In the midst of "Millennium-Gate" and other partisan charades,
COPE and Vision female candidates were joined at Anducci’s Pub/Restaurant by
leaders in Vancouver business, non-profit and media sectors, MPs, some of Vancouver’s
most notable parent and housing advocates, and other active members of the
metro area for a relaxed evening between friends—old and new—to recharge and
reconnect and talk about what’s really at stake on E-Day in Vancouver: housing, transit, schools and green spaces for everyone.

Eschewing the traditional sit and spiel format of other
all-candidates meetings, there were no careful speeches and audience questions on
Wednesday evening. Abandoning partisan boundaries, tables of progressive-minded
women—peppered by a handful of men— crowded around tables sharing concerns,
insights and laughs over wine and plates piled high with comfort food.

Three days before a municipal election in a modern city and
age with men still dominating the slates, the power in the experience of women
from divergent backgrounds coming together to hear and reinforce each other could not be
understated.

“Over top of our divergent stories echoes a singular voice—one
speaking from gender-specific experiences which have sensitized us to the needs
of others," said COPE council candidate, Ellen Woodsworth. "There is so much that
we, from both Vision and COPE, share, and we recognize our responsibility to
ensure that all Vancouver’scitizens are treated with respect and enjoy a quality of life which affords them dignity, independence and freedom from violence and discrimination."

All of the female candidates from the progressive slate have
each advocated for gender equality in different capacities, and COPE plans to
implement the Gender Equality Strategy for the City of Vancouver as
outlined in 2005’s Women’s Task Force report—groundbreaking work which was
recognized by the federation of Canadian Municipalities as an exemplary model
of other municipalities to follow in developing policies and strategies that
foster equity, fairness and justice for women—recommendations the NPA have
refused to implement since gaining majority on council in 2005.

COPE-Vision women united for a Vancouver for Everyone

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