Friday, December 22

Women in Huron County Lose Help

The executive director of Women Today of Huron says cutbacks to the Status of Women will make it very difficult for women's groups to access federal funding.

Pam Hannington says describing a project in terms of accountability and measurable progress that the federal government requires is not easy. But she says that's what staff at the Status of Women office in London did for women in Huron County.

Hannington says once the cuts have been made, the closest office will be in Ottawa and staff across the country will be reduced to twelve people. She says the workload will be tremendous and a lot of women's groups will be left to fend for themselves.


Oda says: Savings mean more direct money for Canadian women

By Bev OdaThe Hamilton Spectator(Dec 21, 2006)

It is important to be clear on the recent changes Canada's new government has made to Status of Women Canada (SWC) and the benefits this will bring to women across the country.

Canada's new government was elected because of its promise to deliver value for taxpayer dollars........

........We did not streamline SWC to return $5 million to government coffers. We streamlined SWC to deliver $5 million more in programming for women in Canada.

Thursday, December 21

What's New at ?

Visit a website created to provide background on Status of Women Canada (SWC) and related issues.

At you will find objective information about the federal agency, along with tools and motivation for people to lobby the federal Conservatives to revisit changes made to the agency's funding and objectives.

Conservative cuts to funding of women's groups are short-sighted

The words "equality," "advocacy" and "action" were quietly removed from the Terms and Conditions of the SWC mandate, and from various SWC documents, such as its website - a chilling process that attempts to change history.

The tactic was borrowed from the Bush administration's handling of women's organizations in the U.S. Oda also eliminated virtually all funding for research, and made it impossible for women's organizations involved in advocating or lobbying governments to be eligible for SWC money. At the same time, Oda made for-profit organizations eligible for SWC funding.

What does this mean? It means that if Shell or Microsoft or Bell want to start a trainee program for women, they might get taxpayer money to do so, but regional, provincial/territorial or national women's organizations that deal daily with Canadian women and families on issues of violence or health or poverty can no longer get government funding from SWC for research. Nor can they educate government officials or policymakers with their knowledge and experience.

The Harper government has made a serious miscalculation if it believes that Canadians consider equality - women's or anyone's - and advocating for equality issues, a partisan or an ideological issue. Grassroots women's organizations employ a host of women and men with various political leanings, and work for communities that vote for all political parties.

Equality is a Canadian value, not an ideological option. Advocating for equality to improve public programs is not partisan, but simply good public policy. And funding organizations (a pittance) to educate our elected officials through both research and experience can only benefit all Canadians, and ensure the most efficient delivery of services to all regions.

Montreal Gazette (subscription) - Montreal,Quebec,Canada Read the entire article at status

Tuesday, December 19

MPtv - Dawn Black on cuts

MPtv presents a video recorded on Parliament Hill featuring an interview with Dawn Black MP discussing women's rights and recent federal government program funding cuts to the Status of Women. Includes Bev Oda footage.

Video is 9:35 - click on image to view

Edited Evidence - FEWO - Standing Committee on the Status of Women

Study: Potential impact of recent funding and program changes at Status of Women Canada. The transcript for the meeting held December 6, 2006 can be found here

Ms. Leslie MacLeod (President, Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women - Newfoundland and Labrador): " I am here from Newfoundland and Labrador. I come here with the women in the province with me in spirit. They had a message for me to bring, and that is that women are not equal simply because somebody says this is so. We know that women are not equal. We have not achieved equality yet."

Ms. Andrée Côté (Director, Legislation and Law Reform, National Association of Women and the Law): ".....the current minister for the Status of Women, Ms. Bev Oda, stated, during a meeting with the representatives of women groups last October that those who spoke out against inequality of women were exaggerating, that they were victimizing women and that, when all was said and done, they were all somewhat hysterical.

