P.E.I. still lagging behind in female representation in cabinet

The P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government is disappointed the province didn't add another woman to cabinet during Wednesday's announced shuffle.

Casey only other woman in government who's not in cabinet, but she says she's happy with being deputy Speaker

Deputy Speaker Kathleen Casey says she prefers her current role to a cabinet position. (CBC)

The P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government is disappointed the province didn't add another woman to cabinet during Wednesday's announced shuffle. 

Executive director Dawn Wilson said P.E.I. is the province with the lowest percentage of women in cabinet in the country, with only two of 11 members. 

While Tina Mundy, Paula Biggar retained their roles in the cabinet, Wilson would have liked to have seen Kathleen Casey, the only other woman in the Liberal caucus, given a ministerial position.

"Given the acute underrepresentation of women in the legislative assembly of P.E.I., we really saw today's announcement as a missed opportunity to ensure more inclusion of women's voices and experiences at the decision-making table," Wilson said.

Dawn Wilson with the P.E.I. Coalition for Women in Government would have liked to have seen Kathleen Casey given a ministerial position. (Matt Rainnie/CBC)

Happy with role

Casey, the MLA for Charlottetown-Lewis Point, said she's never been asked by any premier she's served under to be in cabinet but she's happy with being the deputy Speaker.

"I'm quite content to be the deputy Speaker of the legislature. I have a tremendous respect for the rules and traditions of the house and I think I'm doing a pretty good job."

She previously served as Speaker of the house from 2007 to 2011.

"I love being the deputy Speaker and I've actually spent a lot of time on the floor of the house," Casey said. "It shows confidence in the job that I'm doing when the ministers want me on the floor to chair the major bills."

'Where my strengths are'

Being in the Speaker's office is where she thinks her strengths lie, rather than in cabinet.

"I'm quite active while the house is sitting and I absolutely love having my hand in that and I think that's where my strengths are and that's the best place for me," Casey said.

"Maybe when I was first elected, sure, but we've got a tremendous team and everybody has their strengths and I think my strengths are in the legislative assembly taking care of the rules and traditions and I absolutely love it."

Casey, however, would "absolutely" like to see more women elected to the legislature.

She said she is considering running again in the next election and would like to again be the Speaker of the legislature.

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