INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: Brenner first Indigenous female on Williams Lake city council

Only 18 per cent of mayor’s seats across Canada are occupied by a woman and only 28 per cent of city councillor seats are occupied by women, Brenner pointed out

Soon after Marnie Brenner moved to Williams Lake from Saskatoon in 2000 she was inspired to run for city council.

“I was working at Deni House and I stopped a city councillor in the stairwell at the hospital and asked how I could be on city council,” Brenner said. “He looked at me and he said ‘you will never be on city council, you don’t know anybody.’”

Fast forward to the 2018 local government election and she was one of two women elected for city councillor and the first Indigenous woman elected.

Read more: Meet Williams Lake city council candidate: Marnie Brenner

“Someone came and asked me ‘how’s life in the chamber?’ and I said ‘that was a good slogan,’ and could be the title of a blog where I wrote about what I wish I knew, what I’m learning, but there is not a lot of gender balance in municipal politics,” Brenner said. “When you look at gender parody, only 18 per cent of mayor’s seats across Canada are occupied by a woman and only 28 per cent of city councillor seats are occupied by women.”

In Williams Lake Brenner is one of two women on city council, with Sheila Boehm also begin elected. The other four seats are filled by men.

Williams Lake has a population with 25 per cent First Nations people, Brenner added.

“Looking at that I think it’s important to empower other women by being a role model. If I can be on city council, other people can be on city council, and I can encourage all other First Nations women to consider running for city council to have a voice.”

Brenner is also a nurse and said the health care system is predominantly filled with women.

“I get excited about things and tend to be a more positive person and forget the negative things that have happened,” she added. “Being on city council is an exciting opportunity to be part of the change. I think people who are successful at what they do have different behaviours and dedicate themselves to what gives their life meaning and purpose.”

Helping, encouraging, and building others gives her life purpose, she added.

“I like a leadership style that asks people how I can help them to have a great day so they can work better. They commit continually to bettering themselves.”

It has been a huge learning curve on city council and so far she is not afraid to ask tough questions.

“I come from a world of ‘let’s try small steps of change, let’s see where it goes, let’s make it better, let’s adjust it, let’s re-evaluate it.’ I think it is important to engage with people, be open, transparent and honest. I really struggle with organizations that aren’t. It’s difficult to trust that way.”

A self-professed “big dreamer,” Brenner said if someone tells her “no,” she is going to try and figure out how to make it happen.

“I also think it is important to make Williams Lake a fair, safe and inclusive city for all women. We need to address the crime stats, including violence against women.”

Read more: RCMP calls for Williams Lake total 1,104 during first two months of 2019



news@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Station House looking for artists for 2019 group show Uncover It

All pieces for this multimedia exhibit are to be based on the cover art for albums

Boaters in B.C. asked to help stop spread of invasive species

Clean Drain Dry signage is displayed at boat launches across the province

RANCH MUSINGS: Soil Biological tools to build resilience and food security

Sometimes we get world-class speakers to present to the students at Thompson Rivers University

BREAKING: Hotel roof jumper in custody following a standoff with RCMP

A man apparently suffering from drug withdrawal was prevented from jumping off Slumber Lodge Hotel

VIDEO: Jack Glatzer treats LCSS students with intimate recital

This 80-year-old young violinist continues to perform recitals worldwide

Kelowna RCMP interrogation video brings home reality in ‘visceral way’: former TRC chairman

Video of Mountie interrogating young Indigenous woman disclosing sexual abuse under fire

Update: Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Former B.C. Greyhound bus drivers head to Penticton for goodbye party

Big bash runs until Sunday, funded by drink cans left behind on busses over the years

Boy, 12, arrested after allegedly pulling a knife on another child at a Surrey park

The child was later released into his parents’ custody as Surrey RCMP continue their investigation

Full-scale search underway for missing kayaker on Okanagan Lake

Kelowna Paddle Centre member Zygmunt Janiewicz, 71, failed to return from his ‘daily kayak’ on the lake

ICBC urging drivers to slow down this May long weekend

Speed is number one cause of car crash fatalities: ICBC

Bucks hammer Raptors 125-103 to take 2-0 playoff series lead

Toronto heads home in a hole after second loss to Milwaukee

Most Read