Women will more warmly embrace the B.C. Liberals when they consider which party offers a sounder economic future for the province, Premier Christy Clark says.
Current polls that show the Liberals with just 21 per cent of support among women, compared to the 52 per cent who back the NDP, are of little use in predicting the outcome of next spring's election, Clark said Friday in Kelowna.
"People are going to ask themselves this question: 'Who is best to look after my economic future and make sure that my kid's future is assured?'" Clark said.
"I hope men, just like women, will say, 'It's Christy, and her party who are going to make sure our economy is strong in the future," Clark said in an interview.
Clark made her remarks after addressing a women-only gathering at the Delta Grand hotel. The three Kelowna area MLAs, Ben Stewart, Norm Letnick, and Steve Thomson, had earlier sent invitations to attend the meeting with the premier to about 150 local women.
Some who were inside the room said Clark gave a short address, then fielded questions on health care, day care, how to advance more women into senior managerial ranks, among other topics.
While many women were business owners and presumably had been invited because they were Liberal supporters, others were unionized health-care workers, managers of non-profit groups and members of First Nations organizations.
After addressing the group, Clark told reporters she saw value in having some meetings only with women.
"Women talk differently amongst ourselves when there's no men around," she said. "It really is such great conversation that we have. It's a little bit
different than the conversation I have with men."
Clark said she got the idea for the meetings when she toured Asia and realized the only women in the rooms were servers. The situation is not so different here at home, she said.
"When I look at my normal day, I almost exclusively end up meeting with men," she said. "If I didn't try to deliberately include women, 85 per cent of the people I meet with would be men."
Although women at the meeting had been invited by the Liberal party, and some people who hoped to attend were denied entry because they didn't have an invitation, Clark said the group represented a good cross-section of the population.
"It was a random group of women from all across society, all different walks of life, people who weren't political at all, I think, for the most part," she said. "I didn't get the feeling that they weren't open to what I was talking about."