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Women in House 2009 Coordinators: Etana Cain & Eszter Sipos. Quick Facts About Women in House. The program was created in 2001 by McGill students Galit Dobner and Chi Nguyen

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Quick Facts About Women in House

  • The program was created in 2001 by McGill students Galit Dobner and Chi Nguyen
  • The primary objective of the program is to educate young female students about the possibility of pursing a career in politics
  • WIH is a non partisan program
  • WIH is a fully subsidized program, thanks to generous financial support from the McGill Community
  • The program has an excellent reputation on Parliament Hill and in the McGill community.

WIH 2009: Participating Members of Parliament and Senators

Participating MPs

Carole Freeman

Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac

Meili Faille

Nicole Demers

Candice Hoeppner

Dona Cadman

Pat Davidson

Shelly Glover

Dr Hedy Fry

Kirsty Duncan

Marlene Jennings

Martha Hall Findlay

Yasmin Ratansi

Carol Hughes

Chris Charlton

Irene Mathyssen

Judy Wasylycia-Leis

Libby Davies

Olivia Chow

Participating Senators

Raynell Andreychuk

Nancy Ruth

Andrée Champagne

Lillian Eva Dyck

Joan Cook

Mobina S.B Jaffer

Lucie Pépin

Claudette Tardif

Maria Chaput

Joan Fraser

Céline Hervieux-Payette


Dr Carolyn Bennett

Libby Davies

Irene Mathyssen

Jean Crowder

Raylene Lang Dion- National Chair of Equal Voice

Nancy Peckford – Equal Voice


Day 1 – Wednesday March 4, 2009

During this first day of the program, participants heard from various guest speakers, attended question period and took a tour of the parliament.


Guest Speakers

Raylene-Lang Dion, National Chair of Equal Voice, along with her colleague Nancy Peckford came andspoke to the group about the importance of increasing the number of women in the Canadian Parliament.

Equal Voice is a non partisan organization which advocates for women’s equal representation in the government.


Guest Speakers

Liberal MP for St Pauls, Dr Carolyn Bennett, spoke to the participants about her role as an advocate for women as well as her personal experiences in politics

NDP MPs: Libby Davies, Vancouver East, Irene Mathyssen, London Fanshawe and Jean Crowder, Naniamo Cowichan, spoke to the group about how they got involved in politics.


Day 2 – Thursday March 5, 2009

Irene Mathyssen, MP for London Fanshawe, invited all Women in House participants to a breakfast in honour of International Women’s Day which was hosted by the NDP Women’s Caucus. Then, after the breakfast participants spent the day shadowing their MPs/Senators.

Students with Irene Mathyssen

Students with Libby Davies


NDP Breakfast

The topic of discussion was ‘Women in the Economic Crisis’. Speakers included: Jack Layton leader of the NDP & Peggy Nash, former MP for Parkdale High Park, who spoke on behalf of Canadian Auto Workers.


NDP Breakfast

We also heard from Members of the NDP Women’s Caucus

Carol Hughes, Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing; Megan Leslie, Halifax; Dawn Black, New Westminster Coquitlam


Irene Lax with her shadow Conservative MP Shelly Glover, Saint Boniface

“Mrs. Glover actively included me in all the events she attended throughout the day... I was able to sit in on the Official Languages committee, the Canada-EU Executive and General committees, and a private meeting with one of Mrs. Glover’s constituents. I was also graciously taken to a NATO cocktail, at which I was introduced to the Defense Attaché from Romania, a colonel from Hungary, and the Defense Attaché of Cote d’Ivoire. Moreover, Mrs. Glover ensured that I had proper seating at Question Period, and even waved to me from the floor!”


Rivkah Hoffman with her shadow Liberal MP Marlene Jennings, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce-Lachine

Rivkah says: “To get the chance to experience the ins and outs of a female politician is truly a once in a lifetime chance... It's one thing to shake hands with someone in power but its certainly another to really share quality time with them. I have learned so much and made great ties. Making the decision to apply to the Women in House program was by far the best decision I've made in my university career."


Jessica-Ho-Wo-Cheong & Kerianne Wilson with Bloc MP Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac, Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot

Hinda Rabkin and her shadow, Bloc MP Meili Faille, Vaudreuil—Soulanges

Jessica says: “I had the pleasure of speaking with Mme Thi Lac about what being a woman in Parliament is like and the specific challenges associated with it... I felt more inspired than ever to pursue a career in Politics! I cannot stop thinking about all the lessons I learned and keep on envisioning myself in such an important and fast-paced environment. This was truly an unforgettable experience .”

Hinda says: “Mme Faille feels comfortable in Parliament and you can see it - she knows she belongs there and I was awed and privileged to have experienced the work she does, just for one day.”


Mylène Freeman with her shadow NDP MP Olivia Chow, Trinity Spadina

“The MP I shadowed was lovely, she cared a lot about the goals of the program. She invested time and effort to make me comfortable and understand that being a women in our society remains to be a challenge, but she assured me that this challenge could be overcome! She is an inspiration to me.”


Special Thanks to all of our funders

  • The Campus Life Fund
  • Dean of Arts Development Fund
  • Arts Undergraduate Society
  • Department of Political Science
  • McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
  • McGill Center for Research and Teaching on Women
  • Alumni Association
  • McGill Faculty of Law