........The loss of the NAWL would mean the loss of a unique voice that has been making itself heard for 30 years on the federal scene, one of the rare voices to defend the rights of women in crucial areas such as family law, violence against women, poverty, pay equity, the protection of human rights, immigration law reform and the constitutional and international rights of women. "

Ms. Leilani Farha (Co-Chair, Human Rights Committee, Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action): On the change in the SWC mandate by removing the words “equality” (also “political” and “legal”): "..... by removing the three that you mentioned--equality, political, and legal--basically it straps women, it makes women unable, in our opinion, to make the gains necessary to reach equality. They're saying on the one hand that we've reached equality, so don't work on it, and they're taking away the means we would normally use to ensure our equality: political means and legal means."

Ruth Larson - Halifax - Retired CUPW activist

Re: "Conservatives to close most Status of Women offices" (Nov. 30).

I am disgusted, sickened and appalled that the Conservative government is continuing to demonstrate the utmost lack of respect for Canadian women!

I volunteered for many years at the Status of Women office in Labrador City, taking on various positions in the organization. We struggled to s−t−r−e−t−c−h the dollars from the small amount of money that the organization was getting. We paid low salaries to the professionals who worked at the office; we brought our own food for all events; we billeted any guest who came to town; we shared beds and homes; we begged from the community and we struggled along.

This was one place where I saw many women, young and old, gain self−confidence and develop skills such as speaking, writing, socializing and learning.

Children came to play.

We learned more and more about the injustices of our society towards women and what we can do about it. We gained comradeship, friendships, trust in each other; and we made lifelong friends while learning every day.

It is shocking how the Conservative government is hacking at women's livelihoods and eroding many years of hard work, determination and confidence.

Women need to take a minute and see what is happening: We are going backwards 50 years or more. We must speak out now.

Men need to support us in our continuing struggle for fairness, equality and justice.

PUBLICATION: The Chronicle−Herald
DATE: 2006.12.06
SECTION: Letters

Show leadership on child care

"Charles Pascal and Margaret McCain remind us that affordable, quality child care will go a long way in improving the early development and lifelong opportunities of children. But, let us also remember that child care is an equality issue for women."

Letter to the Editor: Toronto Star

Saskatoon Child-care operators waiting for subsidies

In April, the government announced the largest single-year increase in the history of the 30-year-old child-care subsidy program -- $3.6 million -- would take effect Sept. 1. But some child-care operators have received neither the additional promised funds nor their usual subsidy.

Full article at the Star Phoenix

$24-million government plan to improve the lives of Quebec women lacks specifics

While women's groups and unions were relieved to see two government bodies - the Council for the Status of Women and the Secretariat a la condition feminine - maintained, they said the plan announced yesterday smacks of pre-electioneering.

The Charest government has increased the cost of daycare 40 per cent, stalled on the pay-equity dispute, and barred mostly female at-home daycare workers from unionizing, the women said. There had been rumours that the Council and the Secretariat would be abolished or merged.

For women, "equality is a non-negotiable principle, a principle that defines us as much as the language we speak," Theberge said yesterday.

Full article at the Montreal Gazette

Monday, December 18

Cartoonist Mike Constable's take on Harper's "New Canada"

To view this recent animated cartoon created by Mike Constable - click the cartoon at left
Related Source: Visit the Union Art Service

Sunday, December 17

YouTube - Caroling for Carol Skelton

Caroling for Carol Skelton00:29
Protesting the cuts the Conservative government has made to the Status of Women as well as the closures of two offices in Saskatchewan, people sang Christmas carols with special lyrics to bring some holiday cheer.

Click on picture to watch

YouTube - Dec 10 Rally

The Women's Rally (10 Dec, 2006)06:31
Women marched from the Supreme Court to the Women's Monument on Parliment Hill.

Click on picture to watch

Winnipeg Sun - Arghhh !

