Ontario election brings a few more women to Queen's Park, group says

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TORONTO - A suspenseful election that brought more Tories and New Democrats to Ontario's legislature also bolstered another group: women.

Thursday's vote saw women score 30 out of the province's 107 seats.

That's up from the 27 elected four years ago, according to Equal Voice, an organization dedicated to propelling more women to political office.

That represents 28 per cent of the legislature, a "modest increase" from the 25 per cent women held at dissolution, said spokesperson Lesley Byrne.

She admits it isn't groundbreaking, but says "it's progress, and that's a good thing."

Among those elected, 15 are Liberals, eight are Progressive Conservatives and seven are New Democrats. Ten of them are rookies, according to the organization's tally.

Women have slowly gained a greater foothold at Queen's Park, with their numbers increasing steadily since the mid-1990s, she said.

Even a slight change could "have an impact on the culture of the legislature," and mark a shift towards a more collaborative approach.

"There's going to need to be more working together and there's going to be more need for finding common ground and there's going to be less leniency, I think, for really aggressive politics."

The number of women candidates running for the four main parties also rose slightly to 130 from 126 in 2007.

Organizations: Queen's

Geographic location: Ontario

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