President Emily Noble acknowledged that the Ontario government quickly responded
to concerns about quality of care by promising to post details of child care inspections
on a government website. However, the issue of unsatisfactory child care continues
to be a serious concern, she said. Read More
29, 2007 Additions to the site include:
Group Applauds Amnesty International CAEFS
- Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies Press Release dd May 28,
2007 The Canadian
Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)emerged from its
Annual General Meeting in Montreal with a clear direction from its membership
to commend Amnesty International for their report on The State of the
World's Human Rights. CAEFS is a federation of 26 local, community based service
providers who work with and on behalf of marginalized victimized, criminalized,
and imprisoned women and girls. Read
summarizes facts and current government policy for six
Read text here, highlighting one detail
from each section.
5, 2006 Additions to the site include:
on Sept. 26th Announcement of $1-Billion Funding Cuts Canadian
Association of University Teachers (CAUT) CAUT
commentary on Treasury Board funding cuts (PDF, 4 pgs, 20 kb) On
September 26 Stephen Harpers Conservative government announced a series
of cuts totaling $1 billion over the next
two years. The cuts were announced on the same day the government made a $13.2-billion
payment on the national debt. The cuts affect a vast array of departments but
are concentrated primarily on aboriginal programs, skills and literacy training,
social policy research, legal assistance and research, and funding for Status
of Women Canada. Read More
social Darwinism Silver
Donald Cameron, ChronicleHerald.ca OPPOSITION PARTIES dont win elections,
says the old maxim; governments lose them. In 1957, Louis St. Laurent lost. In
1984, John Turner. In 2006, Paul Martin. On each occasion, the over-ripe Liberals
yielded to a new-ish Conservative leader Diefenbaker, Mulroney, Harper.
Tory prime ministers always believe they won the elections, and thus have a mandate
to reshape the country according to their dark fantasies. Wrong: Canadians did
not suddenly decide to cleave unto the National Citizens Coalition and the
Calgary Prophetic Bible Institute. They mainly wanted to punish the Liberals.
Failing to understand that, the Tories soon make themselves loathed, and are firmly
propelled into the wilderness for another generation.
Harper Tories have started already, with their brainless budget cuts. With a surplus
of $13.2 billion, the government is "swimming in money," notes former
Liberal Revenue Minister John McCallum. The national debt as a percentage of GDP
is at its lowest level in 24 years. No matter. Without even a fig-leaf of necessity
to cover its naked social Darwinism, the government gleefully mounts a sly, mean-minded
assault on civil society the voluntary and non-commercial activities which
glue the country together. Read
full article here
Spain, women are shaping a cultural revolution Molly Moore, The
Washington Post MADRID
- When Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega graduated from law school in the 1970s,
Spanish law prohibited her -- and any other woman -- from becoming a judge, serving
as a witness in court or opening a bank account.
the angular, outspoken 57-year-old is Spain's first female vice president, helping
orchestrate a cultural revolution in the boardrooms and living rooms of the country
that coined the word machismo -- male chauvinism -- five centuries ago.
have a prime minister who not only says he's a feminist -- he acts like a feminist,"
Fernandez said in her cavernous office of polished wood floors and cream-colored
sofas. "In 2 1/2 years, we have done more than has ever been done in such
a short time in Spain."
Socialist government is requiring political parties to allot 40 percent of their
candidate lists to women and is telling big companies to give women 40 percent
of the seats on corporate boards. Half of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriquez Zapatero's
Cabinet members are women -- the highest proportion in any European government.
divorce laws not only make it easier for couples to split, but stipulate that
marital obligations require men to share the housework equally with their wives.
full article here
a letter sent to Prime Minister Harper today, ETFO president Emily Noble stressed
that the reductions in funding are "shamefully targeting the most vulnerable
and marginalized groups in our community."
these cuts and policy changes," Noble urged the Prime Minister. Read
28, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Stand Up For Canadian Women Liberal Party release dd Sept.
28, 2006 The
Liberal Opposition today stood up on behalf of all Canadian women today and called
on the Conservative minority government to respect the rights of women and promote
their equality in Canadian society.
This government has gutted
the funding for equality seeking groups that help raise awareness and fight discrimination,
including those for women said Liberal Critic for Status of Women Maria
Minna. Moreover, we are saddled with Conservative Minister for Canadian
Heritage Bev Oda, who wont rule out the possibility that the Status of Women
Agency might wind up on the Conservative chopping block. Read
you know by now 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 us
reverse this decision.
you will find links to a letter to the Prime Minister and several background documents
regarding the Court Challenges Program. A
Steering Committee representative of both language rights and equality rights
communities has prepared these materials and is asking that you do the following:
CCD by noon of Monday, October 2ndif you or your organization are willing to be listed as either a supporting
organization or individual on this letter, or both.
your confirmations of support to
with your contact information.
endorsement should indicate the full name (not simply an acronym) of the organization
in both English and French if you choose, as well as the full spelling of your
name and title if you wish it included.
this letter to others that have not received it and encourage their support. There
will be follow up letters to the Prime Minister. We are seeking as many names
as possible by Monday but do not stop seeking endorsements of the letter, there
will be other opportunities for organizations and individuals to support this
your own letter as an individual or organization to the Prime Minister and forward
a copy for our records to email@example.com
your own Member of Parliament and send her or him a copy of the letter to the
Prime Minister. We will circulate the final letter to the Prime Minister with
endorsements to you on Monday afternoon.
axe that harms democracy Court Challenges Program played key role
in settling equality rights by Lorne Sossin, Op/Ed, Toronto
Star, Sep. 28, 2006 On
Monday, after announcing more than $1 billion in reduced federal government spending,
including the axing of the Court Challenges Program, Treasury Board president
John Baird said, "I just don't think it made sense for the government to
subsidize lawyers to challenge the government's own laws in court."
first glance, Baird has a point. Why should the government fund lawsuits against
Challenges Program provides selective funding to "test cases" which
seek to advance equality and language rights under the Constitution.
rationale for the fund lies in the fact that access to justice requires resources
both in terms of court fees and fees for the lawyers who argue these cases.
Court Challenges Program has over the years offered a voice in the debate on the
scope and nature of language and equality rights to individuals and groups, which
would otherwise not be able to bring these issues to court.
important, this program has conferred legitimacy on rights-seeking individuals
and groups. The program stands for the proposition that it is in the public interest
to have courts clarify the nature of the constitutional constraints on government.
cancellation of the Court Challenges Program was slammed Wednesday by the country's
largest legal organization, opposition parties, and at least one Tory provincial
Trudeau-era program has helped fund successful court challenges that broadened
the rights of Canadian seniors, women, the disabled, homosexuals, religious groups,
aboriginals, and minority-language groups.
federal Tories announced this week that cutting the program would save taxpayers
$5.6 million over two years.
Premier Danny Williams - a provincial Tory and a lawyer - called the cuts
worrisome and distanced himself from the "right-wing" federal Conservatives.
27, 2006 Additions to the site include:
of Court Challenges Program a Step Back for Equality Rights Read
the press release that went out after today's press conference held by Liberal
MPs Omar Alghabra, Sue Barnes, Mauril Bélanger, Bonnie Brown and Maria
Minna The Conservative government's elimination of the Court Challenges
Program will strip minority groups of the ability to challenge legislation that
infringes on their rights, says the Liberal Opposition. Read
Harper government's spin on shutting down the Court Challenges Program of Canada,
to save $5.6 million, is that this is the organization that has been part of controversial
cases including funding the advocates for gay marriage and the right of prisoners
announcing the axing of Court Challenges, along with numerous other programs as
part of $1 billion in spending cuts yesterday, Treasury Board president John Baird
said those initiatives "weren't meeting the priorities of Canadians"
or providing "value for money."
still, Baird went on to say about Court Challenges that the federal government
is no longer interested in funding opposition to legislation it believes is right.
if not for Court Challenges, I would not have been able to fight the government
when our family was discriminated against by the federal employment insurance
Conservative Government Slashes Funding to Wasteful Anti-Family Programs LifeSiteNews.com, John-Henry Westen, dd September 26, 2006 OTTAWA,
September 26, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The budgets of some of the most wasteful
and at the same time biased Canadian government funded programs have been slashed
by the new Conservative Government. Three organizations which have been overtly
pushing for same-sex marriage have been denied millions of tax-dollars they have
been receiving for years under the previous Liberal government.
