If Catherine McKenna has a fan club, I want to join. She has called out the double standard and dismissive attitude that haunts women in positions of authority but especially in politics. In her response to a question during a news conference on hydroelectricity in B.C, McKenna called out the Rebel media bureau chief Christopher Wilson in a question and answer session. She was challenging a disparaging reference that the media outlet was repeating. Former MP Gerry Ritz used the epithet for the Minister of Environment of ‘climate Barbie’. McKenna named the comment and went on to request “I certainly hope that you will no longer use that hashtag,"
In his response, Wilson stated that he did not use that term personally but did not have editorial control over what Rebel Media decides to publish. Given his position as B.C. bureau chief of Rebel Media this equated to an excuse not an appropriate response.
McKenna’s stated rationale for the stand was that her daughters and many other young women who might be interested in public life are dissuaded by the media treatment of them due to their gender and based on their physical looks.
In a year with a Provincial election and a Municipal election in Ontario, McKenna’s leadership is a welcome voice in shaping what is acceptable in news reporting and when a line is crossed. If the stated aspiration to field more women candidates and elected representatives is to realized, these lines need to be continually monitored and recognized for the harm they cause.