Women's issues finally get the attention they deserve

“For the first time in 30 years we will see federal party leaders speaking on the record to issues that matter to women.” — Ann Decter, Up for Debate spokesperson

Toronto (18 Sept. 2015) — Women’s issues will finally take the forefront in the federal election thanks to a partnership between the Up For Debate campaign and Twitter Canada, Toronto Star and Le Devoir.

First time in 30 years federal leaders will speak to women's issues

This national conversation on women’s issues will be broadcast live from Toronto’s Isabel Bader theatre on Monday, Sept 21. The free event starts at 7 p.m. and will feature a lineup of commentators and pundits analyzing and debating clips from exclusive one-on-one video interviews with four of the five federal party leaders.

“We are proud to put women's issues at the centre of this election,” said Ann Decter, director of policy and advocacy at the YWCA Canada and Up For Debate campaign spokesperson. “For the first time in 30 years we will see federal party leaders speaking on the record to issues that matter to women.”

Moving beyond talk to effect real change

The Toronto Star and Le Devoir will livestream the event and will host the full-length video interviews on their websites in both official languages. Twitter Canada will broadcast the event via its Periscope app and will help promote the event on its social media platform.

"Twitter Canada believes the issues being discussed are of critical national importance," said Steve Ladurantaye, head of government partnerships at Twitter. "It's essential that we have these discussions publicly so we can start to move beyond talk and effect real change in the coming years."

Debate matters, not only to women but to all Canadians

Marie-Andrée Chouinard, communications director at Le Devoir, said, “In line with its mission and values​​, Le Devoir is proud to partner in this debate where the parties will be asked to speak to issues affecting women's rights."

“This debate — and these questions — matter not only to women but to all Canadians. The Star is pleased to be working with our partners to advance and promote the discussion,” said Jane Davenport, managing editor of The Toronto Star.

The interviews — focused on ending violence against women, ending women’s economic inequality and supporting women’s leadership — were conducted by well-known journalist and documentary filmmaker Francine Pelletier.

The emcee Jess Beaulieu, a Toronto-based feminist comedian and writer, will be joined on stage by journalists such as Althia Raj of the Huffington Post Canada; Laura Payton from Macleans; and Laurie Monsabraaten of The Toronto Star; and by Canadian thought leaders such as Kate McInturff, senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives; Alejandra Bravo, manager of leadership and learning at the Maytree Foundation; Katherine Hensel, founder and principal lawyer at Hensel Barristers; a diverse practice focused on serving First Nations; and Angela Robertson, executive director of Central Toronto Community Health Centres.


The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 360,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE