The tokenism that some people suddenly fear when they see a gender-balanced council has historically favoured white men, regardless of domain. Ironically, gender parity and quotas sometimes remove mediocre men as candidates and leaders; that may explain the discomfort of those concerned with propping up the status quo.
Valérie Plante broke the glass ceiling when she was elected the first female mayor of Montreal. Who could have expected the reaction a fellow female mayor in Ontario got when she proposed a letter of congratulations?
Does Valérie Plante owe part of her victory to the sweeping influence of the #MeToo movement and an overwhelming desire by voters to disassociate from the Old Boys’ network and an era of arrogant men steamrolling through what they wanted? Without a doubt.
Punctuating her address several times with her trademark, full-sized laugh, the newly-elected Valérie Plante said that “we have lots of work to do in the coming years,” and appealed directly to Montrealers for their help in “getting [it] done.”