First all-women council in Tweed gives context to AH milestone
By Jenn Watt
Published Nov. 1, 2018
Algonquin Highlands Mayor Carol Moffatt said an article about Canada’s first all-women municipal council – elected in 1967 in Tweed, Ont. – shows how far society has come.
The story, written and published by the municipality of Tweed on their blog, Our Backyard Tweed, includes insights from reporting done at the time the historic council was elected.
According to the post, there was some anxiety that having a governing body made up entirely of women would be an indictment of the manliness of the men of Tweed, or would put households in disarray as the women dedicated their minds to the business of the town, not of the home.
A rumour buzzed around town that the council was providing tea and cookies. One councillor was quoted as responding that she had only brought coffee in a Thermos. They stopped bringing coffee after that.
Nonetheless, the women were confident of their ability to run the town. The reeve said their meetings were shorter, included a written agenda for the first time and included less chatting.
The first line of the story notes that residents of Tweed “hadn’t decided whether to be proud or embarrassed about having an all-woman council.”
Moffatt said that line demonstrates how far society has come.
“In 1967 it would have been acceptable to think that, which also goes to show how things have changed and have to keep changing; moving forward in hopes of a time when we're all just ‘people’ who are elected,” she said in an email to the Minden Times.
Algonquin Highlands and the town of Spanish, Ont., both elected an all-women council on Oct. 22.