In January 2014, the City of Toronto launched the fourth Toronto Regional Champion Campaign, the Protégée Program to help boost women’s participation in local government. All women councillors are the heart of the program where young women (protégées) are matched with women councillors (mentors) learn the job of a municipal councillor.
“This program is an excellent opportunity for young women in Toronto to get a taste of what municipal politics is about,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). "These young women come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and this program provides them an opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn directly how the policy development and political process works.”
"Toronto’s protégée program has become a model replicated in various municipalities and has been widely promoted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) across the country," said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), who has championed the initiative at FCM. This program is one of several programs undertaken in Canada to address the lack of women's participation in municipal politics as councillors and mayors.
To adequately reflect women's concerns, the United Nations defines 30 per cent female representation as the minimum required. Canada’s international ranking for women in national parliaments is at 47 out of 188 countries. At the municipal level of government in Canada, women represent 16 per cent of mayors and 26 per cent of councillors in Canada – just 24 per cent. Out of 24,113 elected municipal officials, only 5,826 are women.
The application process is now closed. If you are interested in becoming a protégée in the future, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org