Emily McIntosh - Bill 5 - Women of Ontario Say No
I first heard about the Women of Ontario Say No campaign on Instagram. One of the campaign’s posts was shared by a number of female municipal council members that I follow.
It’s a growing grassroots advocacy effort to address the gap in a provincial accountability structure for municipally elected officials. Multiple Ontario municipalities have learned the hard way about the lack of tools in the Municipal Act for holding councillors accountable for workplace harassment. Currently the most severe penalty that can be imposed on a municipal councillor is suspension of pay for 90 days-even in the worst cases. There is no process for removing councillors from office and they can even seek re-election. (Some of them have)
Bill 5 addresses this by amending the Municipal Act & City of Toronto Act. The legislation would ensure elected officials are 1) held to their municipality's violence and harassment in the workplace policies 2) permit the Integrity Commissioner to apply to the court to vacate the councillor’s seat for failing to comply with the municipality's workplace violence or harassment policies and 3) restrict subsequent re-election.
Emily McIntosh is at the heard of this campaign
Born and raised in Simcoe County, Emily has a longstanding interest in politics, human rights, and immigration and refugee policy. With international development experience in East Africa and Central Asia, Emily knows first-hand that the rights of women in Canada are never something to be taken for granted. Emily spearheaded this advocacy when her own hometown, Barrie, ON was directly affected. A municipal councillor ran for Mayor in the most recent election while in civil ligation for sexual harassment of a city employee.
Emily is passionate about advocating, protecting and strengthening the rights of all people, but particularly women- recognizing that the barriers to dismantling the longstanding patriarchal foundations of our current political environment make it challenging to speak out. That’s why she is using her voice and privilege to bring this Bill to the Ontario legislature.
The Women of Ontario Say No website