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  • News
  • March 02, 2018

Ontario Honours Exceptional Community Members in Burlington

Recipients Announced for Annual Leading Women/Leading Girls Award

Ontario is celebrating International Women’s Day by recognizing women and girls who are making a difference in the community. Burlington MPP, Eleanor McMahon, was delighted to honour two Burlington recipients this morning at an International Women’s Day breakfast, hosted by The Honourable Paddy Torsney.

Leading Women/Leading Girls Building Communities recognizes women and girls who are working hard to improve the lives of others in their communities.  

Janine Hersey and Riya Karumanchi were announced as the 2018 award recipients for Burlington. Through their hard work, both Janine and Riya have made the Burlington community better for everyone and continue to advocate on behalf of residents.

Janine is an inspiring leader in the Aldershot community who has been a passionate and caring role model for women and girls in Burlington. As the chair of the Warrick Surrey Community Association, she has been committed to making a positive impact in the neighbourhood.

Riya is a motivating young woman who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in the Burlington community. Her extensive volunteer work and her start-up initiative SmartCane are testaments of Riya’s passion for social change.

The government is proud to recognize Janine and Riya’s hard work through the Leading Women/Leading Girls awards.

Recognizing the civic contribution of women and girls is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.


“Burlington is home to many strong and talented women and girls who are on the ground doing great work in the community. It is my pleasure to recognize Janine Hersey and Riya Karumanchi for their strength and leadership. Our government is proud of the exceptional women and girls who have given their time and talents in helping others and improving their own communities.”

— Eleanor McMahon, MPP for Burlington

“The leadership of women and girls is fundamental to building a brighter future and a more equal society for all.  This award celebrates the important contributions of women and girls in Ontario, whose hard work inspire us all.”

— Harinder Malhi, Minister of the Status of Women


  • March 8 has been recognized as International Women’s Day around the world since 1977. The annual celebration highlights women’s economic, political and social achievements.
  • Since the launch of the Leading Women/Leading Girls Building Communities program, more than 1,000 women and girls have been recognized for their community leadership contributions.


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