A 'knit' idea to show Montreal's gender disparity at City Hall

Montreal city council meetings can be long, real long, so one borough mayor has decided to use the time to try out a new experiment while she knits a new scarf.

Côte-des-Neiges-Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough mayor Sue Montgomery says that she knits during council meetings as a way to help her concentrate. This week she decided use the knitting time as a bit of an experiment: when men speak she knits in red, when women speak she knits in green.

After one day the scarf is about 75-80 per cent red.

Montreal's city council currently has 34 men and 31 women, but Montgomery says the scarf isn't showing a disparity in representation, but a disparity in how speakers use their time.

The borough mayor said while some of the male councillors like to repeat their point several times and use all of their allotted time, the majority of the women get straight to the point.

The knitting project has had mixed reaction. Some say it shows a problem at City Hall while others say Montgomery should use her time to speak more in council rather than knitting.