This week, the private member’s bill C-237, the Candidate Gender Equity Act, drafted by NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, will be debated in the House of Commons. It’s a provocative bill in a country that has never invoked any structural measures to ensure more women stand for office. At its core, the proposed bill would change the way in which registered political parties are reimbursed for a significant portion of their campaign expenses. Many Canadians don’t realize that, in addition to a generous tax credit for individual contributions to federal political parties, parties are also reimbursed for up to half of eligible campaign expenditures.
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