<SNIPED> REAL Women Canada,
a conservative women's group said in a press release today that they were "especially
pleased" at the cut to Status of Women. "This is a good start,
and we hope that the Status of Women will eventually be eliminated entirely, since
it does not represent 'women', but only represents the ideology of feminists,"
said the group. "The Status of Women was established in 1973 under
Prime Minister Trudeau and over the years, it has funded feminist groups to serve
as agents of change, never recognizing that other women have different views and
have no wish to be represented by these feminist organizations." Hold
your nose & read more
real priorities revealed - Media Statement We
are deeply concerned about the gutting of the only federal agency that addresses
critical questions pertaining to equality and about what it suggests about what
this government's true intentions are for equality matters in Canada.
Announced Monday, the 5 million dollar cut to Status of Women Canada (SWC) is
a serious attack on the lone federal department engaged in the development of
gender responsive policy and in the fulfillment of Canada's human rights obligations
to women at the international, domestic, and inter-governmental levels.
now see the government's real priorities revealed. Read
elimination of the Court challenges Program will deny legal redress to
poor and marginlized women: the Conservative Government is abrogating CEDAW
Article 2 (c) To establish legal protection of the rights of
women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals
and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act
of discrimination. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not include
the financial means by which to access the courts on an equal basis with the wealthiest
citizens or corporations when a individuals rights have been violated.
Government cut $5 million from the Status of Women budget despite the recommendations
of the Parliamentary Committee, representing all parties in the house, to an increase
in the budget of at least 25%. How does this action live up to his promised commitment
to Canadian women?
reveal Harper Conservatives agenda - For women and Court Challenges Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) Press Release The government
has announced a series of cuts to social programs - so they can save $2 billion
over the next 2 years. "Likely the money from these programs will be designated
for some type of tax cut that the Harper Conservatives will announce in the next
federal election - probably sometime this spring," said Paul Moist, national
president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.
we look at just 2 of these program cuts $5 million from the Status of Women and
$5.6 million from the Court Challenges program, a clear message is being sent.
The government is essentially saying that any voice given to addressing gender
inequality in this country will be further silenced - furthermore any voices wanting
to challenge the current status of the laws of this land will be muzzled,"
added Moist. Read
The Advisory Council denounces the decision to cut the federal Department
of Status of Women Canada by $5 million over two years. These cuts will
be taken from its modest budget of $13 million per year. It is one of the smallest
federal departments but has a huge role in advancing women's equality. This department
provides critical analysis of the effect of policies and programs on women.
... The Advisory
Council also condemns the decision to shut down the Court Challenges Program
of Canada. Yesterday, federal Treasury Board President John Baird stated, "I
just don't think it makes sense for the government to subsidize lawyers to challenge
government's laws in court." The Advisory Council disagrees. Read
paper harps about the ongoing pay gap between men and women, without pointing
out that men tend to choose higher-paying jobs because they're socialized to be
disingenuous to complain that women working full time only earn about 70 cents
for every dollar men make if you've deliberately chosen to work as, say, a low-paid
forwarded the attached Chapter
1 - Wage Inequities from the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force Report. If you consult
Table 1:4 and Table 1:5 you will see a number of interesting and telling facts,
based on Statistics Canada data. One, women are concentrated in lower paid occupations,
which you will undoubtedly attribute to life choices. We will have to disagree
about how much real choice many women have in our society. The other fact you
should notice is that within each broadly defined occupational category, without
exception, there is a significant gap between the wages of men and women ... the
only "profession" where women earn more than men is as "babysitters,
nannies and parent's helpers". Read More
make their mark on government spending with tough choices by:
Jennifer Ditchburn, CP The Conservatives put their mark on government
spending Monday with the announcement of $1 billion in cuts to programs they did
not consider priorities, from funding to Canadian museums to research on the use
of medical marijuana. ... Some of the cuts, over two years, included:
$4.6 million in assistance
million from Status of Women Canada.
of the $4-million medical marijuana research program that tested the impact of
pot on ill Canadians.
of Law Commission of Canada.
of $9.7 million in support to Canadian Volunteerism Initiative.
of $10.8 million First Nations/Inuit tobacco control strategy.
Harper government response on pay equity this week demonstrates why it
is so important that women's groups receive adequate and stable funding: we need
to have the capacity to defend women's rights, and to respond to retrograde and
ineffective policies that bring us back 20 years. Read
More | plus en français
Equity: at the heart of equality Canadian
Labour Congress & Public Service Alliance Of Canada Press
Release dd Sept. 21, 2006 The
federal government announced yesterday that it is taking a giant step backwards
on the question of equal pay for women workers. More than thirty years after the
adoption of the Canadian Human Rights Act, women still earn less, on average,
than men regardless of their occupation, age or education. Today, a woman earns
72.5 cents for every dollar a man earns. Our equal pay legislation is not working.
The wage gap is even greater for Aboriginal women, women of colour and women with
disabilities. Read the full release in English
salariale... au coeur de l'égalité Congres
du Travail du Canada&Alliance
de la Fonction Publique du Canada Le
gouvernement fédéral a annoncé hier qu'il prenait un énorme
pas en arrière dans le dossier de l'équité salariale pour
les femmes. Plus de trente ans après l'adoption de la Loi canadienne sur
les droits de la personne, les femmes gagnent encore moins que les hommes en moyenne,
peu importe leur profession, leur âge ou leur scolarité. A l'heure
actuelle, une femme touche 72,5 cents pour chaque dollar que touche un homme.
Notre législation sur l'équité salariale ne fonctionne pas.
L'écart salarial actuel est encore plus important chez les femmes autochtones,
les femmes de couleur et les femmes handicapées. Read
the full release en français
groups fear federal cuts coming by
Norma Greenaway, CanWest News Service, Vancouver Sun, Sept. 22, 2006 A
leading Canadian women's rights group has been forced to close its office for
lack of money and other federally financed organizations fear a similar fate as
the Conservative government zeroes in on a promise to cut spending by $1 billion
this fiscal year.
prospect cheers Gwen Landolt, vice-president of the pro-life, pro-family conservative
lobby group REAL Women Canada and a fierce critic of federal funding of ''feminist''
and other special interest groups. ''It's
simply an abuse of taxpayers' money to fund only one ideology,'' Landolt said
in an interview.
over how much, if any, money will flow to women's and other groups should end
within the next week or so when the government tells Canadians what programs it
plans to curb or kill to meet its budget commitment.
MPs accuse the government of using the spending review to dismantle by ''stealth''
the 30-year-old agency known as Status of Women Canada, which, among other things,
hands out almost $11 million a year to groups committed to promoting gender equality
and the full participation of women in society. Read Full article at: http://tinyurl.com/fl9aw
2006 Featured article:
pick for bench draws fire Social
activists cite conservative views Globe
& Mail, Kirk Makin The
appointment of an Ontario judge who is seen as an opponent of pro-choice and gay
rights has created a stir among social activists.
expressed concerns yesterday about the appointment of Mr. Justice David Brown,
a Toronto lawyer who has represented Christian family-value positions in several
cases, and has written papers dealing with legal developments involving the sanctity
of life. ... He represented Focus on the Family (Canada) and REAL Women
of Canada in a court intervention against the constitutionality of same-sex
not responding to funding applications, the Conservatives are allowing programs
to shut down, one by one., said NDP MP critic for the Status of Women Irene
Mathyssen. "What's next? The entire department? It looks like Bev Oda is
spoiling to dismantle the Status of Women department."
of Sept. 12, The National Association of Women and the Law, has closed their doors
due to insufficient federal funding. The Canadian Feminist Alliance for International
Action (FAFIA) will shut down on Sept. 26. Organizations have put in applications
for funding, but have heard nothing from the Minister responsible for Status of
Women, Bev Oda. English
version en français
14, 2006 Queer
film fest under attack The
Department of Canadian Heritage should cut $23,000 in funding to the Vancouver
Queer Film Festival because the films are degenerate and degrading to humanity,
according to conservative lobby group REAL Women of Canada. Read
the Blues - What the Social Conservative Agenda Means to Women The CLC 13th National Womens Conference
Women Canada is a key partner in the alliance of social conservative groups
which strongly supports the Conservatives. In this statement, REAL Women acknowledges
that the future they have planned for us is something that will alarm Canadians.
What is their agenda? Should we be alarmed?
