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Women’s issues finally get the attention they deserve

TORONTO, September 17, 2015 - Women’s issues will finally take the forefront in the federal election thanks to a partnership between the Up For Debate campaign, Twitter Canada, Toronto Star and Le Devoir.

This national conversation on women’s issues will be broadcast live from Toronto’s Isabel Bader theatre on Monday, Sept 21. The free event starts at 7:00pm and will feature a lineup of commentators and pundits analyzing and debating clips from exclusive one-on-one video interviews with four of the five federal party leaders.

“We are proud to put women's issues at the centre of this election,” said Ann Decter, director of policy and advocacy at the YWCA Canada and Up For Debate campaign spokesperson. “For the first time in 30 years we will see federal party leaders speaking on the record to issues that matter to women.”

The Toronto Star and Le Devoir will livestream the event, and will host the full-length video interviews on their websites in both official languages. Twitter Canada will broadcast the event via its Periscope app and will help promote the event on its social media platform.

"Twitter Canada believes the issues being discussed are of critical national importance," said Steve Ladurantaye, head of government partnerships at Twitter. "It's essential that we have these discussions publicly so we can start to move beyond talk and effect real change in the coming years."

Marie-Andrée Chouinard, Communications Director at Le Devoir, said: “In line with its mission and values, Le Devoir is proud to partner in this debate where the parties will be asked to speak to issues affecting women's rights."

“This debate – and these questions - matter not only to women but to all Canadians. The Star is pleased to be working with our partners to advance and promote the discussion,” said Jane Davenport, Managing Editor of the Toronto Star.

The interviews – focused on ending violence against women, ending women’s economic inequality and supporting women’s leadership – were conducted by well-known journalist and documentary filmmaker Francine Pelletier.

Emcee Jess Beaulieu, a Toronto based feminist comedian and writer, will be joined on stage by journalists such as the Althia Raj of the Huffington Post Canada, Laura Payton from Macleans, and Laurie Monsabraaten of the Toronto Star, and by Canadian thought leaders such as Kate McInturff, Senior Researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Alejandra Bravo, Manager of Leadership and Learning at the Maytree Foundation, Katherine Hensel, founder and principal lawyer at Hensel Barristers, a diverse practice focused on serving First Nations, and Angela Robertson, Executive Director of Central Toronto Community Health Centres.

For media inquiries and to register as media attending the event, please RSVP to:

Melanie Gallant

For general admission tickets for the event:

The Up for Debate campaign is led by the Alliance for Women’s Rights, a non-partisan network of over 175 women’s rights, Indigenous, human rights, and international development organizations, faith-based and community groups, unions, and business associations. Plan Canada is a member of the Alliance for Women’s Rights.

Up for Debate will be tweeting from the event using hashtags #upfordebate and #elxn42

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit and for more information.

Media contact

Abigail Brown, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: (416) 920-1654 ext. 277 | C: (647) 971-3764 |