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

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Chad Webb’s coaching career comes full circle with Williams Lake Blue Fins

“I’m lucky to be here and I plan on staying and coaching in the community.”

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Artist, rancher, adventurer Jack Peterson and his Mountain North Art Gallery

Near the bottom of Tatlayoko Hill is Jack Peterson’s Mountain North Art Gallery

COLUMN: Achieving contractor sustainability during uncertain times

With the recent mill closures and market problems, contractors are feeling the impacts

CASUAL COUNTRY 2019: Ocean Falls:where pristine wilderness abounds

Located west of Bella Coola, Ocean Falls is only accessible by boat or seaplane

First of Interior Forest Sector Renewal meetings kicks off in Williams Lake

Around 40 people from local government, industry, COFI, Alkali Resource Management and Williams Lake Community Forest attended

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Most Read