Conservatives to Sell Tory Daycare Plan, read the headline of a
Globe and Mail story on April 19, 2006. The Globe and Mail reported
what many in Canada may have known intuitively. On April 3, the day Parliament
re-opened the Conservative government had met with far right-wing groups
to strategize around how to convince the public that a taxable $1200/year/pre-school
child was preferable to setting-up a public system of early childhood learning
and care. Their ideological base of support is really the far right. The most
vocal critics of public child care come from small, fundamentalist religious-based
groups; the Conservatives are relying on them to counter the voices of working
families and child care advocates. And they now have a direct link to the
Prime Ministers office. Read More
Must Come Clean on Agenda for Status of Women Canada Liberal
Party of Canada Press Release dd August
25, 2006 OTTAWA
Liberal Critic for Status of Women and Multiculturalism Maria Minna
today called on Heritage Minister Bev Oda to reveal the Conservative governments
true intentions for the future of Status of Women Canada.
Conservative grassroots community is actively campaigning for the demise of this
important agency which promotes the rights of women in Canada, said Ms.
Minna. Ms. Oda must come clean and reveal whether or not she will bow to
the pressure of these extreme right-wing groups or if she will take a stand and
publicly distance herself from their position.
Recent media reports
indicate that several socially Conservative blogs have begun a campaign to eliminate
the federal agency for the Status of Women. The group REAL women of Canada, which
also opposes same-sex marriage and legalized abortion, launched the campaign because
of their belief that the agency promotes feminist policies on the false
premise that women in Canada are victims of a patriarchal society. Read
21, 2006 Additions to the site include:
and HIV: The promise of microbicides According
to the World Health Organization, women account for nearly 70 per cent of HIV-AIDS
cases worldwide. Randy Sheppard, CBC News Online When
most people think about AIDS, they see it primarily as a problem of the gay community
or of those who share needles. And they wouldn't be wrong.
over the past half-dozen or so years, the face of AIDS in Canada and the United
States has begun to change quite dramatically. More and more of those acquiring
the disease turn out to be young heterosexual women,
infected by their partners.
the Public Health Agency of Canada reported just last month, women now make up
20 per cent of the approximately 58,000 Canadians infected with HIV, up from 14
per cent in 2002.
is more alarming is the quick step of this trend. In the late 1990s, getting AIDS
from straight sex in Canada was a fairly rare occurrence. Fewer than 11 per cent
of all new adult cases before 1998 stemmed from heterosexual sex, according to
health officials. Today that proportion has nearly tripled and young, straight
women alone accounted for 27 per cent of all new infections last year a
another way, Canada's experience might be said to mirror that of some of the worst
parts of Africa where the AIDS virus first rampaged through the male population
but now seems to be turning its bile much more toward women.
to the World Health Organization, women account for nearly 70 per cent of HIV-AIDS
cases worldwide and in places such as sub-Saharan Africa and India a growing numbers
are married women infected by their husbands, with little power to do much about
Global AIDS Crisis: Four Steps for Canada is a civil society platform for
action to halt the spread of HIV/AIDS globally and to improve the quality of life
of people living with HIV/AIDS. The platform has already been endorsed by more
than 80 organizations across Canada, including the labour movement, faith groups,
AIDS organizations, student groups, human rights advocates, and humanitarian and
development organizations. Read More
8, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Advancing Gender Equity and Human Rights in the Global Response to HIV/AIDS As the world enters
the third decade of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, women especially the
young and the poor are increasingly affected. Because gender inequity fuels
HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS fuels gender inequity, it is
imperative that women and girls speak out, set priorities for action, and lead
the global response to the crisis. The ATHENA
Network was created to realize this imperative. ATHENA
strives to bridge the communities around the world that are addressing gender,
human rights, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV/AIDS. Further, ATHENA
promotes the leadership and participation of women and girls, especially those
living with HIV/AIDS, as central to the global response. Through these efforts,
we are guided by four central mandates for our collective work the indivisibility
and intersectionality of issues and experiences; the need for independence and
integrity; the inclusion of grassroots and indigenous groups; and the importance
of intergenerational exchange, new voices, and the involvement of youth. Read
A Dose of Reality: Women's Rights in
the Fight against HIV/AIDS The
global HIV/AIDS pandemic is taking a catastrophic toll on women and girls. The
number of HIV infections among women and girls has risen in every region in recent
years, and in sub-Saharan Africa, women and girls constitute nearly 60 percent
of those living with HIV. In some countries, the HIV infection rates for girls
are many times higher than for boys. The rising number of HIV infections among
women and girls is directly related to violence against women and their unequal
legal, economic, and social status.
of women's and girls' human rights impede their access to HIV/AIDS information
and services, including testing and treatment. Those who do obtain HIV services
sometimes face disclosure of their confidential HIV test results by public health
officials without the women's consent. This heightens women's risk of being ostracized
by their communities and abused by their intimate partners.
around the world have done far too little to combat the entrenched, chronic abuses
of women's and girls' human rights that put them at risk of HIV. Misguided HIV/AIDS
programs and policies, such as those emphasizing abstinence until marriage, ignore
the brutal realities many women and girls face. By failing to enact and effectively
enforce laws on domestic violence, marital rape, women's equal property rights,
and sexual abuse of girls, and by tolerating customs and traditions that subordinate
women, governments are enabling HIV/AIDS to continue claiming the lives of women
and girls. Read
and HIV/AIDS: The Barcelona Bill of Rights As
we enter the third decade of HIV/AIDS, women, especially the young and the poor,
are the most affected. Because gender inequality fuels the HIV/AIDS pandemic,
it is imperative that women and girls speak out, set priorities for action and
lead the global response to the crisis. Therefore, women and girls from around
the world unite and urge all governments, organizations, agencies, donors, communities
and individuals to make our rights a reality. Read
note that portions of the AIDS 2006 Conference will be available for viewing on
the Internet at no cost and with no registration... Webcasts and transcripts,
along with additional coverage, will be accessible at a later date. You can now
sign up now to receive a daily update email during the week of the conference,
providing summaries of each day's developments and direct access to all of the
online coverage. Sign up at www.kaisernetwork.org/aids2006.
those of you living in or near the Greater Toronto Area, please note that there
are a number of women's events that will be held in the Global
Village at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. These are open to the general
public (free of charge) as well as to conference delegates.
is the link to the Programme available online: www.aids2006.org/PAG/ProgrammeAtAGlance.aspx.
Any event marked with GV as the venue is scheduled to take place in the
Global Village and does not require a conference badge to attend. As
an example, here are 2 events scheduled at the Global Village (which I am anxious
An interactive session hosted by Association for Women's Rights in Development
will share its 'hot off the press' research on resources for women's rights organizations
and HIV/AIDS. Come share and learn if women are being short-changed and become
part of the strategies to mobilize more resources for women's rights. For more
info, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sun. Aug. 13, 2006 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm Where: Global Village,
Main Stage, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
Hosted by the International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (ICW),
International Women's Health Coalition (IWHC) and AWID:
panel will expose rights violations that have led to the growing number of women
who are now living with HIV, calling for greater respect and promotion of women's
rights within the HIV/AIDS response. Panelists from different parts of the world
-- HIV+ women activists and policy analysts -- will identify where appropriate
policy or program interventions might have made the difference in terms of HIV
status, treatment and community response. For more info, contact Cami Hilsendager
Mon. Aug. 14, 2006 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm Where: Global Village, Main
Stage, Metro Toronto Convention Centre
and HIV/AIDS: Select Facts
Women are increasingly vulnerable to HIV/AIDS.
Young people, especially young women, are disproportionately at risk.
Women and girls do not have access to comprehensive information and services.
The biggest HIV/AIDS risk for many
women and girls is marriage.
Sexual coercion and violence lead to a greater chance of infection. Read
Context: Women's vulnerability to HIV/AIDS Worldwide
In January 2002, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan announced that for
the first time, women represented half of HIV-positive individuals worldwide,
and more than half in sub-Saharan Africa, the region of the world hit hardest
by the epidemic. HIV/AIDS had become a generalized epidemic in many African countries,
moving from high-risk groups such as sex workers and injection drug users to the
general population, largely because of pervasive gender inequality. The combination
of social and political inequalities and severe poverty is lethal to women in
the developing world, rendering them disproportionately vulnerable to the virus.
Commitment: Addressing Women's Realities Despite
women's disproportionate vulnerability, few programs aimed at curbing the pandemic's
spread target them or reflect the realities of their lives. If we want to stop
HIV/AIDSin Africa, in Asia, in Latin America, in Eastern Europe, and in
Canada and the United States we must do two things: ... Read
Empowering Women on the Ground IWHC's
colleagues worldwide are providing young people with the information, skills,
and strategies to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS, and advocating for policies
that mandate the gender-sensitive comprehensive sexuality education that will
enable future generations to reach adulthood in good health. They are also working
to erode the gender inequalities that fuel the epidemic's spread by advocating
for women's sexual and reproductive rights and focusing attention on the realities
of women's lives. For example: ... Read
28, 2006 Additions to the site include:
stigma surrounding abortion continues in New Brunswick - Open Letter from Dr.
