Will be my first guitar.... small hands and not really into heavy metal... looking for something that's easy to learn on and "reliable"... so far my options are as follow, all between $200-$250 CDN

Fender Modern player mustang
Yamaha Pacifica
Epiphone les paul special II
Squier Affinity Series Stratocaster HSS

And those are about it that I can get my hands on (have to order)... The fender is half price at this point ($250) and was thinking this may be the one... however, seen some good review of the yamaha... so hopefully those who have been around long enough to know better can guide me a bit...

thanks in advance!
the yamaha pacifica I really liked that I had last.

24.75 scale is ideal
C or U shaped necks
hum cancelling single coils are a must in my eyes, grover tuners are a great name brand for reliable tuners.

learn how to read guitar tabs fast so you can improve daily and keep the guitar in tune at all times. Lessons really help it's difficult finding a teacher who does from the basics to the advanced stuff but not impossible. I'm one for the hands on approach.

however.. if you're in a big city like vancouver, toronto or montreal or edmonton I highly recommend kijiji or craigslist. For 200-250$ I could get an amazing guitar on a good day on kijiji. Not sure about a guitar google the value. Be more concerned with the sound of the guitar then the value. Deal hunters always pissed me off on there.
All of those guitars you listed are good options, as a beginner you can't really go wrong with any of them.
If I were you I would try and find a guitar-playing friend (if you have one) and ask nicely if they can come with you to check out some used guitars. Going used can save a lot of money and get you a better guitar.
Also, have you got an amplifier?? I'd also suggest you check out other interfaces and software as an alternative to an amp if you don't have one. Mobile apps and computer interfaces can give really good tones for a relatively cheap price.
Good luck on your guitar-playing journey!! Feel free to ask the forums or send me a PM if you'd like more advice