It took one woman’s voice Thursday night to change the tone of the All-Candidates’ meeting in Smiths Falls. Carol Anne Knapp stood at the end of the debate between would-be councillors and mayoral candidates and asked to ask a question of the 13 candidates, nine of them men. This dramatic action was very much against the stated rules of the evening. Above the noise, Knapp explained she had composed a question and submitted it.
“The vetting machine decided this question was too improper to be asked. I decided, in 2018, it was too improper not to be asked,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
Paul Howard, moderator, was polite in asking her to sit down.
She went ahead: “Have you ever inappropriately abused the power you have over a woman, either in your employ or who is your tenant?”
Knapp’s Facebook page explains further: “…I speak for those who don’t feel they have a voice. I was approached by some and heard of others who have been subject to exploitation by a man who is in a position of power and is running for council.
“…We cannot allow men to think that it is “OK” to ignore the misuse of power. Let’s hope we have a balance of power on the brand new council that reflects not only that women should be respected but that the women who are running are probably the most highly qualified and experienced candidates in the race!”