Tom Brodbeck supports the cutbacks dealt to women's groups by the Harper Government. He writes:

  • Status of women groups are just a bunch of socialists : Brodbeck writes :"The truth is, status of women groups exist largely to push the leftist, socialist agenda in Canada. They're not as interested in women's issues as they are in socialist issues. They just package it as women's issues. "
  • Child care is NOT a women's issue: Brodbeck writes : "For example, they try turn child care into a "women's issue," which is nonsense. I'm a man. I use and pay for child care. I see many other fathers and grandfathers bringing their children and grandchildren to and from child-care centres. It's not the exclusive domain of women. Child care is a "family issue," not a "women's issue." But the status of women groups use their interpretation of child care as a women's issue to promote their socialist, national child care agenda. "
  • Poverty is NOT a women's issue: Brodbeck writes: "They also try to turn poverty into a "women's issue," as if women are the only ones who experience poverty. Poverty is a societal issue -- for kids, women and men. It's not exclusively a women's issue. But if you oppose any of the status of women's socialist solutions to poverty, they accuse you of attacking women's rights. "

The entire article is here

Friday, December 15

Bloggers list "Five things feminism has done for me"

by Ginette Petitpas-Taylor : "There is a silver lining to the dark clouds blown in by recent federal government cuts to support of equality-seeking Canadians. "

"The attacks forced some to think about how our lives would be different without the women's movement. "

What would your list look like?

Related addresses:
eMail 1:
Complete article posted on Straight Goods

Money to shelters can't justify cuts for advocacy

Federal Conservative MPs are calling women's shelters in their local ridings to solicit applications for grants from Status of Women Canada, says the Ontario based provincial association of women's shelters. According to the association, the calls from MPs are inappropriate because they favour shelters represented by Conservatives and other shelters aren't being urged to apply.

Read the entire article at

Thursday, December 14

Irene in Parliament

December 13th, 2006 Statement in the House On Cuts to Status of Women

Mrs. Irene Mathyssen (London—Fanshawe, NDP):Mr. Speaker, women in Canada are concentrated in low wage and part time jobs. They make only 71¢ for every dollar men make.

Women make up only 20.8% of this House of Commons and, shamefully, one in five Canadian women live in poverty.

On Sunday, in every province and every territory across the country, women told the Conservative government that enough was enough. Women are not happy with the government’s slash and burn tactics on the mandate and funding for Status of Women. Women are not happy with the last 13 years of broken promises from the Liberals. The so-called Liberal pink book is a testament to what the Liberals never did.

Women in this country deserve equality, child care, affordable housing and they deserve equal pay. Both the Conservatives and the Liberals have refused to address these issues, leaving women still fighting for equality in 2006.

The entire NDP caucus stands behind the call to reverse policy decisions made by the Conservative government that effectively work against women’s rights.

The Year in Review: Top 50 freakouts?

The Hour has created a list of the top 50 freakouts of 2006 and inclluded the following:

38. Feminist lobby and advocacy groups lose their legal edge this past September when the minister in charge, Bev Oda, defends the Conservatives' cuts and the Status of Women loses 40 per cent of their funding because she believes the move is "good for women." More like good for Conservatives who don't want "women's rights" cogs tossed into their right-wing wheels.

To read the entire article - click here

Wednesday, December 13

Oda believes women's office hinders equality ??

OTTAWA - Status of Women Minister Bev Oda says the Conservative government has removed "equality'' from the mandate of the status of women program because it wants to instil the belief in equality in every government department, agency and office.

"A lot of issues are not women's issues, they're Canadian issues,'' Oda said, explaining the government philosophy behind a series of moves that have provoked a week of Opposition criticism and protests by women's groups.

Women's rights representatives say the government is removing the raison d'etre of the status of women department set up in the 1970s after a royal commission documented widespread inequality between the sexes.

To read full article, click here
Juliet O'NeillCanWest News Service; Ottawa CitizenWednesday, December 13, 2006

Tuesday, December 12

Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS)

Nova News Now : Dec 12, 2006

Chrysalis House director Rhonda Fraser says women across the province are protesting millions of dollars worth of federal cuts to the Status of Women program. She says these cuts will have an impact on abused women in the Valley area.

"With cuts to the funding for research that has as its intention advocacy or lobbying, how will positive changes be made and the voices of the most vulnerable be heard?”Fraser asked.

"Most equality-seeking women's organizations, like transition houses, don’t have the funding to undertake research on our own. The Status of Women funding over the years has been a vital component of services for women experiencing violence and abuse,”she said.

Representatives of the Transition House Association of Nova Scotia (THANS) have requested meetings with their MPs to explain their opposition to several decisions taken recently by the federal government.

