Episode One – From both sides of the microphone Listen in as two former journalists turned politicians talk about the issues that defined them as female candidates. A frank conversation with the former leader of the Opposition, Danielle Smith and current president of the Progressive Conservative Alberta party, Katherine O’Neill.
Episode Two – Clinging to McClung – Time to let a Canadian icon go? Historian and author Charlotte Gray joined the Broadcast to talk more about her book, The Promise of Canada: 150 Years — People and Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country. In this interview Gray defends her portrayal of Nellie McClung as a note-worthy suffragette, despite some attitudes that would not be considered strongly feminist today.
Episode Three – “No one was listening”: Sandra Jansen on politics, the PC party, and life under two female premiers NDP MLA Sandra Jansen talks about her disaffection with the PC party and her decision to talk openly in the Legislature about being called a “bitch” in politics and being told to “stay in the kitchen.” She tells her story about who approached who before she officially left the PC party for the NDP. Jansen also reflects on her work under two female premiers, the first being Premier Alison Redford. Ironically enough, Jansen was an associate minister charged with tackling online bullying while in the PC caucus under Redford.
Episode Four – Labels we wear: Indigenous Women in Politics City council candidate Miranda Jimmy and NDP MLA Heather Sweet discuss identity in politics as it relates to Indigenous female politicians. Is it important for these women to present their Indigenous identity in their political lives — either for themselves, or for others? How do cultural and gender identity intersect on the political stage for these women? How much does the media’s desire for labels affect their work? Jimmy and Sweet talk honestly about the tricky topics of identity, race, gender, and politics.
Episode Five – “Play the game a little:” How women can break into municipal politics In this episode, we talk about what it will take for more women to run in Alberta municipal elections this fall. Women hold about 26 per cent of elected municipal positions in the province right now — the situation is even more bleak in Edmonton and Calgary, which have one and two female councillors respectively. We talk about “the ask” — the fact that women need to be asked to multiple times before they might put their name on a ballot. We talk about the challenges women face to find the right people to run their campaigns. And we talk about money. At the end of the day, the average amount put into a winning city council campaign in Edmonton is $80,000. How do women access that kind of money? We talk to some super smart women about the logistics, politics, and dynamics of women running for municipal politics and we visited “campaign school” at Edmonton City Hall.
Episode Six – The Game is On: The Future of the PC Party in Alberta On March 18, the PC Party will elect a new leader. With pundits and party insiders predicting a Jason Kenney victory, we ask: what will a united conservative party mean for women in Alberta? Both in terms of their role in a potentially new party and in terms of the policies this new party might adopt. We talked to former PC cabinet minister and life-long PC member, Heather Klimchuk about her life with the party that she loves, the women who have helped shape the party so far, and “the ugly side of politics” that has emerged in the past months. As a self-described progressive within the PC party, Klimchuk says the party has often managed to find a comfortable centre even when confronted with divisive issues that expose the party’s “jagged edges.” Still, Klimchuk is honest about her uncertainty over where progressive women may find themselves in a potential new party headed by Jason Kenney.
Episode Seven – “You’ve got to see yourself at that table:” Four stories of women in politics In this episode, we head to the Metro Cinema where Trish hosted a panel discussion with four female politicians as part of the Edmonton International Women’s Film Festival. There were some familiar faces — NDP MLA Sandra Jansen and former Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman. And some new faces — including Ward 5 city council candidate Miranda Jimmy and Nav Kaur, who ran for Ward 12 in 2016. They talk about the “Ah-Ha!” moment, when they first decided to run for political office. They talk about from where they’ve drawn their inspiration. And they talk about how running for office is often easier when you have a wife behind you.
Episode Eight – “Revenge Porn: Wildrose women weigh in on proposed legislation (and a whole lot more) The Wildrose has introduced Bill 202, legislation that would essentially make it easier for women — and men — to sue for damages if their intimate images are shared online without their permission. The Broadcast sat down with the party’s two female MLAs — Leela Aheer and Angela Pitt — to discuss this bill on “revenge porn” also known as the Protecting Victims of Non-Consensual Distribution of Intimate Images Act.
Along the way, we talked about whether revenge porn is a women’s issue, whether the Wildrose can lead on social issues (which some of their caucus colleagues have called ‘stale’) and whether Alberta needs a Ministry for the Status of Women (Aheer is the shadow minister for that portfolio).
Also, in this episode, we discuss proposed legislation in New Brunswick that would give political parties more money for fielding female candidates. The goal seems like a good one, but we question whether the financial mechanism proposed to make this happen is the right one.
Episode Nine — “Two long years”: Why Katherine O’Neill resigned as PC Party President In this week’s episode, we ask former PC President, Katherine O’Neill, about what really happened inside the PC party after it was nearly wiped off Alberta’s political map in 2015, and why she decided to step down from the party executive, just three weeks after the election of party leader Jason Kenney.
For two years, O’Neill was the “referee” (her words, not ours) of a party seeking to redefine itself. In debt, and decimated by the 2015 provincial election, O’Neill says she did her best to bring the party back together. But it wasn’t always easy.
“It’s been a very long two years,” she told us, admitting that at times she felt her personal safety was at risk — the result of a heated leadership race that brought aggressive commentators to the forefront.
“I’ve been a war reporter in Afghanistan, I’ve had bullets whizz by my head, so I’m not this shrinking violet who gets scared easily. I was very worried about my personal safety, but that’s not why I took a break,” she said.
To hear why she took a break, listen to the full episode.
We also wade into the debate over Charging Bull vs. Fearless Girl, the two statues facing off near Wall Street in New York City. The statues have sparked discussions about art, political movements, women and leadership The sculptor behind the bull, built thirty years ago, is taking offence to the fearless girl, another statue erected shortly after the election of President Donald Trump and commissioned by State Street Global Advisors, a financial firm. We talk about what the fearless girl represents and how politics and art can be a powerful combination.
Plus this interesting analysis by Greg Fallis, writer and photographer, titled “Seriously the guy has a point.”
And finally, here’s a video of ‘Fearless Girl’ coming to life, how she was made.
In this episode, we talk to Carlynn McAneeley, an advisor to Stephanie McLean, Minister for the Status of Women, about the Alberta government’s push to train civil servants in the approach.“We have a small army of public servants thinking about gender inequality — which is kind of unreal to think about from even five to 10 years ago.”
We’re not just talking about “women’s issues,” like child care or mid-wifery…we’re talking about minimum wage, taxes, and laws that regulate helmet use on ATVs. Listen in to hear how a gendered-approach could potentially affect policy in all of those areas.