Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Sea to Sky Campaign School in the works for Corridor women

Squamish resident corresponding with politicians on establishing school

For anyone who thinks there aren't enough women involved in Sea to Sky politics, this may be the solution for you.

Catherine Rockandel, a Squamish resident and principal of a firm that provides professional meeting facilitation, has been in touch with political women from West Vancouver all the way up to Birken as part of her efforts to establish a Sea to Sky Campaign School for women.

The specifics of the school have yet to be ironed out, but Rockandel said in a brief interview that it would be a chance to educate Corridor women on how to be successful in politics.

"There's a number of women in the Sea to Sky Corridor who have been talking about having a campaign school," she said.

"So I just took the initiative to basically bring together a bunch of women who were already elected and others who were interested in politics to organize a campaign school to build capacity for women to run in the Sea to Sky Corridor."

Concerns about the numbers of women involved in politics have persisted in the Corridor at least since November 2008, when an all-male mayor and council were elected in the Resort Municipality of Whistler. There was one female candidate for mayor and another for council but the latter dropped out before the election.

Rockandel has been in contact with various women involved in politics about the school including West Vancouver Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones, Squamish Councillors Patricia Heintzman and Corinne Lonsdale, as well as Pemberton Councillors Lisa Ames and Susie Gimse.

Gimse, a politician who serves dually as a councillor with the Village of Pemberton and as director for Area C of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District, said efforts to set up a campaign school are happening in conjunction with efforts by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities to hold a learning opportunity for women leading up to the municipal election in November.

"What we're trying to do at this point is marry the two initiatives," she said. "There'll be staff from FCM that come out to facilitate the workshops and a key part is getting individuals to sign up, getting the local groups and organizations as champions, working as champions for us."

Asked about the importance of having women involved in politics, Gimse said it's "always good to have a balance in anything you do."

"I think male participation is equally important as having female participation," she said.