Honestly, there’s something incredibly depressing about the suggestion the city develop a bureau to increase the representation of women at the city – depressing on a number of levels.
In fact, it’s both depressing and shocking that after all this time, some believe we need to incorporate a government body to deal with this. And it’s worrisome of course to see the potential for our taxpayer dollars used to address the situation.
Don’t get me wrong. There is a problem at city hall. And thankfully, Gloucester-Southgate Coun. Diane Deans is attempting to address it. Deans has always been a strong voice for women, never wavering in demanding women get the fair shake they deserve. Thank goodness for that.
At last Wednesday’s council meeting, Deans suggested the city was “not women-friendly.” That’s obvious for anyone who follows city hall. And as such, she filed a notice of motion calling for the city to create a women’s bureau at city hall and consider gender balance in municipal government decisions.
“You feel the momentum building in the last few years and then there’s city hall,” Deans said. “If we don’t move ahead, we fall behind.”
Absolutely and sadly true, of course.
Deans said that she wanted the city’s support to have the mayor and staff consider a women’s bureau and a women’s liaison position . To put it in context, Deans called for the city changes following the release of the federal Liberals budget.
But like some others, I bristle at the thought of creating a bureaucracy that would hog our city dollars. I see the need, not sure about the solution. And frankly, like many others, I’m incredibly frustrated we’re still dealing with this issue. And I fear setting up a bureaucracy, even a small bureau, will just bog us all down instead of moving us ahead.
Not surprisingly, Mayor Jim Watson doesn’t like Deans’ ideas.
Can you remember the last time Watson liked anything Deans had to say?
Watson was quick to suggest that he had all sort of ideas for making women more equal at city hall. He added that if he is re-elected in the fall, he’d like to make sure all city advisory boards and commissions are gender balanced. Really? Not a lot of power there.
If Watson believed in equality, why aren’t the four women on council in more leadership roles? Why aren’t the advisory boards already equally represented? Why aren’t there more women at the senior staff level? Just take a look around the horseshoe at city hall and see where the real power rests at city hall.
It’s with men.
If there was any real concern from our mayor, why has he only made suggestions to improve the situation after his nemesis, aka Deans, raised the issue? Was he saving this little nugget to form part of his election platform? Sure, Mr. Mayor, let equality wait!
Change starts at the top.
Watson has never shown any desire to change the status of women at city hall
So let’s put Deans in as the women’s liaison and insist Watson recognize it’s 2018.