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Upon the dissolution of the 39th Canadian Parliament, 65 of the 308 seats (21.1 per cent) were held by women. Canada ranks 45th in the world in representation of women in the national lower house.

There were 64 women elected to Parliament in the 2006 election, and the victory of Bloc Québécois MP Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac in a byelection on September 17, 2007 brought the number to 65. This matched but did not exceed the all-time record of 65 female MPs elected in the 2004 election, and the number of women in the House returned to 64 with the resignation of Lucienne Robillard on January 25, 2008.

It nominally increased to a record 66 with the by-election wins of Martha Hall Findlay and Joyce Murray on March 17, 2008, although the resignation of Brenda Chamberlain from the House effective April 7, 2008 reduced the number of women back to 65 just one week after Findlay and Murray were sworn in as MPs.

General notes

Fifteen of the 65 female MPs in the 39th Parliament, or 23.4 per cent, were elected for the first time in the 2006 election. The longest-serving female MPs were the Liberals Albina Guarnieri and Diane Marleau, both elected for the first time in the 1988 election. (New Democrat Dawn Black was also elected for the first time in that election; defeated in the 1993 election, she won her seat back in the 2006 election.)

From Confederation to the end of the 39th Parliament, a total of 193 female MPs sat in the Canadian House of Commons, 4.79 per cent of the 4,023 total MPs ever to serve. The 65 female MPs upon dissolution of the 39th Parliament constitute 33.6 per cent of this total.

The percentage of women in the House has remained more or less stable since 1993.

By province

Province Number of women MPs Number of seats Percentage of women
Newfoundland and Labradormarker 0 7 0%
Nova Scotiamarker 1 11 9.1%
Prince Edward Islandmarker 0 4 0%
New Brunswickmarker 0 10 0%
Quebecmarker 23 75 30.6%
Ontariomarker 23 106 21.7%
Manitobamarker 4 14 28.6%
Saskatchewanmarker 2 14 14.3%
Albertamarker 2 28 7.1%
British Columbiamarker 10 36 27.7%
Territories 1 3 33.3%
Totals 65 308 21.1%

By party

Women were 23.3 per cent of all candidates in the 2006 election, and 24.8 per cent of candidates from the parties that won representation in Parliament.

The NDP nominated the largest proportion of women: more than a third of all New Democratic candidates were women, and nearly a third of all female candidates in the election were New Democrats. Furthermore, the NDP ended up with a higher proportion of women in its caucus than women candidates, meaning it ran women in ridings they could win — 18.8% of female MPs are New Democrats while the NDP holds only 9.4% of the seats in the House. As of 2007, the 12 women and 18 men currently sitting as New Democrats constitute the most gender-balanced party caucus ever elected to the Canadian House of Commons by a party with official party status.

However, it was with the Bloc Québécois that women candidates had the highest chance of winning: nearly three quarters of female Bloc candidates were elected. (As the Bloc runs candidates only in Quebec, the election of 50 Bloc MPs meant that any Bloc candidate had a 66.6% chance of winning.) 26.6% of female MPs are Bloquistes, while the Bloc holds only 16.2% of the seats.

As for the winning party, only 12% of Conservative candidates were women, and 11% of Conservative MPs are women, a total of fourteen; 21.5% of female MPs are Tories in a House that is 40.6% Conservative.

Party Number of female candidates Number of candidates Percentage of candidates who are women Percentage of women candidates to be elected Current number of female MPs Current number of MPs Percentage of women
Conservative 38 308 12.3% 36.8% 14 126 11.1%
Liberal 79 308 25.6% 26.6% 21 96 21.8%
Bloc Québécois 23 75 30.7% 73.91% 18 49 36.7%
NDP 108 308 35.1% 11.1% 12 30 40.0%
Green 72 308 23.4% 0% 0 1 0%
Other 60 327 18.3% 0% 1 3 33.3%
Totals 380 1 634 23.3% 16.8% 65 308 21.1%


The 27-member Cabinet contains six women ministers (22%), including one senator.

Of the 25 parliamentary secretaries, five (20%) are women.

Ten of the fourteen female government MPs (71%) are ministers or parliamentary secretaries.


The 105-seat Senate currently has 90 sitting senators, of whom 32 (35.5%) are women. Stephen Harper has only made two Senate appointments to date, both men (Michael Fortier and Bert Brown). The previous prime minister, Paul Martin, made 17 Senate appointments, of whom six (35.3%) were women.

Two current Senators are members of the Cabinet; as noted above, one of them is a woman, Marjory LeBreton.

Name Party Province

Raynell Andreychuk Conservative Saskatchewanmarker

Lise Bacon Liberal Quebecmarker (De la Durantaye)

Catherine Callbeck Liberal Prince Edward Islandmarker

Pat Carney Conservative British Columbiamarker

Sharon Carstairs Liberal Manitobamarker

Andrée Champagne Conservative Quebecmarker (Grandville)

Maria Chaput Liberal Manitobamarker

Ethel Cochrane Conservative Newfoundland and Labradormarker

Joan Cook Liberal Newfoundland and Labradormarker

Anne Cools Independent Ontariomarker (Toronto-Centre-York)

Jane Cordy Liberal Nova Scotiamarker

Lillian Dyck Independent NDP Saskatchewanmarker (North Battleford)

Joyce Fairbairn Liberal Albertamarker (Lethbridge)

Joan Fraser Liberal Quebecmarker (De Lorimier)

Céline Hervieux-Payette Liberal Quebecmarker (Bedford)