Henry Morgentaler The
New Brunswick government continues to deny women access to publicly funded abortions.
Under the current Medical Services Payment Act, to have an abortion covered by
Medicare, women are obliged to have the approval of two doctors in writing and
the abortion must be performed in a hospital by a gynecologist. This leaves women
with no family doctor or an anti-choice doctor no option other than the Morgentaler
Clinic in Fredericton. This discriminatory practice must stop. Read
Breast Cancer (IBC): The Silent Killer Inflammatory
Breast Cancer (IBC)
is an advanced and accelerated form of breast cancer usually not detected by mammograms
or ultrasounds. Inflammatory
breast cancer requires immediate aggressive treatment with chemotherapy prior
to surgery and is treated differently than more common types of breast cancer. African
Americans have a higher incidence of IBC than do Caucasians and other ethnic groups
(10.1%, 6.2%, and 5.1%, respectively)." Source
hopes the ideas in the report are a joke, calls the report "sloppy",
"sentimentalist", "Rousseau-ian", "sprinkled with neo-Luddite
thinking", "buttressed with Marxist-socialist cant"; that I am
"channeling the founders of the Social Credit party", making the guaranteed
annual income idea seem "ridiculous", doing a "huge disservice"
to the women interviewed, that I "trivialized the desperate needs of the
poor", made a "nonsensical lament about how [low income women] can't
buy organic", put feminism in disrepute and made the rest of Canada see us
as "wigged-out West Coasters." I'm surprised she didn't call me a blood-drinking
vampire as well, but then she wonders if I'm vegan. If she had contacted me, I
would have told her: that's right, I only drink the blood of organic carrots.
23, 2006 Additions to the site include:
shameful silence on women's rights Paul
Sheehan asks why Western feminists are mute on the plight of their Islamic sisters Excerpt: "...
In this cultural clash, the treatment of women is the most hotly contested terrain.
Not just the treatment of non-Muslim women by Muslim men, but the treatment of
Muslim women within Western culture. Many Muslim women live under constraints
that are unacceptable to wider society. For years, a symptom of this tension,
which is largely submerged, has been the distraught young women turning up at
the Australian embassy in Beirut to escape forced marriages.
the midst of this cultural and moral struggle one element has been conspicuously
missing - the feminists - the authors, academics and commentators who rose to
prominence as advocates of women's rights. In Australia and Europe, their response
to the growing levels of sexual intimidation, harassment or suppression of women
by Muslim men has either been a deafening chorus of silence, or denial and blame-shifting.
the Full Article
states: "Far from helping women like them, this report makes the whole
idea [guaranteed income] seem ridiculous." and "The 72-page
report by Cindy L'Hirondelle reeks of a sloppy, sentimentalist view of nature,
a vision of an idyllic, Rousseau-ian rural life minus the peasants." and"Please,
somebody tell me that the Victoria Status of Women Action Group's recently released
list of benefits of a guaranteed annual income wasn't written for David Letterman."
that is not all. She also makes a very damaging mistake about one of the points
listed under the section on "concerns". She thinks we were saying that
we did not want people new to Canada to have a GLI. She got it backwards! We had
the opposite concern. We wanted to ensure that people new to Canada could easily
access getting a Guaranteed Livable Income. Throughout the report it is also noted
that a GLI must happen in every country in the world. Read
Judge Who Gave Canada
Homosexual "Marriage" Had Conflict of Interest Says Women's Rights Group
July 19, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) The womens rights organization,
REAL Women of Canada, has filed a formal complaint against Ontario Chief Justice
Roy McMurtry with the Canadian Judicial Council, alleging judicial misconduct.
McMurtry was the judge who issued a ruling in 2003 on the Halpern case that effectively
ended the traditional definition of marriage in Canada.
son, James, revealed in a letter to the editor of a BC newspaper that his sister
is a lesbian in a live-in relationship with another woman. This, says REAL Women,
creates a serious concern that McMurtry had a personal and familial interest
in the Halpern case, which seriously impaired his objectivity and his ability
to adjudicate the case.
Womens letter alleges that McMurtrys personal interest biased the
entire process and violated the fundamental judicial obligations of office.
REAL Women says that in addition, Justice McMurtry deliberately chose and selected
judges sympathetic to same-sex "marriage" to hear the case. Read
the Full Article
explains the problems with the Government's process for developing Bill 107.
summarizes how to improve Bill 107, and
those interested in far more detailed information, Part
II, the longer part, gives an extensive explanation of each of the 49
amendments we propose. Accompanying this brief are appendices with important background
materials to support our proposals. These include: 1. A
list of the AODA Alliance's 49 recommendations for amending Bill 107 2. The
AODA Alliance's "Fact Check" on Official Statements about Bill 107
3. The AODA Alliances
April 3, 2006 Discussion Paper on Options for Reforming the Ontario Human Rights
15, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Batwoman's Gayness Today's women are pigeonholed
as either girly girls or lesbians Op-Ed in today's LA Times Excerpt
the reason, it appears that there are only two ways to go about being female these
days: You are either a midriff-bearing, gum-snapping, engagement ring-chasing
girly girl or you are a probable lesbian.
used to think of this dichotomy in terms of "separating the women from the
girls." Perhaps you remember how this went. Teenagers and early twentysomethings
wore nameplate necklaces and waited for the phone to ring, and adult women owned
condos and knew how to unclog a toilet without losing their sex appeal.
in a culture that's as allergic to subtlety as it is obsessed with youth, acceptable
versions of womanhood seem to be melting away with the polar ice cap. You either
get the Botox, the boob job, the bikini wax and baby doll dresses, or you take
the radical step of looking and acting like a fully formed, grown-up female. Read
13, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2006 Victims Rarely Report Abuse: StatsCan Report
Victimization surveys have
shown that spousal violence frequently involves multiple incidents. However, a
new study examining 10 years of police-reported data shows that most spousal violence
is reported to police on only a single occasion.
study, which analyzed spousal violence offenders and their contact with police
using a 10-year data file for 1995 to 2004, was published today in the 2006 edition
of Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile. It found that 8 out of every
10 spousal offenders were reported to police on only one occasion during the 10-year
time frame. Persons accused of repeated spousal violence (those with two to four
police-reported incidents of spousal violence) accounted for 18% of the total.
Only 1% were considered chronic abusers, that is they were involved in five or
more reported incidents.
results may be partially explained by the 2004 General Social Survey (GSS) on
victimization that found that only 28% of victims of spousal violence turned to
police for help. Incidents that are reported tend to depend on the severity and
frequency of the violence, and on whether children were witnesses. Other factors
include whether the victim was female, young, Aboriginal or turned to others for
support. Read More
report (2) turns a blind eye to women Despite
the mounting evidence as well as Canada's many commitments to using Gender-Based
Analysis in policy and program development federal health studies somehow
remain gender-blind. by
Laila Malik, CWHN Almost
20 years ago, the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) issued an in-depth
report calling for action to address mental health concerns facing women in Canada.
Mental Health in Canada: Strategies for Change
warned of the dire mental health effects of the feminization of poverty and violence
against women and drew attention to the disproportionate number of women assigned
with the diagnostic categories of depression and anxiety. It outlined 25 recommendations
for improvement, including the development of affordable, high quality child-care
services, the establishment of pay equity policies, recognition of unpaid caregiving,
and the creation of a national clearinghouse of research and programs on women's
mental health. The report was promptly buried, its recommendations consigned to
10, 2006 Additions to the site include:
of Choice: It's In Our Hands: Stop Violence Against Women Amnesty International Report 2006 From
birth to death, in times of peace as well as war, women face discrimination and
violence at the hands of the state, the community and the family. Female infanticide
deprives countless women of life itself. Every year, millions of women are raped
by partners, relatives, friends and strangers, by employers and colleagues, security
officials and soldiers. Women, children and men suffer from violence inflicted
in the home, but the overwhelming majority of victims are women and girls. During
armed conflicts, violence against women is often used as a weapon of war, in order
to dehumanize the women themselves, or to persecute the community to which they
against women is not confined to any particular political or economic system,
but is prevalent in every society in the world. It cuts across boundaries of wealth,
race and culture. The power structures within society which perpetuate violence
against women are deep-rooted and intransigent. The experience or threat of violence
inhibits women everywhere from fully exercising and enjoying their human rights.
7, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Issues - Glossary of Terms The following is a guide
to various terms associated with First Nations people, issues and treaties. Please
note that individual preferences may vary and should be respected when known.
it is polite and appropriate to ask how a person, band or council wishes to be
Futures: Gaining access to publicly funded abortions is not easy in New Brunswick by Chris Arsenault [The only hospital in New Brunswick
that was providing publicly funded abortions stopped performing the procedure
at the end of June.] The decision to have an abortion is rarely easy,
but after the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital in Fredericton stopped performing
the procedure at the end of June, and with pro-life groups rallying to prevent
Moncton's George Dumont Hospital from picking up the slack, many New Brunswickers
are wondering about the procedure's future in the province. Read
the Full Article here
Ensuring Access Sanda
Rodgers and Jocelyn Downie, Guest Editorial in the CMAJ, July 4, 2006
Access to reproductive
health care is essential to women's health, and for some women, abortion is a
key component of that care. But not all women in Canada have adequate, or in some
cases any, access to abortion.1 It is important for Canadian physicians to know
the facts about access to abortion so that they can better protect and promote
the health of their female patients.
of us assume that, in contrast to the United States, women's access to abortion
in Canada is enshrined in law and guaranteed by our health care system. This is
not always true. A brief review of history is needed here. Read
the Full Article here
by Stephen Lewis, UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa to High-Level Panel on U.N.
Reform in Geneva There
is a crying need for an international agency for women. Every stitch of evidence
we have, right across the entire spectrum of gender inequality suggests the urgent
need for a multilateral agency. The great dreams of the international conferences
in Vienna, Cairo and Beijing have never come to pass. It matters not the issue:
whether it's levels of sexual violence, or HIV/AIDS, or maternal mortality, or
armed conflict, or economic empowerment, or parliamentary representation, women
are in terrible trouble. And things are getting no better. Read
Women are on the warpath, as I guess I would be too if I were REAListic, Equal,
Active, and for Life. Hey, I am all those things! Oh, they mean "not in your
unREAL way." I think.
have been quiet for a long time. But they see the Stephen Harper minority government
as their chance to change Canada back to the way they say it used to be. Whatever
that was, I'm sure it was lovely. And frankly, their view of the future does verge
on the dire.
are living in the best of material times. Yet, simultaneously, we are also living
in a time of moral decadence: abortion on demand, the legalization of same-sex
relationships as marriages, the cultural and legal acceptance of homosexuality
despite its destructive ramifications, both psychologically and medically, rampant
sexual promiscuity and euthanasia, legalized drug use and legalized prostitution
just around the corner."
I'm for all these things. Not sure about rampant euthanasia (get it in writing,
I say, and point out the drawbacks: "Yer dead") or prostitution, but
perhaps they don't grasp that legal changes regarding prostitution are aimed (by
good men and good women) at saving hundreds of sex workers and other women who
have vanished into the thinnest of air in Canada. Some of them might have been
fed to pigs.
please consider writing to the
CBC before all the misogynists get there first! Heather is one of the few
remaining feminist voices left in MSM and could do with some support! Email: email@example.com
copies of the report (printed with 100% recycled newsprint with a colour cover)
have been distributed to many groups and individuals in across Canada and a few
to the US and overseas. Out of 1000 copies, we have only 200 hard copies left
which we are reserving for those without easy access to the internet.
This report is not just for women. All the women interviewed want a Guaranteed
Livable Income for everyone; however, they also recognize that women face more
poverty, stress, violence, unpaid and underpaid work, while also carrying primary
responsibility and worry for the well-being of the world's children.
Direct Attack on Abortion Rights by
Joyce Arthur, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada On
June 21st, Parliament saw first reading of a private
member’s bill by Liberal MP Paul Steckle to re-criminalize abortion. Bill
C-338, 'An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (procuring a miscarriage after 20 weeks
of gestation), would restrict later abortions performed after twenty weeks.
bill would allow exceptions to save the woman’s life and “to prevent severe pathological
physical morbidity of the woman.”It
would impose a prison term of up to five years, and/or a fine of up to $100,000
on anyone who “uses any means or permits any means to be used” to perform an abortion
past 20 weeks.
anyone who doesn't wish to visit the REAL Women website, DAWN Ontario has copied
and pasted the text from the REAL Women letter to MPs dated April 4, 2006 at this
pinpoint URL: http://dawn.thot.net/real_women.html#rwl
Child Benefit / National Child Benefit Supplement - Rate increase July 2006 The provincial government
stopped taking the 2% NCBS increases, as part of the Clawback, a couple of years
ago. Thus, as of July, you get to keep 6% of the increases, which are included
in the amounts above. If
you receive income assistance in Ontario the provincial government reduces your
assistance cheque by 84% of the NCBS you receive, regardless of whether
or not you are working. Read More
Are Wage Supplements the Answer to the Problems of the Working Poor?
Jackson, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2006 The
idea of addressing poverty through some kind of wage supplementation program has
been around for some time, but has only recently moved to the centre stage of
Canadian social policy. Unlike the more visionary concept of a Guaranteed Annual
Income for all citizens, wage supplements are intended to promote and support
employment in low-paid jobs. This
paper examines different recommendations and finds wage supplements can play useful
supporting roles in assisting the working poor, but should not be seen as the
centerpiece of a new social architecture.
to the World Health Organization, Where There Is No Doctor is perhaps the
most widely used health care manual for health workers, clinicians, and others
involved in primary health care delivery and health promotion programs around
the world. The manual provides practical, easily understood information on how
to diagnose, treat, and prevent many common illnesses. With over 90 translations
and adaptations of the book available worldwide, and millions of copies in print,
the book is an essential health resource for individuals and communities around
Health for Lesbians: Risks and Realities Canadian Health Network,
2006 Consistent, non-judgmental sexual health care for lesbian women that
supports them to make informed decisions depends on partnership and good communication
with their health care providers. Because this kind of communication is often
lacking, many women who have sex with women are unaware of their individual risk
factors for contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Read
20, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Domestic Violence Death Review Committee Releases Annual Report Dr.
Barry McLellan, Chief Coroner of Ontario, announced today the release of the third
annual report of the Domestic Violence Death Review Committee (DVDRC).
The report contains
an overview of domestic violence deaths occurring in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005
that were reviewed by the committee, along with the statistical analysis of information
collected. Recommendations arising from the review are also included in the report.
DVDRC is an advisory committee and reports directly to the chief coroner. The
committee was created in response to recommendations made by the juries in the
coroner's inquests in the deaths of Arlene May and Randy Iles (1998), and
Gillian and Ralph Hadley (2002), as well as the Joint Committee on Domestic
Violence. The committee members are drawn from the health, justice, advocacy
and social services sectors. Read More
Rejecting Harper Government Child Allowance, Poll Shows The
results of a poll released today show that Canadians are rejecting Stephen Harper's
plan to distribute a $1,200 child allowance to parents with children under six
years of age. The Environics poll asked more than 2,000 Canadians their views
on child care and the response was clear - 76% of Canadians support a national
affordable child care strategy such as the 2004 federal-provincial agreement that
was cancelled by the Conservative government.
Lysack, Executive Director of the Child
Care Advocacy Association of Canada(CCAAC) says that Canadians
are not buying into the Harper government's child-care strategy adding, "They
see that this plan isn't going to help them find affordable, quality care for
their children." The poll showed that only 35% of Canadians support the government's
child allowance plan.
most crucial for the minority Conservative government is that many Canadians say
that their opposition to the child allowance is strong enough that it is likely
to influence their vote in the next federal election. This is even true for one
third of Conservative voters, a fact Lysack cautions that Stephen Harper should
be very concerned about. Read More
19, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Lansing was a terminally ill mother who had her three children taken away from
her on the night she died Monica
Lansings entire life was centered around her three children. She worked
very hard to support them and provide them with a safe and loving home. Monica
and her ex-husband, had a joint custody agreement, in regards to their children,
but Monica had primary guardianship of all three children and they lived with
her full time.
years ago, she fled from her husband, who continued to harass her even though
she had moved to another province. He employed members of his family, specifically
a brother-in-law, to watch her house and enter into her home when she was at work.
