen’s Park. Her other notable roles include Senior Vice-President at Scotiabank, Chair of the Board of the United Way of Canada, Vice Chair of the Governing Council of the University of Toronto, President of the Canadian Club of Toronto, Governor of the Air Cadet League of Canada, to name just a few. She is currently a Governor for Canada’s International Development Research Centre, a Senior Fellow at York University’s Glendon School of Public and International Affairs and a Member of the External Advisory Board for the University of Guelph’s Institute of Development Studies. She has been awarded many prestigious honours, including being named to the Order of Ontario in 2015 and is a recipient of the Governor General of Canada’s Meritorious Service Medal. Thank you so much for joining us, Mary Anne.



Mary Anne: Thank you Stephanie, for having me.



Erin: In the bio, we mentioned that you were Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities and Children and Youth Services. Did you have any say in choosing those portfolios?



Mary Anne: Erin, well, that’s such a wonderful question. I’ll tell you why I think that’s such a wonderful question because you know, there have been, more so at the Federal level, incidents that suggest that individuals should be able to choose the portfolios that they have. Well, that would be a little chaotic as far as I’m concerned.



Erin: Maybe.



Mary Anne: So, the answer is no.



Erin: Okay.



Mary Anne: I think I got Training, Colleges and Universities, because of my, my volunteer experience prior to going into Government, you know, with the University of Toronto specifically. I loved the portfolio. I was thrilled when I, when I was, appointed to Cabinet and given that portfolio. It felt like it was made for me. So, when a year and a half later I was called in by the Premier and told that I was being moved to Children and Youth Services, I was devastated. But I smiled. And when I went home and told my husband what the portfolio involved, he said, the Premier knows you better than you think he does. And it took me no time whatsoever to fall in love with Children and Youth Services. So, my, my, you know, my two portfolios were really made for me. And as much as I really didn’t like the political side of holding political office, I loved my portfolios and I, and I really still miss the public policy.



Stephanie: So, were there times when you may have experienced challenges in your role as an MPP or as a Minister specifically because you were a woman?



Mary Anne: I can’t think of any challenges that I experienced as an MPP that I would attribute to my gender but maybe that has something to do with the fact that, I came from an industry where I had become very, very successful. But in, in, in looking at the context of that industry, 75% of employees in, in banking were female yet when I was a Vice President and subsequently a Senior Vice President, I could count on my 10 fingers, the number of women I knew and, you know, in those positions. I, you know, growing up in that industry, if you like, I had had many experiences where I’d be the only woman in the meeting or when the chair of the, the, the meeting would come in and say, “good morning, gentlemen.” And I would say, “Hi!” Or to start with, “how was your weekend, gentlemen?” And I would say “I had a good weekend too,” you know, so, you know, between that and all of the other things that could possibly have defined me as different, maybe, maybe I just was a lot more resilient in that regard.



Erin: In your experience, what do you think are some of the benefits of having more women involved in politics or in the political process in general?



Mary Anne: My time in political office taught me the importance of consultation. I’ve learned that the process can be at least as important as the outcome. It also became very obvious to me that to secure the buy-in, of as many people as possible for decisions that would affect their lives, was critical to the success of any policy. And in fact, was good politics. I really didn’t learn the importance of process versus outcome in the world of business. Although, even in the world of business, I knew intuitively that women’s opinions just like men’s should be valued. Women are stakeholders. As consumers, we have opinions and preferences. We are caregivers and educators. We run households. We juggle family priorities. We make budgets work. Women are well-educated. We hold professional roles. We are decision makers. In the world of politics, women vote. So why shouldn’t we also participate in the legislative process and in public policy making?



Stephanie: When you spoke about your time in the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, do you think that having a man in that portfolio or you being a woman in that portfolio changed how you looked at the policy in any way?



Mary Anne: So, do you know, I think maybe you have hit the nail on the head, that in, in a way that, that I would say not, not just the existence of a sensitivity, but a willingness to recognize that it’s okay to care about some things. It’s I’ll give you an example of that. One evening, I had dinner with at an organization and it was with young people who are transitioning out of the child protection system. I went there, they had prepared dinner and we sat there and just chatted. I was scheduled to meet with a group of foster home operators a couple of days later. So, I said to these young people, what do you want me to say to them? And they said, well, we want you to ask them to treat us the same way they treat their biological children. I want you to ask them not to expect us to ask for permission if we want something from the refrigerator. I want to ask them not to impose curfews on us that they wouldn’t impose on their biological children. And they went on with a number of these, each one just, you know, broke my heart a little bit more. And then one young woman said, but don’t forget to thank them for being there for us. And she said, you know, I don’t know what I would have done without my foster parents. And yet I still look forward to meeting my biological mother. And my own mother had passed away just weeks before that. That was a breakdown point for me. I cried. And they were, so these young men and young women who had been through so much that I had never, ever, ever experienced in my life. Came and hugged me and sympathized and wanted me to tell them about my mother. I… I… I might be wrong, but I can’t imagine a man breaking down and crying even if that was how he felt inside. I guess in that way, there might be some differences in our expectations of different genders and not necessarily how they feel, but how they’re expected to portray themselves.



Erin: Looking forward, what do you hope to see regarding women’s involvement in politics?



Mary Anne: Well, I certainly, I certainly hope to see more women being involved in politics. I think we will get there by proactively identifying and encouraging and supporting women who we believe would serve the public good. Serving the public good is how political philosophers define politics. And, and I am also well aware of the importance of advocacy. I learned a lot from people who were involved in politics, but did not hold political office. A lot of those people are women. These are people who helped me to understand the issues they needed Government to care about. I admired and felt privileged to be able to learn from them. And perhaps that is also a source of potential source of people who could serve in political office. When the time in their, in their particular life cycle makes it work for them.



Stephanie: Those were really fun interviews. I’m so glad we got the opportunity to speak with these amazing women. They had such good stories and some fantastic advice.



Erin: We want to sincerely thank Sharon, Janet and Mary Anne for participating in this special podcast episode. It was great to hear directly from women who have experienced parliament firsthand.



Stephanie: Though, I did kind of miss our fun facts.



Erin: I mean, we did manage to squeeze in one, but we’ll definitely make up for it next episode, with lots more fun facts.



Stephanie: Absolutely. Join us next time, as we explore the architectural history of Queen’s Park from construction to the present day, the legislative building is a fascinating subject for an in-depth architectural exploration.



Erin: I can’t wait!



Stephanie: Thanks everyone for listening to ON Parliament where we spread the word on parliament.



Erin: Got to go. I think I hear the bells.



Stephanie: The ON Parliament podcast is produced by Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.



Erin: Social media by Parliamentary Protocol and Public Relations for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.



Stephanie: Additional research provided by the Table Research Office for the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.



Erin: Thanks for listening. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please support the podcast by sharing it with others and subscribing.



Stephanie: For more fun facts about Ontario’s parliament, follow us on Twitter (external link) and Instagram (external link): @onparleducation. Et en français sur Twitter (external link): @parloneducation.



Erin: Thanks again, and see you next time.