Labrador City's Jenna Andrews proud to be among Daughters of the Vote

·3 min read

A young woman from Labrador City was recently chosen to participate in Daughters of the Vote, a nationwide initiative with the goal of electing more women to political office.

The March 5-8 initiative, will see 338 young women and gender-diverse youth from across the country, one from each federal riding, take part in a four-day program that will include speakers from all levels of government, parliamentary committee simulations, and a virtual House of Commons session on International Women’s Day (March 8).

Jenna Andrews, who will represent the riding of Labrador, said there were a number of things that drew her to the program, not the least of was the chance to represent the region.

“I’m so proud to be from Labrador, everything about it,” she told SaltWire Network. “The land, the people, the sense of community care. I just really wanted to represent that at this conference.”

Andrews said she has always been interested in politics and is in her last year of a bachelor of social work program, which has given her an opportunity to “really dig into learning more about social justice and inequities that are so deeply imbedded in our society across all levels, local, provincial, national.

“That really heightened my interest, and Daughters of the Vote seemed like a good place for me to dive into that more and learn about the intersection of social policy, inequity and politics.”

Daughters of the Vote is an initiative of Equal Voice, a national multi-partisan organization started in 2001 and which has been advocating for the equal representation of women in Canada’s Parliament, in provincial and territorial legislatures, and on municipal and band councils.

Equal Voice executive director Eleanor Fast said the goal is to expose more young women and gender-diverse youth to politics and hopefully inspire them to learn more about political systems and how they can participate.

“Right now in Canada, there are less than 100 women in Parliament. It’s 2021 and less than a third of our parliamentarians are women,” Fast said. “With Daughters of the Vote, we have every single riding in Canada represented by a woman, and we think that’s a really powerful statement.”

Fast said it’s a great opportunity for the participants to meet other women interested in politics from across the country and share different opinions on policy issues. Many past participants have kept in touch, she said, helping create nationwide networks of politically active young women.

This is the third iteration of Daughters of the Vote, which began in 2017 on the 100th anniversary of some women getting the right to vote in Canada. It ran again in 2019, and this year will be virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Andrews said there are issues in Labrador she wants to bring forward at the sessions, including access to mental-health treatment, resources for aging and digital equity.

Andrews said she is disappointed she won’t get to meet the other delegates face to face and be in the House of Commons, but the situation will be relevant to digital equity, one of the topics she wants to discuss,

“As we move into this reality with COVID and our inability to gather in person, how do we ensure that there is equitable access to the digital spaces and the technology we need to get on to those digital spaces?” she said. “It’s an issue in Labrador and across the country that I hope to bring forward.”

Her main hope is to learn from the other delegates and their experiences, and bring that knowledge back to Labrador.

The sessions will be live-streamed. More information is available online at

Evan Careen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Telegram