Seat at the Table
All Niagara Region projects

About the project

Despite being just over half of the Niagara population, women are underrepresented in local government, especially in senior leadership. On Regional Council, 25 per cent of councillors are women and no apparent visible minorities serve on Niagara Region or local municipal councils.

Niagara Region's Seat at the Table program aims to address barriers that women face running for municipal office and to improve the environment once elected. The goal is to increase the number of women, particularly underrepresented women, elected for municipal government in Niagara by promoting understanding, awareness and confidence through education, mentorship and support to those interested in running for election.

The program consists of four workshops that will help women and underrepresented groups feel informed and educated when making the decision to run for local government. Those elected will then be invited to participate in three sessions in 2023.

Seat at the Table will provide participants with the knowledge and skills to run a successful campaign, and if elected, support throughout their term.

This initiative is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and:

  • Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce
  • Women in Niagara
  • City of St. Catharines
  • YWCA
  • Future Black Female
  • Services 4 Humanity
  • Muslim Senior Circle
  • Niagara Region’s Women's Advisory Committee

Project timeline

April 7, 2022 - completed
Session 1: Introduction to Municipal Government, Making the decision to run for office

May 5, 2022 - completed
Session 2: Getting organized to run

June 1, 2022 - completed
Session 3: Working with other levels of government, policy and planning

June 29, 2022 - Completed
Session 4: Managing public scrutiny, harassment, addressing bias and discrimination

February 2023 - completed
Session 5: Feedback from women who chose not to run in 2022

March 2023 - completed
Session 6: Feedback from women who ran in 2022 and were not elected

March 2023 - completed
Session 7: Learning lunch for new women Councillors and launch of mentorship program

April 2023 - completed
Session 8: Championing Women Leaders online workshop


Cassie Ogunniyi
Niagara Region
905-980-6000 ext. 3226
Email Cassie Ogunniyi


Women who intend to run for election will have mentorship opportunities as part of Seat at the Table. Once candidacies are announced, mentorship will pause until the end of the election to prevent partisanship or bias.

After the election, newly elected officials will be matched with elected officials across the local municipalities to continue mentorship.

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