Blue Flower

About Us

Project Goals

  • identify the opportunities to better involve women as citizens and as politicians in municipal government
  • recommend measures to involve women in all their diversity in consultation and engagement activities of municipal government
  • recommend measures for recruiting and retaining women in municipal electoral politics
  • have women represent at least 30 per cent of municipal elected officials across Nova Scotia.

Project History

  • In the fall of 2004, a resolution was passed at the annual meeting of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM), challenging the organization to address women’s under-representation in local government. The resolution mandated the UNSM to strike a steering committee to identify barriers to women’s participation in municipal government and make recommendations at the following year’s conference as to how more women could be engaged in decision-making.
  • Recognizing that other organizations could provide valuable support and insight, the UNSM joined forces with the Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women and Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, the Association of Municipal Administrators Nova Scotia and the Halifax YWCA.
  • A steering committee was established to oversee a working committee committed to driving what has become known as the Women in Local Government (WILG) Project. Through the WILG Project’s terms of reference, the UNSM Board of Directors asked the steering committee to research the barriers to women’s participation in municipal government.
  • In October 2005, the Women in Local Government Committee produced a report entitled “Untapped Resources: Women and Municipal Government in Nova Scotia.” The report outlined a number of barriers women face in participating in municipal government as elected officials, staff and as citizens. The report also produced a number of recommendations to improve women’s participation in municipal government. The Women in Local Government Committee is currently working on implementing a number of these recommendations. Download a copy of Untapped Resources - Women And Municipal Government In Nova Scotia - Full Report or go to Publications.
  • In 2007, the WILG Committee launched a bursary program for women municipal staff. The first of seven bursaries were awarded in October 2008.
  • In 2008, the WILG Committee organized four municipal campaign schools for women were held just prior to the October 2008 municipal elections.
  • A mentoring program was launched for women municipal elected officials following the 2008 municipal elections.
  • In 2012, four municipal campaign schools were once again held across the province in advance of the October municipal elections.

Project Partners

  • The Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities
  • The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women
  • Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations
  • The Association of Municipal Administrators, Nova Scotia

Committee Members

  • Councillor Shirley McNamara, County of Richmond
  • Councillor Shirley Pineo, District of West Hants
  • Councillor Liz Chisholm, Town of Antigonish
  • Lyle Goldberg, Policy Analyst, UNSM
  • Nancy Bray, Service NS & Municipal Relations