The City of Ottawa faces a unique transit challenge; it has the highest ridership per capita of any city its size in North America and that ridership is anticipated to grow by over 78% over the next twenty years. The success of Ottawa's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) network (known locally as the Transitway) has led to a bottleneck of transit service in the downtown core; simply put, there is just no more room on downtown streets to accommodate transit capacity as the City's ridership increases.
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North America's urban ills are many and varied, from suburban sprawl and the excessive use of the automobile, to urban decay, blight, street crime, and declining population in the inner cities. These problems are intensified in urban communities along and north of the 45th parallel: the winter-cities of the US and Canada.
Currently, women hold only 24.7 percent of federal seats (76 out of 308), 26.4 percent of provincial/territorial seats (201 out of 760), and 23.9 percent of municipal seats (5,800 out of 24,239) across the country. Although women represent 52 percent of the Canadian population, they are not proportionately represented in public office. For this reason, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) has been championing a UNESCO recommendation to reach a target of 30 percent female representation among elected officials by 2026. Efforts to promote greater representation of female elected officials are necessary for several reasons. First, female inclusion in politics affects the very nature of the process as research indicates that women are more likely to work in a collaborative manner and include external input. Second, women can affect the issues by ensuring that a variety of viewpoints and different demands and priorities are part of the debate. Lastly, women's representation in government continues to be matter of equality.