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Gender, Climate Change, and Transit Decision Makers

A member of Ottawa’s city council says transit commissioners should support women’s rights and believe that climate change is real.
February 19, 2019, 8am PST | Camille Fink
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Mike Babcock from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada

Ottawa city councillor Shawn Menard says candidates for the city’s transit commission should be evaluated on their stance on issues that he considers directly relevant to transit decisions:

A bit of a controversy arose at Ottawa city council recently when I suggested the Transit Commission reconsider a proposed public member based on his public views on abortion and climate change. Despite the vitriol and hyperbole that has ensued, these are important issues.

Gender equality is inextricably linked to transit, says Menard. Women use transit more than men, they face safety concerns, and the experience of women on transit is different than that of men. As a result, a gender lens is crucial for transit planning and policymaking, he argues.

Menard also believes that shifting people away from driving and on to transit is essential in addressing climate change. "Transit commissioners should be clear about whether they accept the scientific consensus that human-caused climate change is a real and existential threat," he says.

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Published on Friday, February 8, 2019 in Ottawa Citizen
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