Political gender gap

Toronto Star Dec. 12, 2006. 01:00 AM
New Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion, in a bid to see more women in Parliament, says he will hand-pick women candidates to run in selected ridings across Canada in the next election.

Women comprise half the Canadian population, yet they represent only 20.7 per cent of the current members in the House of Commons. The Liberals have just 21 women MPs, a fifth of their 102-member caucus, while the governing Conservatives have only 14 women among their 124 MPs, or 11 per cent.

Status of Women office in Saskatoon affected by federal gov't cuts

About 30 protesters showed up Monday at the office of Conservative cabinet minister Carol Skelton to condemn the federal government's closure of Saskatoon's Status of Women office

The closure of Saskatoon's Status of Women office by the Conservative government is an attack on society's social fabric, protesters said at a rally outside Conservative MP Carol Skelton's office.

Members of local women's groups gathered Monday afternoon to protest the closure of 12 of the federal agency's 16 offices across Canada. They protested outside Skelton's office because she's Saskatchewan's lone federal cabinet minister.

  • Complete article here .
  • Photograph by : SP Photo by Richard Marjan
  • Jeremy Warren: The StarPhoenix
  • Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Funeral for a friend

Funeral for a friend: Winnipeg actvists say goodbye to Status of Women Canada as she was - "Status of Women Canada and her mandate for equality for women was born in 1971. She arose out of the hopes, dreams and hard work of grass roots women of Canada through the Royal Commission on the Status of Women ..."

The funeral eulogy drew attention to the fact that the losses of our friend the SWC is premature given that many inequities women faced in 1971, when SWC was established, are still the reality in Canada.

Monday, December 11

CAW Joins Code Blue Childcare Campaign

Julie White (CAW Dir. Women's Dept): "There's a real ground swell of support around childcare right now. We're seeing it not just among women; we're seeing it in communities across the country where women and men are coming out to rallies. They are talking about childcare. There was a radio call in show today that went on for two hours where people were calling in and talking about childcare."

To view the complete video from the CAW website, click here

CAW Urges Activists To Fight Right Wing Attack On Women's Rights

Carol Phillips (Assistant to CAW National President): "I want you to expect; I want you to create; I want you to participate in spontaneous acts of rebellion at an increasing pace as we remind these reformers, this really is the Reform Party that we are dealing with here, these Reformers in Conservative clothing, just how much is at stake here."

To view the complete video from the CAW website, click here

Sunday, December 10

Video and Media Coverage

CTV news video is here
CTV print coverage is here

65 Photos

65 photos were uploaded to photobucket and a slideshow can be viewed here

1000 women and their allies gathered Sunday for a rally at the Supreme Court of Canada

1000 women and their allies gathered Sunday for a rally at the Supreme Court of Canada to draw attention to one Tory cut - the abolition of a program that helped women pay for lawsuits defending their equality rights.

"This government is trying to shut us out of access to justice, trying to silence women's advocacy, but we will not accept to be silenced," said Andree Cote of the National Association of Women and the Law.

The coalition wants the funding cuts restored but doesn't stop there. It's also pressing for increased spending on day care, and for stronger legislation to guarantee pay equity between men and women.

The Ottawa event capped a weekend of protests by groups across the country.

Saturday, December 9

Sunday December 10th - Ottawa Rally and March

On December 10th, International Human Rights Day, Canada will mark the 25th anniversary of its ratification of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).

Instead of celebrating this historical milestone, women in Canada are mobilizing to ensure that governments honour and respect their international and domestic human rights commitments.

This is because over several months now, the federal government has acted in ways that deny most women’s realities, undermine women’s access to justice, and abandon its own obligation to advance women’s human rights in Canada.

Women from the Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa area will gather in front ofthe Supreme Court of Canada at 1:30 pm and march to the Famous Five Women'sMonument on Parliament Hill to demand that Prime Minister Stephen Harper honour his election commitment to uphold women's equality and human rights.

