Declaration of Women's Groups during the Federal/Quebec/Provincial and Territorial Status of Women Ministers' Meeting, 2 October 2006, Saint John, NB.Monday, July 26 2010
Read at a media conference Mon. 2 Oct. 06 in Saint John by National Association of Women and the Law, Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada, Fédération des femmes du Québec, Fédération des femmes acadiennes et francophones du N.-B., l'Alliance des femmes de la francophonie canadienne, the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action, Urban Core Support Network of Saint John, N.B. Coalition of Transition Houses, N.B. Coalition for Pay Equity,Femmes Équité Atlantique and the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women.
The cutting of 5 million dollars from Status of Women Canada's meager budget of 13 million gives women's groups cause for deep concern about the Canadian government's commitments to equality.
On September 25th, the federal government announced the cut, and in doing so, revealed its true colours. Our worry is much more than financial. We worry that the dismantling of Status of Women Canada has begun - a dismantling of the very mechanism dedicated to the advancement of omen's
equality in Canada.
Our concern has grown over recent months as the federal government made several decisions that risk a widening of inequalities faced by women. It abolished the brand new national child care program, announced it would not support the adoption of proactive pay equality legislation, and it abolished the Court Challenges Program.
Such measures risk undermining Canada's commitments to women's equality and lead to an erosion of rights guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and international human rights conventions.
We demand that federal, provincial, and territorial (F/P/T) Ministers of Status of Women gathered in Saint John, New Brunswick, on October 1st and 2nd intervene immediately at the federal level to insist the federal government reverse its decision to cut funding from Status of Women Canada.
We demand that the F/P/T Ministers encourage the federal government to immediately implement the Expert Panel recommendations on improving the Women's Program and support for women's groups in Quebec and the rest of Canada.
We demand that the F/P/T Ministers ensure all levels of government respect their commitments to the Charter and to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
We demand that the F/P/T Ministers sign an action plan in Saint John, affirming their commitment to pursue the aforementioned.