Vancouver Centre MP Hedy Fry says her appointment as special representative on gender issues for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) does not mean she is leaving Canada’s Parliament any time soon.
“I’m running in the next election,” the six-term Liberal MP says.
Fry was named to the position by PA president Petros Efthymiou on Oct 19.
She replaces Swedish parliamentarian Tone Tingsgaard who held the position for seven years.
Fry tells Xtra the position involves working with the OSCE’s 57 member states to improve the gender-equality situation within the European organization and reporting back to the president.
She will also promote discussion of gender issues within the OSCE and in particular the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, and develop, in cooperation with the Gender Unit at the International Secretariat, a more active gender profile of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.
“The OSCE still has a long way to go before it provides equal opportunities for men and women,” Efthymiou said in appointing Fry.
Fry says the work will also involve going to different OSCE member countries and documenting gender issues for reporting back to Efthymiou.
She says the position will not interfere with her Vancouver Centre constituency work. She notes she already spends time working with other organizations such as the United Nations and the Commonwealth.
“Many Members of Parliament belong to international organizations,” Fry says. “It just means you have to work harder. It’s a challenge. I love a challenge.”
Canada and the United States are the only non-European members of the OSCE, Fry says.
“It’s a singular honour for Canada because the position usually goes to a European nation,” she says.
Fry has been MP for Vancouver Centre since 1993 when she defeated Conservative prime minister Kim Campbell for the seat.