Toronto Regional Champions Protégée Program

protegeeThe City of Toronto is launching the fifth Toronto Regional Champion Campaign, the Protégée Program to help boost women’s participation in local government. All women councillors are the heart of the program where young women (protégées) are matched with women councillors (mentors) learn the job of a municipal councillor.

“This program is an excellent opportunity for young women in Toronto to get a taste of what municipal politics is about,” said Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam (Ward 27 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). “These young women come from diverse backgrounds and experiences and this program provides them an opportunity to broaden their horizons and learn directly how the policy development and political process works.”

“Toronto’s protégée program has become a model replicated in various municipalities and has been widely promoted by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) across the country,” said Councillor Pam McConnell (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale), who has championed the initiative at FCM. This program is one of several programs undertaken in Canada to address the lack of women’s participation in municipal politics as councillors and mayors.

The United Nations defines 30 per cent female representation as the minimum required to represent and address women. Canada’s international ranking for women in national parliaments is at 50 out of 188 countries. At the municipal level of government in Canada, women represent 18 per cent of mayors and 28 per cent of councillors in Canada – just 26 per cent. Out of 24,113 elected municipal officials, only 5,926 are women.

To be eligible, applicants must identify as female, live in the City of Toronto, and be between 19 and 26 years of age. The application process is open until Thursday November 24, 2016. If you have any questions, email us at youthTO@toronto.ca

Toronto Regional Champion Campaign Protégée Program – how it works

Mentoring/Job Shadowing components

The program provides face-to-face interaction for the participant, to give them insight into the challenges, responsibilities and rewards of working in municipal elected office.

Participants can learn about a particular topic of municipal government by doing research with a councillor.

The participant accompanies her paired councillor to ward meetings, committee meetings and council meetings to learn about city governance. The participant will write a summary of what she has learned.

Seminars

The councillors will present at least three seminars on city governance that all participants will attend. These seminars may involve guest speakers.

Education component

Each participant will arrange for at least one presentation to be made by a woman councillor to groups of women in their college, university, community centre, and/or organization to encourage them to consider running for local election in the future, describing their own experiences and offering advice.

Each participant will write and publish an article for their school, college/university, community or local newspaper describing her participation in the program in order to encourage other young women to participate in municipal politics.

To apply, please go to: http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/Protegee/

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