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‘When women succeed, Canada succeeds’: Leitch

Dr. Kellie Leitch, Minister of Labour and Minister of Status of Women is calling on all women to rise to the challenge.

Leitch extended the challenge Friday morning to close to 60 Bay of Quinte area female community leaders gathered in Belleville at a non-partisan event hosted by the Bay of Quinte Conservatives.

“Our government knows that when women succeed, Canada succeeds,” said Leitch. “That’s why we’re encouraging more women to become entrepreneurs and to aspire for higher roles in the business community.”

Leitch also encourages business leaders and executives to identify one young woman and become her champion – to advise her, support her, and advocate for her.

“Women who have this support are more likely to succeed and are more likely to have their businesses grow and thrive,” she said. “It’s good for women, it’s good for the economy, and it’s good for Canada.”

Leitch, also MP for Simcoe-Grey, spoke of the mandate which consists of three key building blocks for women: safe communities where equity and diversity are paramount, entrepreneurship and mentorship.

“The government of Canada is encouraging companies to appoint more women to their corporate boards. Studies show that when more women occupy senior roles in companies their profits increase, they hire more women, and they give back more to their communities. Prime Minister Harper is leading by example. For instance, our government has appointed more women to cabinet than any other government in history, and, over 46 per cent of senior public servants and 31 per cent of Governor-in-Council appointments are women. We encourage all companies to do what they can to help women succeed and Canada prosper.”

Leitch described her own path of life in medicine, and now politics. Her personal mentor was the late Jim Flaherty, Minister. When it became clear she could have a positive impact on many more children nation-wide than in her local practice as a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, she accepted her friend Jim’s persistent encouragement to join him in political life.

Conservative federal election candidate Jodie Jenkins was key organizer of the event.

“Today’s message was inspirational and compelling,” he said. “It was a great turnout for this event and we are truly honoured to have so many women doing such great things for our communities here in Bay of Quinte.”

Leitch-in-TrentonFollowing, Leitch  held a pre-budget consultation in Trenton at Tomasso’s Restaurant with Mayor Jim Harrison, heads of Quinte West manufacturers, presidents of Belleville, Prince Edward County and Quinte West chambers of commerce, Bay of Quinte tourism and business leaders.

“Dr. Leitch is expected to write a report following the consultation that will be put directly into the hands of Prime Minister, Stephen Harper,” said Jenkins, in a statement. “Asking questions about what the government could do better, and what locals would like to see in the upcoming budget, the group shared cross border concerns.”

The topics of conversation ranged from manufacturing and agriculture to business and family life in the Bay of Quinte area.

Mayor Harrison voiced concerns on behalf of local farmers with getting equipment across borders. Bay of Quinte Conservative riding President John Bonn gave an introduction to the crowd.

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