YWCA of Canada Responds to February 2, 2004 Throne SpeechTuesday, July 27 2010
YWCA of Canada Responds to February 2, 2004 Throne Speech
Her Excellency Adrienne Clarkson delivered an eloquent Speech from the Throne yesterday voicing promises of 'democratic reform' and of 'building foundations'. But it is the upcoming Budget that will walk the talk of this 'new' Liberal government.
Childcare is a priority issue for YWCA Canada. Banking on previous commitments the Martin government offers "accelerating initiatives under the existing Multilateral Framework for Early Learning and Child Care, which means more quality child care more quickly".
Speaking from her office in Toronto, Elaine Teofilovici CEO YWCA Canada states, "We are encouraged to see equality issues such as childcare remain on the agenda. Canadian children need accessible, inclusive and quality childcare programs to be well prepared for academic success and lifelong learning. Universal childcare also allows mothers to pursue education and participate gainfully in the workforce. But the Multilateral Framework still needs increased financial and political commitment from the provinces to become a reality - there is a very important leadership role for the federal government to play here", continues Teofilovici.
"The Liberals were also silent on a commitment to social housing; an area of woeful neglect in Canada" says Teofilovici. "With 18.5% of children in Canada living in poverty, decent housing conditions are a must for their physical and mental development, security and social inclusion".
"While the previous liberal government saw provincial devolution as the solution to our most critical societal problems, it now seems that municipal devolution is the new 'mantra'. To hope that local governments will be able to address these serious and critical issues with dollars desperately needed for infrastructure is, at best, naïve".
Interestingly, while the Speech from the Throne recognizes that equality is the cornerstone of a democratic and progressive society, it completely ignores the fact that women are underrepresented in the Liberal government and in the political arena in general. "But for the YWCA", says Teofilovici, "the greatest shortcoming of this discourse on equality is that it lacks the vision to recognize and change the pattern of poverty in Canada". Over two million women in Canada are poor - ignoring substantive solutions to this inequality will not carve out the progressive Canada described in the Throne Speech.
For more information contact:
Elaine Teofilovici, Chief Executive Officer
416-962-8881 ext. 244