His brother-in-law is a former police officer and paramedic and is now the subject
of a complaint filed with the Alberta College of Paramedics.
three years Monica was granted day-to-day care and was the primary guardian of
the children until she became sick. When Monica was diagnosed with Leukemia he
took her children away from her and cut off his support payments. Contrary to
what he told the courts and the newspapers, he uprooted the children from their
schools and friends and relocated them to British Columbia without notification
or her consent. Read More
14, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Fact Sheet In
response to recent inquiries and to help provide additional information for the
discussion on Bill 107 and how best to improve and rebalance Ontarios Human
Rights System, the Commission has prepared a Fact Sheet highlighting cases the
Commission has been involved in over the years that have received decisions from
higher courts. Please
go to www.ohrc.on.ca/english/news/e_june-06-facts.shtml.
de renseignements du CODP En
réponse aux enquêtes que nous avons reçue et pour donner desrenseignements
additionnels pour lentretien sur le projet de loi 107 et le sujet des meilleurs
moyens daméliorer et de rééquilibrer le système
des droits de la personne en Ontario, la Commission a mis au point une fiche de
renseignements qui souligne des causes dont la Commission a participé qui
ont reçu une décision d'une cour supérieure. Veuillez
of 'Failing the Homeless' report on Barriers to ODSP Access: June 20th Street Health - Release
Over the past year and a half
Street Health, a community-based health care organization working with
homeless and underhoused people in downtown Toronto, has been working on a research
project exploring the barriers to accessing ODSP for our clients, while at the
same time helping them to secure benefits.
report, entitled: Failing the Homeless: Barriers
in the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) for Homeless People with Disabilities,
identifies key barriers and delays in the ODSP system for homeless people. It
also makes recommendations for how to improve access to ODSP benefits for homeless
people with disabilities. Read More
13, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Count Us In! Inclusion
and Homeless Women in Downtown East Toronto - June 2006 Project Partners: Ontario Prevention
Clearinghouse, Ontario Women's Health Network, Toronto Christian Resource Centre
and Toronto Public Health The
purpose of this project was to investigate how health and social services in Toronto,
and in the province of Ontario, can be made more inclusive, and in turn, promote
the health and well-being of marginalized groups. Homeless and underhoused women
who live in Downtown East Toronto led the research and were actively engaged in
all stages of the project, from collecting and analysing the data to developing
the final recommendations.
facilitated 11 focus groups with 58 women who are homeless or underhoused.(4)
The researchers collected feedback on the health and social services that women
use as well as the participants ideas about how policies and services could
be improved. Count Us In! aims to influence how governments and service
providers plan, deliver and fund services for populations that are marginalized.
As one participant said, this is an opportunity for the service providers to "step
back and take a good look at what is needed."
This report summarizes
what the women said. It describes many of the barriers they face, and then highlights
their solutions for making services more inclusive. Read
Count Us In!
highlights the importance of marginalized women being actively involved in every
part of the process, to ensure that their voices are heard, that they are "at
the table," and that the appropriate actions are taken to meet their needs.
Breads Whos Hungry Report Illustrates Depth of Hunger Crisis Survey examines
hunger in the GTA and Daily Bread advances solutions TORONTO,
June 6, 2006 - Food bank use across the GTA has risen a dramatic 79% since
1995, according to the report Whos Hungry: 2006
Profile of Hunger in the GTA released today at BCE Place. The results
of Daily Breads annual survey paint a picture that cannot be ignored of
the struggles and financial plight of the diverse population relying on food banks.
The 894,017 people who accessed emergency food services last year through GTA
food banks, 38% of whom were children, would not go hungry if the issue of poverty
were addressed. So, in conjunction with the report, Daily Bread advances the Blueprint
to Fight Hunger. Read More
9, 2006 Additions to the site include:
Ryerson from honouring homophobia Please
lend your support by forwarding this communication widely and signing the on-line
petition at:http://www.PetitionOnline.com/5087MCT/petition.html Excerpt: Ryerson
Students' Union, representing all full-time and graduate students at Ryerson and
RyePRIDE, representing the queer and Trans voices of Ryerson, are extremely concerned
about the University's decision to award MARGARET SOMERVILLE an honourary
degree on June 19, 2006 at 9:30am, as part of Ryerson's convocation ceremonies.
... Although Ryerson claims to respect and celebrate diversity in
all its forms and the right of individuals to live free of discrimination, their
actions to uphold this decision speaks louder than these words. Homophobia
is not honorary in any form and no individual should be rewarded for propagating
hate and intolerance in our communities.
For those of you who do
not know Margaret Somerville, she is a McGill University ethicist and is widely
known for her controversial views on same-sex marriage. In both the public and
academic spheres Somerville has argued that same-sex marriage, "compromises
the right for all children to be raised by both genders and to know their biological
parents". Read More
Mallick is one of the very few feminist voices left in public places ... her CBC
column generated a lot of negative responses (they appear below her column). Hence,
we are calling for emails to: firstname.lastname@example.org
in Heather's defence.
must be incredibly frustrating for Heather Mallick to continue being one of the
few feminist voices left in MSM ... Please write and show solidarity with Heather
while countering the voices of the misogynist types who have responded to date.
New Bully on the Block: Cyber Bullying Womyn's
Voices The Internet has created a whole new world of social
communications for young people. They are using e-mail, Web sites, instant messaging,
chat rooms and text messaging (STM) to stay in touch with friends and make new
ones. While most of the interactions that these kids engage in are positive, increasingly
kids are using these communication tools to antagonize and intimidate others.
This has become known as cyber bullying.
Internet has facilitated the creation of an interactive world that is away from
adult knowledge and supervision. Because bullies tend to harass their victims
away from the watchful eyes of adults, the Internet is the perfect tool for reaching
others anonymously from any where at any time. This means that home, for children
who are victims of bullying, is no longer a refuge from the cruel peer pressures
of school. Read
5, 2006 Additions to the site include:
care facilities, 2002/2003 and 2003/2004 Women
outnumbered men by a ratio of more than two to one in Canada's residential care
facilities for seniors in 2003/2004. Data for all provinces and territories, except
Quebec, show that nearly 103,500 women lived in
homes for the aged, compared with just under 42,400 men.
Endorsements from Individuals & Organizations Sign
on to the Open Letter to Premier McGuinty re: Bill 107, the Human Rights Code
Amendment Act, 2006 Excerpt:
As individuals and
community organizations who believe Ontario needs a strong human rights system,
we are writing to urge your government to take a balanced and genuinely open approach
in reforming the human rights system.
107, the Human Rights Code Amendment Act, 2006, sets out to reform the process
for enforcing human rights in Ontario. We agree reform is long overdue, but Bill
107 is not the solution we are looking for.
understand that, prior to the introduction of the Bill, the Attorney General's
office has engaged in some private dialogues with select human rights and legal
clinic lawyers, all of whom are very skilled, but are not the people who are in
need of the assistance afforded by the human rights system. Many communities -
including racialized, disabled, GLBT, aboriginal and women's communities - of
which we are a part, were never consulted by this Government on what is truly
needed to improve the system. Read More
to End Poverty in Canada The
NDP launched a national End Poverty in Canada
campaign yesterday vowing to engage Canadians and their politicians to deciding
what the fairest way forward is for all Canadians. The NDP Social Policy Caucus
cited recent United Nations and Ontario-based reports documenting the crisis which
found: Over half of Canadians receiving social assistance
still need food banks to survive.
with their civil society allies, the NDP will engage Canadians in dialogue on
the Canada Social
Transfer which transfers billions of dollars to provinces and territories
with no accountability nor monitoring of its adequacy. We
will travel to communities to hear from Canadians about what their principles
of fairness, justice and equity say about what they want for themselves, their
neighbours and all Canadians. It is time for a fair deal for all said Tony
Martin (MP Sault Ste Marie).
part of the campaign, Martin introduced a motion in Parliament today to increase
the federal minimum wage to $10 an hour for federal jurisdiction workers, and
to implement recommendations from the Pay
Equity Task Force Final Report.
