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Women in Local Government

Diverse Voices for Change Advisory Group

Diverse Voices for Change Advisory Group is a group of women across diverse communities with academic, community-based, lived and political experience committed to working together to advise the Diverse Voices for Change Initiative.

The mission of the group is to work towards achieving the joint vision of: increasing women's active and meaningful participation across diverse communities in municipal decision making processes and governance, by using a gender based analysis and equity and inclusion lens.

The mandate of the Diverse Voices for Change Advisory Group is to advise the project's work, selection of municipalities and its implementation in five municipalities.

Beth Woroniuk

(Ottawa, ON)

Beth Woroniuk is freelance consultant on gender equality and women's rights. She has applied a gender lens to numerous sectors including local economic development, good governance, and disaster response. She has also carried out assignments on women's economic empowerment, women's political participation and "gender mainstreaming." 

Her clients include international organizations (such as UN Women), aid agencies, government departments and NGOs (such as FCM). Beth has a particular interest in gender dimensions of peacebuilding and currently sits on the Steering Committee of the Women, Peace and Security Network — Canada.

Caroline Andrew

(Ottawa, ON)

Caroline Andrew is a Professor Emeritus and Director of the Centre on Governance at the University of Ottawa. She publishes on urban governance, immigration policy, women and cities and more specifically on the relationship between community-based equity seeking groups and municipal social policy. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ottawa.

Diane Holmes

(Ottawa, ON)

Diane Holmes was elected to Ottawa's city council in 1982 and was a member of the council for 29 years. Diane was a founding member of WISE (Women's Initiative for Safer Environments), as well as the Crime Prevention Council of Ottawa. Diane also sat on several of FCM's committees.

She has a strong interest in planning, transportation, the environment, culture, health services and women's issues.

Entisar Yusuf

(Ottawa, ON)

Entisar Yusuf has been involved with City for All Women Initiative (CAWI) since 2011. She attended the community engagement training and was a co-coordinator for the community engagement Facilitator Network for one year. Since 2015, she has sat on CAWI's Steering Committee.

Entisar has also been the SCREEN program coordinator at Centertown Community Health Center for the last 3 years. Entisar has 15 years of experience working in health and social services in Ethiopia. She managed and developed several programs and projects working in clinical setting, academic institutions, social services and health care.

Erin Tolley

(Toronto, ON)

Erin Tolley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto and the author of Framed: Media and the Coverage of Race in Canadian Politics. Erin's research examines the impact of gender, race, and socio-demographic diversity on Canadian political institutions.

She was previously a policy analyst in the Department of Citizenship and Immigration.

Jephtée Elysée

(Ottawa, ON)

Jephtée Elysée graduated with honors in Commerce at the University of Ottawa. Her specializations are finance and marketing. Jephtée is a Policy Research Analyst with the City of Ottawa. She currently leads the roll out of the Equity & Inclusion Lens Training in the corporation. Since joining the City, she has worked on several key initiatives such as the development of the 2012-2014 City of Ottawa Municipal Immigration Strategy, the New City Immigration Portal and the 2015 Community Conversation.

Prior to her work with the City of Ottawa, she worked with several non-profits and volunteered on several initiatives, notably as co-chair of the Ottawa Local Immigration Partnership (OLIP). She is also currently a member of the Advisory Committee for the DiverseCity onBoard program in Ottawa.

Natali Zúñiga

(Ottawa, ON)

Natali Zúñiga lives in Ottawa. She was born in Cusco Peru and has indigenous Andean background. Natali immigrated to Canada in 1999. In 2006, she entered a Masters in Heritage Conservation program at Carleton University with a thesis focused on the protection of indigenous sacred places.

In 2009, Natali became a member of the City's Cultural Development and Initiatives team. Since then Natali has been working on the development and implementation of partnered cultural and heritage initiatives with the Algonquin First Nation communities of Kitigan Zibi and Pikwàkanagàn as well as with other First Nations, Inuit and Métis  organizations and individuals in Ottawa. Natali is committed to work for Equity and Inclusion.

Pam McConnell

(Toronto, ON)

Pam McConnell is a City Councillor for Ward 28 (Toronto Centre-Rosedale) and has served the residents since 1982, first as a school trustee, and since 1994, as a City Councillor. Currently in her seventh term as City Councillor, Pam is also serving as Deputy Mayor, with the responsibility of leading Toronto's Poverty Reduction Strategy.

Since 1999, she has represented Toronto at the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and she currently serves as the Vice-Chair of FCM's Social-Economic Development Committee. Some of her most significant work at FCM has been as a founding member of the Standing Committee on Increasing Women's Participation in Municipal Government and served as its Chair from 2007 to 2012. In 2013, Pam received the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal, in recognition of her decades of public service.

Sheryl Spence

(Warman, SK)

Her Worship Mayor Sheryl Spence was raised and educated in the City of Saskatoon. In 1983 Sheryl and her family moved to the small town of Warman. She was hired as an Early Childhood Educator that very same year and her love for children and the rewards of working with people kept her in this position until she retired in 2003.

Mayor Spence was first elected to Warman Town Council in 2000 as a Councillor, then as Mayor in 2006. Mayor Spence was acclaimed as Mayor in 2009 and again in 2012, making her the first Mayor for the new City of Warman.

Sherrylyn Sarazin

(Pikwakanangan First Nation)

Chiefs/Master Wood Carver/Master Canoe-Builders/Hollywood Actors, and is a proud Mother of two. She graduated from Algonquin College's Office Administration Executive program. She spent the last four years as Council's Negotiations Assistant.

Wendy Lanouette

(Ottawa, ON)

Wendy Lanouette is Ojibway from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation, located on the tip of Georgian Bay. She has lived in Ottawa for more than 23 years, with her husband, Jerry, and their two children, Joseph and Danielle.

Wendy is currently in her 6th year as the Coordinator for the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition. Wendy works closely with the City of Ottawa staff members as a committee member for the City's Aboriginal Awareness Day events. In turn, the City staff work closely with her and the Ottawa Aboriginal Coalition on the Aboriginal Community Forums that are held twice a year. Wendy is passionate about the work she does within, and on behalf of the Aboriginal community.

*The advisory group members are supported by Mai Ngo (FCM Program Officer) and Ayane Bouh (Observer and Minute Keeper).

Page Updated: 07/09/2016