moved for leave to introduce Bill C-237, An Act to amend the Canada Elections Act (gender equity).
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand today and table the candidate gender equity act. This act seeks to amend the Canada Elections Act to create financial incentives for political parties to nominate more women, and to move toward gender parity in the list of candidates put forward in elections.
The Prime Minister voluntarily put in place this country's first gender-balanced cabinet. However, we need to make laws that reinforce the idea that men and women are intrinsically equal and that, because we are equal, the entire membership of this place should also be gender balanced. A record 88 women MPs were elected in the 2015 election, but women still hold only 26% of the seats in the House of Commons, which places us 53rd in the world when compared to other countries. This is unacceptable.
The bill I submit here today is based on successful measures found in other countries, such as France and Ireland. It has been drafted with the aid of a dozen international experts, including my wife, Dr. Jeanette Ashe.
We need real action to move toward gender parity in this place because, to paraphrase the Prime Minister, it is 2016.
(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)