Libbe Hubley Liberal Prince Edward Islandmarker

Mobina Jaffer Liberal British Columbiamarker

Janis Johnson Conservative Manitobamarker (Winnipeg - Interlake)

Marjory LeBreton Conservative Ontariomarker

Rose-Marie Losier-Cool Liberal New Brunswickmarker (Tracadie)

Sandra Lovelace Nicholas Liberal New Brunswickmarker

Elaine McCoy Progressive Conservative Albertamarker (Calgary)

Pana Merchant Liberal Saskatchewanmarker

Lorna Milne Liberal Ontariomarker (Peel County)

Lucie Pépin Liberal Quebecmarker (Shawinigan)

Marie Poulin Liberal Ontariomarker

Vivienne Poy Liberal Ontariomarker (Toronto)

Pierrette Ringuette Liberal New Brunswickmarker

Nancy Ruth Conservative Ontariomarker (Toronto)

Mira Spivak Independent Manitobamarker (Manitoba)

Claudette Tardif Liberal Albertamarker (Edmonton)

Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Liberal New Brunswickmarker

List of women MPs by province

Note: † indicates a cabinet minister, and * indicates a parliamentary secretary.

Newfoundland and Labrador


Nova Scotia

Name Party Riding
Alexa McDonough NDP Halifax

Prince Edward Island


New Brunswick



Name Party Riding
Vivian Barbot Bloc Québécois Papineau
France Bonsant Bloc Québécois Compton—Stanstead
Sylvie Boucher* Conservative Beauport—Limoilou
Diane Bourgeois Bloc Québécois Terrebonne—Blainville
Paule Brunelle Bloc Québécois Trois-Rivières
Claude DeBellefeuille Bloc Québécois Beauharnois—Salaberry
Nicole Demers Bloc Québécois Laval
Johanne Deschamps Bloc Québécois Laurentides—Labelle
Meili Faille Bloc Québécois Vaudreuil—Soulanges
Raymonde Folco Liberal Laval—Les Îles
Carole Freeman Bloc Québécois Châteauguay—Saint-Constant
Christiane Gagnon Bloc Québécois Québec
Monique Guay Bloc Québécois Rivière-du-Nord
Marlene Jennings Liberal Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine
Francine Lalonde Bloc Québécois La Pointe-de-l'Île
Carole Lavallée Bloc Québécois Saint-Bruno—Saint-Hubert
Maria Mourani Bloc Québécois Ahuntsic
Pauline Picard Bloc Québécois Drummond
Lucienne Robillard Liberal Westmount—Ville-Marie
Caroline St-Hilaire Bloc Québécois Longueuil—Pierre-Boucher
Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac Bloc Québécois Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagotmarker
Louise Thibault Independent Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques
Josée Verner Conservative Louis-Saint-Laurent

‡ Ève-Mary Thaï Thi Lac was elected to the House in a by-election on September 17, 2007. Lucienne Robillard resigned from the House on January 25, 2008.


Name Party Riding
Sue Barnes Liberal London West
Colleen Beaumier Liberal Brampton West
Carolyn Bennett Liberal St. Paul's
Bonnie Brown Liberal Oakville
Brenda Chamberlain Liberal Guelph
Chris Charlton NDP Hamilton Mountain
Olivia Chow NDP Trinity—Spadina
Pat Davidson Conservative Sarnia—Lambton
Ruby Dhalla Liberal Brampton—Springdale
Diane Finley Conservative Haldimand—Norfolk
Cheryl Gallant Conservative Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke
Albina Guarnieri Liberal Mississauga East—Cooksville
Helena Guergis* Conservative Simcoe—Grey
Martha Hall Findlay Liberal Willowdale
Susan Kadis Liberal Thornhill
Diane Marleau Liberal Sudbury
Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe
Maria Minna Liberal Beaches—East York
Peggy Nash NDP Parkdale—High Park
Bev Oda Conservative Durham
Yasmin Ratansi Liberal Don Valley East
Karen Redman Liberal Kitchener Centre
Judy Sgro Liberal York West
Belinda Stronach Liberal Newmarket—Aurora

‡ Martha Hall Findlay was elected to the House in a by-election on March 17, 2008. Brenda Chamberlain has announced her resignation from the House effective April 7, 2008.


Name Party Riding
Tina Keeper Liberal Churchill
Anita Neville Liberal Winnipeg South Centre
Joy Smith Conservative Kildonan—St. Paul
Judy Wasylycia-Leis NDP Winnipeg North


Name Party Riding
Carol Skelton Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar
Lynne Yelich* Conservative Blackstrap


Name Party Riding
Diane Ablonczy* Conservative Calgary—Nose Hill
Rona Ambrose Conservative Edmonton—Spruce Grove

British Columbia

Name Party Riding
Catherine Bell NDP Vancouver Island North
Dawn Black NDP New Westminster—Coquitlam
Jean Crowder NDP Nanaimo—Cowichan
Libby Davies NDP Vancouver East
Hedy Fry Liberal Vancouver Centre
Nina Grewal Conservative Fleetwood—Port Kells
Betty Hinton* Conservative Kamloops—Thompson—Cariboo
Joyce Murray Liberal Vancouver Quadra
Penny Priddy NDP Surrey North
Denise Savoie NDP Victoria

‡ Joyce Murray was elected to the House in a by-election on March 17, 2008.


Name Party Riding
Nancy Karetak-Lindell Liberal Nunavutmarker

See also

External links

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