Events Elsewhere:

  • Women Nobel Peace Laureates send a letter to Prime Minister Harper : "We women Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative are writing to express our concerns about recent decisions which may jeopardize the historic efforts by Canada to achieve women’s full equality, at home and abroad. On December 10th, International Human Rights Day and the 25th anniversary of Canada’s ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination, we will stand in solidarity with women’s organizations across Canada in urging you to honour and respect international and domestic human rights commitments."

  • PEI women say:""Every Canadian woman, mother, grandmother,sister, aunt, niece, daughter and granddaughter who is not already suffering from the reign of cuts to social programs and health care is about to feel thesting of those cuts," says Donalda MacDonald, CUPE Regional Vice-President from Prince Edward Island.

  • NL women's groups take action

  • NWT bra burning “Harper has kicked women back to the sixties and we have a fitting response”. The Yellowknife Women’s Society is hosting a good, old fashioned bra burning event this Sunday in front of the Greenstone federal building.

  • "Not In Our Name, Mr. Harper!" at Moncton NB City Hall

  • The Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) is asking all its affiliated unions, advocates and activists to call the Premier's Office and tell them that muzzling the voices of people who need human rights protection the most is not okay, write letters to the editor in your own home town and lobby your local MPP. They are also asking their affiliates and community partners to join them in Ottawa on December 10 at 1:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Canada where women will rally and march for Women's Human Rights, for equality, for access to government and the courts.

  • Letter Writing Campaign Alberta
    Who? YWCA Calgary
    What? Letter writing campaign to Prime Minister Stephen Harper in protest of status of women cuts and changes in terms and conditions
    When? December 10th

  • Bus to Ottawa from Montreal
    Who? La Fédération des femmes du Québec
    What? Two buses to Ottawa from Montréal
    When? Sunday, December 10th, 2006

  • Bus to Ottawa from Toronto and back
    Who? Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses OAITH
    What? Bus to December 10th Rally on Parliament Hill!
    Where? Meeting place: Gather on December 10th at 8:45 am at 2 Carlton Street (corner of Carlton and Yonge Sts) in downtown Toronto.When? Leaving Toronto for Ottawa: Sunday, December 10th at 9 am sharpRally in front of Supreme Court, Ottawa at 1:30 pmReturning to Toronto: Sunday, December 10th at 4 pm sharpWe should be back in Toronto by 9 pm

  • Women Walking Together Saskatoon
    Who? Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together)
    What? Brunch/Entertainment, DVD airing of “Highway of Tears”,Vigil/Remembrance, speakers talking about the cut backs and their affect on Aboriginal women in Canada
    Where? White Buffalo Youth Lodge, 602 20th Street West, SaskatoonWhen? 12:00-3:00pm, December 10th

Two Minute Action on the Closures

The Conservatives have announced that they will close 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices in 8 provinces.

What you can do today:

Support the PSAC members working at SWC. Send them an email! Close to 40 PSAC members will be losing their jobs on April 1 st , 2007 . Others will remain in place and do their best to fulfill SWC's mandate. Tell them we appreciate all their work on behalf of all Canadian women. Let them know we believe in women's equality. Let them know we are fighting back

What do the closures means for women ?

  • 61 out of 131 positions are being cut, effective April 1, 2007 . The majority of these positions are held by PSAC members. Pink slips have started arriving at SWC offices across the country.
  • The new senior management team is being reduced from 7 to 6. A new Deputy Coordinator position is being created.
  • 12 out of 16 regional offices are being closed in the following communities: Vancouver , Saskatoon , Winnipeg , Thunder Bay , Toronto , Hamilton , London , Ottawa , Ste-Foy, Halifax , Charlottetown , St. John's.
  • Status of Women Canada's regional presence will be limited to four “points of service”: Edmonton , Ottawa (at Headquarters), Montréal and Moncton.
  • Regional office staff will no longer represent SWC on federal councils and other government initiatives. They will no longer have the mandate to liaise with their provincial and territorial counterparts. Their mandate to provide information to the general public will be limited. Their technical assistance to women's groups will be limited to priority groups – Aboriginal and immigrant women.
  • The federal government's in-house expertise on women's policy issues is being lost.
  • SWC staff have worked hard on behalf of all Canadian women from coast to coast to coast. They are program officers, researchers, policy analysts, communications experts, managers, administrative and support staff, and technical staff.

