I am pleased to recognize local student, Martina Witt, for being chosen for Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke, from one of over 1500 applicants, to represent each of Canada’s 338 ridings as a “daughter of the vote.
The goal of Daughters of the Vote is to advance gender parity at all levels of government by providing young women interested in politics the knowledge, confidence and motivation to seek out roles in election campaigns, as candidates, campaign managers, fundraisers, data, policy, communications, and canvass leads, as well as ‘Get-out-the-Vote’ organizers.
While in Ottawa, the young leaders will help to develop a strategy to accelerate progress on closing the gender gap of women in politics, meet prominent women involved in politics and other sectors, and will literally ‘take their seats’ in Parliament on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2017.
Martina is in her final year at Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business. As part of her degree requirements in the Bachelor of International Business program, she spent the previous academic year studying in Brussels, Belgium. In her years at Carleton, Martina has devoted time to the Model United Nations Society, the international business case competition team Sprott Competes, and to the Carleton Academic Student Government where she represents the business faculty. Martina will join Deloitte’s consulting practice as of September 2017.
“I was inspired to join Daughters of the Vote because of my grandfather’s legacy in municipal government in my home community. I wish you were here to see this. I miss you,”
I had the privilege to pay tribute last year in the House of Commons to Marina’s grandfather, dear friend and long-time community stalwart, Kellard Witt. Kellard was born on August 26th, 1926, on Twin Creek Farm near Pembroke, Ontario. He recently passed away at the age of 89.
In many ways Kellard was my political mentor. He and his wife Shirley were always available to help in any task that he was called upon to do. I first got to know Kellard as a man of deep and abiding faith. He was a pillar in the pro-life community, someone who was not afraid to walk the walk when it came time to talk the talk. Like Martina, I miss Kellard, too.
Kellard served his community in many ways, including as a municipal politician, and served 28 years on local council. I can think of no better way for Martina to honour the memory of her grandfather than to carry on his record of community service.