107 will take away rights now entrenched in the code Commentary by Mary Woo Sims, former
chief of the B.C. Human Rights Commission Excerpt:
... If you're
having difficulty in understanding why these reforms are a big deal, let me draw
this analogy. Many victims of crimes are unhappy with the justice system. Imagine
if the government responded to these concerns by eliminating the police who investigate
crime and Crown prosecutors who bring the matter before the courts. Imagine the
government saying that, since investigating and prosecuting crime takes too long,
you can now bring your charge directly to the courts. I can't imagine Canadians
would agree that this is an effective fix for our problems with the criminal justice
system. So why would we believe that this type of system would work for human-
isn't the first province to move in this direction. British Columbia and Nunavut
have also gone down this road, saying these reforms would improve human-rights
delivery. Indeed, these reforms have been seductively referred to as direct
access. But, as we've learned in B.C., direct access does
not mean direct access to justice, nor does it mean direct access to a hearing
on the merits or substance of a complaint. What it means, in practical terms,
is only direct access to a tribunal. Read More
report from YWCA: Violence against women is a national shame Violence Against Women is
a National Shame: Now it Must Become a National Priority YWCA
Canada releases a national study that indicates an alarmingly high percentage
of women coming to shelters are at risk of being murdered. Of the 368 women interviewed
at ten research sites across Canada, 77 percent were at extreme or severe risk
general public has little understanding of the fear and degradation commonly experienced
by women abused by their intimate partners", explains researcher Professor
Leslie Tutty, "it is an ongoing secret terrorism for these women."
women who seek shelter have made many attempts to stop the abuse, but they cannot
control the abuser's actions. When they have exhausted their resources and are
most vulnerable, shelters provide safety. The women in the study indicate that
shelters are the most effective support available to them; but it is not enough.
rapport du YWCA : La violence contre les femmes : une honte nationale La violence contre les femmes : Une honte nationale
dont il faut faire une priorité nationale
YWCA Canada présente
les résultats alarmants d'une étude nationale qui indiquent qu'un
haut pourcentage des femmes qui cherchent refuge dans les maisons d'hébergement
risquent d'être tuées. Des 368 femmes interviewées à
dix sites de recherche dans l'ensemble du pays, 77 pour cent étaient en
extrême ou grave danger de mort.
Le public, en général, n'a pas idée de la peur et de la déchéance
que vivent les femmes victimes des mauvais traitements de leur partenaire intime,
explique la professeure Leslie Tutty, chargée de recherche. Il s' agit
de terrorisme continuel pour ces femmes. »
femmes qui font appel aux refuges ont maintes fois tenté de faire cesser
les violences à leur égard, mais elles n'ont aucun contrôle
sur les actions de leur conjoint violent. Quand elles ont épuisé
leurs ressources et sont à leur plus vulnérable, les refuges leur
fournissent la sécurité. Les
femmes de l'étude ont indiqué que les maisons d'hébergement
étaient pour elles le moyen d'appui le plus efficace, mais cela ne suffit
pas. Read More
2006 Additions to the site include:
Gov't Eliminates 4 Month Retroactive Payment Rule Ministry
of Community and Social Services (MCSS) Press Release dd May 31, 2006 As
part of its plan to restore integrity to Ontario's social assistance program,
the government has eliminated the four month limit on retroactive ODSP payments.
Now, an individual who is approved for ODSP after submitting an application will
receive retroactive payments for the full amount of time that they have been waiting
for approval. Under the previous rule, this person would only have been eligible
for up to four months of retroactive support.
The announcement builds
on previous initiatives to cut the amount of time it takes to process an application,
including investments in new technology and the hiring of additional staff. It
also responds to a major recommendation made by the provincial Ombudsman in his
report released today. Read More
most vulnerable are losing out: says Ontario's Ombudsman André Marin Ombudsman Ontario Press
Release dd May 31, 2006 Ontarios
disabled have lost out on disability benefits to the tune of at least
$6 million, as a result of delays in processing their applications
for support by the Ministry of Community and Social Services Ontario Disability
Support Program and the impact of a provincial regulation, which limited retroactive
benefit payments to four months. Thousands of Ontarios most vulnerable
citizens have become losers in a cruelly insensitive and intensely bureaucratic
waiting game Mr. Marin notes in his latest report titled Losing
the Waiting Game.
Ontario Disability Support Program provides income support, health and other benefits
for people with disabilities who are in financial need. The Ombudsmans investigation
was launched after the office received 71 complaints of delays of up to 10 months
at the Ontario Disability Support Programs Disability Adjudication Unit,
which is charged with determining whether or not an applicant for financial support
meets the stringent definition of a person with a disability as set
out in the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997. During the Ombudsmans
investigation, an additional 74 complainants came forward and upon reviewing Ministry
statistics it was found that at least 4,630 individuals and probably many more,
were affected during the period from April 1, 2004 to December 31, 2005 alone.
add insult to injury, Mr. Marin found that once an applicant was deemed to be
entitled to financial support, they were limited by regulation, to receiving four
months of retroactive benefits, regardless of how long it may have taken for the
Ministry to process their application and even though the delay was through no
fault of their own. Read More
aim to cut extreme poverty by half, ensure every child has the chance to go to
school and live a long and healthy life, and bring discrimination against women
to an end. The risks of dying as a result of childbirth are to be dramatically
reduced, deadly diseases brought under control, the environment better managed,
and the benefits of progress more equally shared by all the nations of the world.
Together, the aspirations set out in the MDGs and their associated targets and
indicators represent a powerful framework for action.
3 challenges discrimination against women, and seeks to ensure that girls
as well as boys have the chance to go to school. Indicators linked to this goal
aim to measure progress towards ensuring that more women become literate, have
more voice and representation in public policy and decision making, and have improved
job prospects. But the issue of gender equality is not limited to a single goal
it applies to all of them. Without progress towards gender equality and
the empowerment of women, none of the MDGs will be achieved.
Read More Plain language guide to MDGs
107 needs to come with some assurances: Sandi Ellis As
someone who works for the Canadian Labour Congress and who has been a member of
the Ontario Federation of Labour Human Rights committee for over a decade, I quite
understand the positioning of Michael Bryant and the provincial government on
changes to the Human Rights Commission and the Code under Bill 107.
labour movement in Ontario has been lobbying for changes to the Human Rights Commission
for many years. There is no question that the current system for resolving violations
in Ontario is in need of reform, with two primary problems:
delay in the process with some investigations taking over a year to be assigned.
fact that some complaints are dismissed without ever being referred to the tribunal,
when it is believed they do not need to be.
107, as it is presented, seemingly alters the process of resolving human rights
complaints, stripping the commission of its responsibilities and transferring
the entire system to the tribunal.
Rally for Child Care on Parliament Hill Message
to Harper: Grow up and build a real child care program! Colourful
paper dolls billowed in the warm spring breeze as hundreds rallied on Parliament
Hill (May 25th) to push the Harper government to build a real child care program.
Child care advocates brought thousands of paper dolls and stuffed animals
to symbolize the 7,000 Ottawa children who are stuck on child care waiting lists
under misguided Conservative child care policies.
The rally attracted
hundreds of Ottawa child care workers, parents and kids who were joined by hundreds
more CUPE Ontario members in town for their annual convention. Speakers called
for public, quality, not-for-profit early learning and child care programs across
Women Learn to Use CEDAW as a Tool for Change Workshops Teach Women About Their Rights Several
local women's groups in Jamaica have come together to address women's rights through
a series of five training workshops. While
talking to the women being trained at the first of five workshops recently, independent
gender issues consultant Dr. Glenda Simms said that many women do not know
what their rights are, and the workshops are a good place to start.
have a role to play. Use your privilege to empower the less privileged,"
she told the organisers, which comprised the Women's Resource and Outreach Centre
(WROC), the Coalition for Community Participation in Governance, Development Alternatives
with Women for a New Era and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung organisation.
workshops, designed to teach Jamaican women about the UN Convention on the
Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (UN CEDAW), attracted
65 participants from all over the island. "CEDAW
is a serious treaty document and the government should be held accountable for
what it does or does not do for you," Dr. Simms said. Read
Womens Gathering In Honour of Lyallen Hayes Hosted
by Minwaashin Lodge, the Aboriginal Womens Support Centre - August 4 - 6,
Lodge, the Aboriginal Womens Support Centre is hosting a Womens Gathering
in a country setting just 40 minutes from Ottawa. The
gathering will begin on Friday, August 4th (evening), Saturday, August 5th and
end on Sunday, August 6th, 2006.
All women (aged 16 and over) are invited
to join us in a two-day healing weekend, featuring traditional Native teachings,
as well as womens teachings from around the world. We
have chosen Truth Survives as
our theme because the truth of womens power as healers and keepers of our
traditions will never be destroyed. This will be a camping weekend in the country
not far from Ottawa. Come and share your gifts as a healer or learn from others.
would the benefits of Guaranteed Livable Income be to women? To family and community?
How would it impact health, equality, spirituality, politics, peace and the environment?
How do the
benefits of GLI compare with the impacts of poverty?
How does GLI compare with the goal of jobs as a solution to poverty?