Two minute Action on Status of Women Funding

The Conservatives have cut Status of Women’s budget by 40% and eliminated funding to women’s groups who advocate for equality

What you can do today:

Send an email to Stephen Harper and let him know that his government's recent announcements are a departure from Canada’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of women’s equality and human rights and that you strongly disagree with this direction. Click here

What do the funding cuts mean to women?

  • The Terms and Conditions (T & Cs) of the Women’s Program (WP) have been renewed for the period September 27, 2006 to September 27, 2011.
  • Significant changes have been made to the Women’s Program’s mandate, objectives, eligibility criteria and activities NOT funded. Women’s equality, social justice, political and legal participation of women are examples of the language which has been erased from the T&Cs.
  • All activities linked to advocacy, lobbying and most research have been excluded from the new T&Cs. It is for this reason that a significant number of equality-seeking women’s groups, especially though not exclusively those working at the national level, will find it extremely difficult to secure funding through the Women’s Program. (ie NAWL, FAFIA etc)
  • The current T&Cs aim to provide “direct” and “local” assistance. This is very much based on a charity model which ignores the systemic issues behind the problem at hand. Instead of providing analysis and aiming for legal change the current approach privileges a case by case basis, almost as if women’s poverty and violence against women were exceptions, aberrations to the norm. This approach is not meant to result in any significant change and does not challenge the status quo.
  • Local work clearly needs to happen. However the women providing local services, often with little pay and job security cannot be expected to add advocacy work to their plate. Women’s equality work must also take place at the policy, research, legal and lobbying and advocacy levels. Providing short term services will not address long term, systemic discrimination issues which allow women’s poverty and violence against women to prevail.

Two minute action on the Court Challenges Program

The Conservatives have cancelled the Court Challenges Program so women can’t fight discrimination

What you can do today:

The Court Challenges Program has been cancelled by the Conservative minority government. This is a blow to all those in Canada who believe in fairness, equality, and language rights for French and English minorities. Please help reverse this decision.
Send email to your MP
Send email to the Prime Minister
Tell your friends about this campaign

What does the end of the Court Challenges Program mean for women?

  • On September 25 2006, the Harper government announced that it would immediately end all funding for the Court Challenges Program of Canada. This is a bad decision for women, and it must be reversed.
  • The Court Challenges Program (CCP) is a very important program that funds test-cases initiated by individuals and groups to challenge federal laws and policies that violate their constitutional equality rights. With the help of CCP funding, women’s organizations and other equality-seeking groups have been able to access the justice system, and present progressive interpretations of the law. This has resulted in more egalitarian outcomes for women, gays and lesbians, persons with a disability and other disadvantaged groups.
  • For example, the CCP provided funding for the Women’s Legal an Education Fund (LEAF) to argue against the use sexists myths in sexual assault trials. LEAF intervened before the Supreme Court of Canada in the Ewanchuk case, where the accused argued that the way a woman is dressed for a job interview can imply that she consents to having sex with a potential employer. Fortunately, the Supreme Court agreed with LEAF arguments and rejected this sexist defense.
  • The Court Challenges Program also funds test cases to defend the language rights of francophones outside of Québec and anglophones in Québec. This funding has been crucial in the struggle of francophones across Canada to obtain French language schools, and health care services in French.
  • This is the second time that a Conservative government has abolished the Court Challenges Program. The first was in 1992, and that decision was decried in all quarters and intense mobilization was successful: during the 1994 elections, all federal political parties promised to re-instate the Program if elected. In 1994, the CCP was indeed re-instated by the Liberal government.
  • The United Nations has repeatedly recognized the vital role that the CCP has been playing in the respect and promotion of human rights in Canada. In January 2003, the CEDAW Committee acknowledged the importance of the CCP in the struggle to end al forms of discrimination against women. And just last May the U.N. Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recommended that the Court Challenges Program be expanded to fund test case litigation against provincial laws and policies that violate constitutional equality rights.
  • For more information on the Court Challenges Program, and for suggestions as to how you can support the campaign for the reinstatement of the CCP, please go to the following website:

Two minute Action on Pay Equity

The conservatives have refused to introduce proactive pay equity despite expert recommendations

What you can do today:

Let the federal government and your MP know that Canadian women need a new pay equity law, based on the Pay Equity Task Force recommendations.

