What is really on the minds of women in Fort St. John? That is what Christy Clark hoped to find out during her women’s only luncheon at the Legion yesterday.
The main subjects of concern that were raised were the interlocking issues of Site C, transient workers and domestic violence.
“It’s not that men don’t care about those issues; they just talk about them totally differently,” Clark said.
MLA Pat Pimm was in attendance, but Clark announced he was not allowed to speak during the meeting. She explained the reason she does not let men take part in these meetings is because it creates a different kind of atmosphere.
“Site C was a big issue here and, obviously, that’s unique to the Peace country,” explained Clark.
One resident stood up and explained how the Site C project would affect her land and her home She explained to Clark that while development does need to happen, it should be in a sustainable way.
The problems associated with being at the heart of the oil and gas industry also came up.
“The sharing of economic benefits from a resource based community is something I hear all across the province,” noted Clark.
However, it was the effect on the local community that many women focused upon.
"There are people who are rich in cash and toys, but that's not good,” said one guest.
With an increase in transient workers their needs to be an increase in RCMP and victims services, argued one woman.
"Transient workers are not good for communities in the long term," Clark agreed.
The topic led into the issue of violence against women in the North.
“Domestic violence is one example where the Peace folks up here, and the community groups up here, have really gotten involved in what they’re calling the Peace Project to deal with domestic violence,” Clark said.
“That’s an issue that affects people in large cities, in small cities, in every region of the province, but it’s an issue where the Peace country is really taking the lead and going to be setting the example for everybody.”
Over a hundred women of different ages, professions and backgrounds attended the event and spoke about the Peace Region.
Clark added, “I thought it was great, it was really informative for me and they are voices I might not have otherwise heard in this visit.”