Fernie woman to represent Kootenay-Columbia riding in Parliament

McKinley Richards is one of 338 women chosen for the Daughters of the Vote program in Ottawa

A young Fernie woman will be the voice for the Kootenay-Columbia riding at a once-in-a-lifetime political leadership program in Ottawa.

McKinley Richards is one of 338 women, one from each federal riding, selected to represent their community and communicate their vision for Canada during the Daughters of the Vote 2019 program, which kicks off today.

The 21-year-old Fernie Secondary graduate will take her local MP Wayne Stetski’s seat in Parliament during a historic sitting of the House of Commons.

“It’s a big honour to be selected and to represent my Kootenay-Columbia riding,” she said.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to connect with passionate, like-minded women from across the country and to exchange our diverse ideas, experiences, and perspectives regarding issues in Canada.”

Throughout the program from April 1-4, the Daughters of the Vote delegates will be addressed by every federal party leader and engage with Ministers, critics and advocates.

Following the Ottawa event, they will be eligible for a leadership grant to accelerate advocacy efforts in their local communities.

Richards is studying international economics and development with a minor in management at the University of Ottawa, and is actively involved in many student-run volunteer organizations.

She is passionate about global quality education, social entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment, travelling to Senegal to conduct research on access to education for young girls and living in Paris, France, for a semester exchange at the Paris Institute of Political Studies, more commonly known as Sciences Po.

Richards hopes to see more women and minority groups break through the glass ceiling.

“I am really looking forward to discussing the importance of enabling, equipping, and inspiring more women, and marginalized people to take on leadership roles and to participate in important decision making,” she said.

“For example, evidence shows that females practice transformative leadership with more collaboration, inclusiveness, compassion, and empathy. Today’s global problems require these types of dynamic leaders.”

To read more about McKinley and Daughters of the Vote, visit Daughtersofthevote.ca.

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