What does the absence of pay equity legislation mean for women?

In September, the federal government announced that it will not introduce a new pay equity law. This is a bad decision for women. It is a giant step backwards on the question of equal pay for work of equal value.

  • Women still earn less than men regardless of their occupation, age or education. There is a wage gap in Canada. According to Statistics Canada most report on women, on average, women working full-time full-year earn 72 cents for every dollar a full-time full-year male worker earns.

  • The wage gap is not the result of lower educational levels. Women with university degrees still earn 74% of what university educated men earn. Women earn less than men working the same sectors or even in the same jobs. Except for babysitters and nannies, there are no occupations in which women’s average earnings exceed men’s. Canada has one of the largest wage gap out of the world’s 29 most developed countries - only Spain, Portugal, Japan and Korea have larger wage gaps.

  • This wage gap persists despite the fact that in the federal sector, for almost 30 years, equal pay for work of equal value has been the law, as part of the Canadian Human Rights Act — and it clearly doesn’t work.

  • In 2001 the government established the Pay Equity Task Force. After extensive consultation and research they recommended a new proactive pay equity law in May 2004. Employers, unions and women’s groups all agreed that a new effective, accessible law which requires positive employer action, provides clear standards and allows access to an expert independent adjudicative body is needed.

  • Proactive pay equity law is not a new or radical concept in the Canadian context. Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick all introduced such legislation for their public sector in the early 80s. Ontario and Quebec both have proactive laws covering both the public and private sectors. In all these jurisdictions, these laws have been more effective that the current federal complaint based model.

  • We need government action that will bring Canada’s pay equity regime into line with its national and international human rights commitments. We need government action that recognizes the contribution women employees make to our economy. The Conservative government is saying that women will just have to live with a status quo that doesn’t work. They want us to rely on education, more mediation and wage rate inspections. All of these initiatives have repeatedly proven inadequate

Two minute action on Child Care

The Conservatives have cancelled the provincial - federal child care agreements which would have provided much-needed quality child care

What you can do today:

What does the cancellation of the provincial - federal child care agreements mean for women?

  • In 2003, the previous federal government dedicated federal funds for early learning and child care programs and then continued to build a child care system through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories that provided an additional $5 billion commitment over five years.

  • The current federal government has announced the cancellation of these bilateral agreements on March 31 2007. This results in cuts of $1.2 billion that was committed to provinces and territories to invest in their own communities, families, and children. Instead of funding child care services in communities, the current federal government has introduced a taxable family allowance and announced a$250 million incentive-based child care spaces initiative – an approach tried and abandoned by other governments because it simply doesn’t work.
  • Quality child care has been called the “ramp’ to women’s equality. Without it, women can’t participate fully in economic, social, political and cultural life. That’s why Canadian women need – and deserve - a publicly-funded and publicly accountable, non-profit, pan-Canadian child care system.
  • More and more women with children are working (72%). They need quality child care to study, train for jobs and work with peace of mind. Women working in the home need quality developmental experiences for their children too.
  • All women want to know their children are in good hands.
  • One in six children in Canada (15.6%) lives in poverty.
  • More than 50% of female lone parents are poor. Access to dependable, affordable child care can help mothers improve the lives of their families. It allows them to train for jobs, and to get decent jobs and keep them.
  • Child care contributes to women’s economic independence, and that means they can more easily take themselves and their children out of abusive relationships. Child care supports the employability of mothers while at the same time helping provide children with the foundations for lifelong health, learning and skill development.
  • A Child care program also benefits childcare workers who only earn 62% of what most women earn.
  • Canadian economists identified a $2 benefit for every $1 invested in a high quality child care system. Quebec which has introduced a comprehensive child care system is already seeing a return of forty cents on every dollar invested. Child care is a tremendous support to families because it allows parents, particularly women, to increase their labour force attachment.
  • Two recent international studies show that Canada is well behind other countries when it comes to early learning and child care services.
  • While Canada is one of the wealthiest countries, we rate at the very bottom when it comes to investing in child care, and investments in maternity / parental leave and other social programs – don’t rate much better.

