Sheila Copps endorses Andrea Horwath’s bid to become mayor of Hamilton – Hamilton |

A prominent Hamilton political figure has said the city is ready for its first female mayor and says Andrea Horwath is the right person for the job.

Former Deputy Prime Minister and former Liberal MP Sheila Copps said she reached out of her own free will to offer her approval.

“I’ve watched the race unfold and I’m pretty serious about the need for women in leadership roles, it’s part of my life’s work,” Copps said during a Friday morning press conference.

“I also saw Andrea both as a municipal politician, but also in his work as a member of the NDP and leader at Queen’s Park. She is a collaborative leader and she knows how to work with people. I think divisions make cities collapse, unity makes cities grow and I think it really can.

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Horwath and Copps appeared along with Pier 8 alongside HMCS Haida, which is docked in Hamilton mainly due to Copps’ presence.

“I am honored to receive Sheila Copps approval,” Horwath said. “She Obviously she is a woman who has brought her strong voice, her passion, her ideas, her vision to our city. And the Copps family, of course, have really left an indelible mark on Hamilton’s history.

Copps ‘father served as mayor of Hamilton between 1962 and 1976, while Copps’ mother served on the city council from 1985 to 2000.

Copps said provincial and federal parties have worked over the years to have fairly balanced gender representation, but this is a different story in municipal politics.

“At the city level in Canada, we have the lowest representation of women of any level of political culture,” she said.

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“Hamilton is one of the oldest and most successful cities in Canada, and it’s amazing to think we’ve never had a female mayor. This is therefore an opportunity to send a message to the rest of the country as well, that the city hall will reach out to these political parties and start electing better equal representation.

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Copps’ approval comes just days before Horwath releases its October election campaign platform.

Of the nine candidates registered to run for mayor, Horwath is the only woman.

The other candidates are former mayor and former Liberal MP Bob Bratina, former Chamber of Commerce CEO Keanin Loomis, Ejaz Butt, Paul Fromm, Jim Davis, Solomon Ikhuiwu, Hermiz Ishaya and Michael Pattison.

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