An affront to women--Un affront aux femmes

It is often argued that the work of women’s groups is no longer necessary because ‘equality has been achieved’ or ‘discrimination has been outlawed’. While it is undoubtedly the case that there was significant political momentum in favour of achieving sexual equality in the 1980’s, leading up to and following the enactment of the constitutional equality rights provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1985, it is also widely recognized that equality still remains elusive for all too many women.

  • Recently the Conservatives:
  • cancelled the provincial/federal child care agreements which would have provided much-needed quality child care
  • refused to introduce proactive pay equity despite expert recommendations
  • cancelled the Court Challenges Program so women can’t fight discrimination
    cut Status of Women’s budget by 40% and eliminated funding to women’s groups who advocate for equality
  • announced that it will close 12 of 16 Status of Women Canada offices in 8 provinces.

These decisions are an affront to women, and the groups that defend women’s rights. They are also a departure from Canada’s long-standing commitment to the promotion of women’s equality and human rights.


On fait souvent valoir que le travail effectué par les groupes de femmes n’est plus nécessaire puisque que «l’égalité entre les hommes et les femmes est atteinte» ou que «la discrimination est désormais illégale». Malgré l'important regain d'intérêt politique en faveur de l'égalité sexuelle qui a caractérisé les années 1980 et conduit à l’adoption des dispositions portant sur les droits à l’égalité de la Charte canadienne des droits et des libertés en 1985, il est aussi généralement reconnu que l’égalité demeure toujours problématique pour de trop nombreuses femmes

  • Voici la réponse que les Conservateurs servent aux femmes:
  • ils ont annulé les ententes fédérale-provinciales en matière de services de garde qui auraient pallié à l’absence de services de garde de qualité
  • ils ont refusé de présenter une loi proactive sur l’équité salariale en dépit de recommandations en ce sens de la part d’expert-e-s.
  • ils ont aboli le Programme de contestation judiciaire pour empêcher les femmes de contester la discrimination à leur égard
  • ils ont coupé de 40% le budget de Condition féminine Canada et ils ont supprimé le financement des groupes de femmes qui défendent le droit à l’égalité.
  • ils ont annoncé qu'ils fermeraient 12 des 16 bureaux de Condition féminine Canada dans 8 provinces

Ces décisions sont un affront aux femmes et aux organisations qui font la promotion de leurs droits. Cela équivaut à faire faux bond à l'engagement de longue date pris par le Canada de promouvoir l'égalité et les droits humains des femmes.

Friday, December 1

Yukon Events

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Ontario Events

Toronto - February 1st, 2007 - Pupatello will host a meeting of women's issues ministers - minus Oda - on Feb. 1 in Toronto.


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British Columbia Events


  • January 18, 2007
    1st Anniversary of Harper's Broken Promise to Women
    Promise made...."Yes I am ready to support women's human rights and I agree that Canada has more to do to meet international obligations to women's equality.If elected, I will take concrete and immediate measures, as recommended by the United Nations, to ensure that Canada upholds its commitments to women in Canada"Stephen Harper January 18, 2006Promise broken....Since coming into office, the Harper Conservatives have
    closed more than half of the Status of Women regional offices
    have changed the funding criteria for women's groups and have removed the word "equality" from the SWC's list of objectives
    eliminated support for equality rights test cases (the Court Challenges Programs)
    refused to adopt proactive [pay equity legislation and have cancelled funding to the Canada-wide child care program
    The Harper Conservatives have consistently dismissed eqaulity rights for women. They will continue unless we speak up !
    Join Us !
    18 January 2007-Noon onwards
    Sinclair Centre-757 West Hastings Street
    Gather outside the front door of the Sinclair Centre
    Rally and Information Picket
    1st Anniversary of Harper's Broken Promise to Women
    Hold the government responsible for broken promises. For more information contact shauna paull 604-209-5776 or alison brewin 604-684-8772


Alberta Events