What are the barriers and strategies to achieving a GLI?
are the concerns about what could go wrong?
community initiatives would complement a GLI?
report also contains the article The Strong Case for a Guaranteed Livable Income;
data on women's income specially acquired for the project from Revenue Canada;
and where to learn more or get involved. This project was funded by Status of
Women Canada BC/Yukon Region. Read More
Concluding Observations released yesterday in Geneva, the United Nations Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights expressed great concern about persistently
high rates of poverty among women, Aboriginal peoples,
African Canadians, people with disabilities, youth and single mothers.
The Committee reviewed Canada's 4th and 5th periodic reports on its compliance
with the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during
its 36th session, which ended in Geneva on Friday.
Committee concluded that Canada is failing to fulfill the rights in the Covenant,
including the right to an adequate standard of living, despite Canada's wealth
and economic prosperity," said Shelagh Day, who was at the review
to represent FAFIA, a broad alliance of women's
and human rights groups, and the National Association
of Women and the Law. Read
C-291 -- the 'fetal homicide' bill Bill
C-291 is a private members' bill that would make it a separate offence to kill
or injure a fetus while committing a violent crime against its mother. Introduced
and given first reading May 17th by MP Leon Benoit, Bill C-291 would recognize
two "persons" in crimes such as the murder last year of Liana White
in Edmonton, or Lacey Peterson in California.
both cases, the women killed were pregnant. California law allows for murder charges
in the deaths of both the mother and her unborn child in such cases, but Canadian
law does not. There
is an article in the Toronto Star -- "MP
unveils fetal homicide bill" that quotes Mary Eberts, co-founder
of LEAF about the implications of Bill C-291 for the abortion debate. Read
Harper Government: Towards A New Social Order? by Prof
Ann Porter - May 22, 2006 - Socialist Project e-bulletin No, 21 The
election of Stephen Harper's Conservative government on January 23, 2006 has significantly
shifted the terms of the social policy debate in Canada. While in some respects
the Harper government represents a continuation of the market-based neo-liberal
trajectory that has been set over the last 20 some years, in other respects it
represents a turn of a kind that we haven't seen before at the federal level in
Canada. Many aspects of the Conservative agenda are likely to alter both the framework
and nature of social policy discussions. This ranges from specific program proposals
in areas such as childcare and healthcare, to the federal-provincial decentralization
agenda; from proposals to enshrine property rights in the constitution, to changes
in the process of Supreme Court judge selection that could have long run implications
for court challenges and equality-based claims. Of particular concern, however,
and permeating through specific policy proposals, is a reformulation of what the
"social" itself means, both in terms of how we understand the role and
nature of "social" policy, and more fundamentally, how we do or should
constitute ourselves as social beings.Read More
19, 2006 Additions to the site include:
107 Action Kit - re proposed Human Rights Code Amendment Act
On April 26, 2006, the McGuinty
Government introduced the seriously-flawed Bill 107, its proposed Human Rights
Code Amendment Act, into the Legislature for First Reading. Bill
107 sets back human rights protection. It seriously weakens the Ontario Human
Rights Commission, the public agency responsible to enforce your right not to
suffer illegal discrimination. We appreciate both the opposition Conservative
and New Democratic Parties voicing our concerns with Bill 107 in the Legislature.
We urge everyone
to act now to help with our campaign to fix Bill 107 so it makes things better,
not worse. This Kit:
is a speech [Getting Beyond the Symptoms to Root Causes:
What Politicians are Afraid to Say] by Gwyn Morgan, president
and CEO of EnCana Corp., made Dec. 7 last year to the Fraser Institute. Morgan's
previous statements on immigration were cited as one of the reasons Liberals,
New Democrats and Bloc Québécois refused to confirm the Prime Minister's
pick as head of public appointments on Tuesday. The theme of Morgan's speech was
that political correctness was preventing politicians from solving some of Canada's
privacy advocates are pushing the federal government to back away from any moves
to extend legal protection to digital rights management technology through copyright
"More than a dozen organizations, including the Electronic
Frontier Foundation (EFF), the Canadian Federation of Students (CFS)
and the Canadian Association for Open Source signed a pair of open letters
that were sent to Ministers of Canadian Heritage and Industry earlier this week.
The letters were complemented with the launch of a Web site, Intellectualprivacy.ca,
which provides more background and context to the privacy risks they claim are
associated with digital rights management (DRM).
Federal privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, along with her Ontario and British
Columbia counterparts Ann Cavoukian and David Loukidelis, endorsed the letter
and sent letters of their own."
Enough is Enough by Jacquie Chic, Toronto Star Opinion-Editorial,
May 16, 2006 No
matter the model, income security reform must reflect the actual cost of living
in each community, says Jacquie Chic
Excerpt: "The dire poverty in which social assistance recipients and minimum
wage workers live is attributable to the inexcusable state of our income security
of bickering about how to measure poverty and therefore how widespread it is changes
the fact that it exists and that the gap between rich and poor is widening.
immigrants, Indians, women and people living with disabilities are most likely
to be poor. [please note: the text for this Op-Ed
was submitted by Jacquie Chic as "Aboriginal people" and was edited
by the Star to read "Indians"]
don't make the choices they do because they are blind to the existence of poverty
or its effects. On the contrary, choices that reduce or minimally increase low
income are favoured despite the peril that causes for the poor because they create
increased profit margins and allow CEO salaries to soar...."
Alert: Equal Marriage Vote Stephen
Harper has confirmed hell hold a vote on re-opening equal marriage.
So the only issue is when. How long will he delay that vote? Until he thinks he
has the votes to win? Until after the next election? Although
were ahead in the vote count, opponents of equal marriage are pressing for
a delay so they can take advantage of what they call a window of opportunity
to pressure MPs to vote for re-opening the divisive marriage debate. Equal
marriage opponents are using this window to actively target MPs
in Ottawa. Theyre even hosting receptions for supportive and persuadable
MPs!! One was hosted on Parliament Hill just a few weeks ago by Pat OBriens
group, Vote Marriage Canada.
critical that MPs hear not only from equal marriage opponents, but from supporters
as well. We know 2/3 of Canadians are against rolling back the clock on equality,
but MPs may not believe that, if all they hear are calls to restore traditional
marriage. Read More & Take Action
15, 2006 Additions to the site include:
For A Fair Deal' The Task Force to Modernize
Income Security for Working-Age Adults Releases its Final Report May
is a national non-profit research institute whose work centres on making the
links between feminist research, action and social change. Its main objective
is to advance social justice and equality for all women.
Mainstream Approaches to Questions of Social and Economic Policy: Intersectional
Feminist Frameworks (IFFs) follow
this link to CRIAW
Intersectional Feminist Frameworks: An emerging
critical reflection piece on Intersectional Feminist
Frameworks (IFFs) is the result of over
two years of conversations with community activists and academics on the intersectionality
experienced by historically marginalized groups. IFFs examine how factors including
socio-economic status, race, class, gender, sexualities, ability, geographic location,
refugee and immigrant status combine with broader historical and current systems
of discrimination such as colonialism and globalization to simultaneously determine
inequalities among individuals and groups.
the Web of Womens Poverty and Exclusion!
This information tool reveals that the issues affecting womens poverty and
exclusion are deeply interconnected in creating a web of economic insecurity and
marginalization. The lens of Intersectional feminist frameworks (IFFs) is crucial
in disentangling this web and in bringing about social change. Disentangling the
web is not enough. Solutions and strategies to achieve social and economic justice
must be explored and implemented if we are to build stronger movements to strengthen
civil societys capacity to influence policy. This information tool is about
making the voices of activists and advocates being at the forefront of the work
for social change and womens substantive equality.
copies: Phone: 613-563-0681
ext 221, Email: email@example.com
(There is a charge for posting
and handling if you order 10 copies or more)
Health Institute Project - Consultation Update Bulletin 2, Spring 2006 The
Womens Health Institute Project Team has been busy meeting with individuals
and groups from throughout the province. The feedback gathered from these sessions
has been very useful and will inform the ongoing recommendations and reports made
to the Minister of Health and Long Term Care over the coming year.
Diet Allowance Update The
Ministry has issued two new bulletins and an instruction sheet for physicians
and health professionals clarifying that in situations where recipients have been
granted a special diet allowance to help them reach a healthy body weight, the
allowance should be continued to help them maintain their weight.Read More
Human Rights Bill Hurts Those Who Need It Most On
April 26, the McGuinty Liberals introduced Bill 107, An Act to Amend the Human
Rights Code. Unions, community groups and the NDP all condemned the Bill as a
disaster for Human Rights in Ontario, and called on the government to hold public
hearings to give a say to those who will be affected.
Executive Vice-President Terry Downey said the legislation will only
make matters worse for the very people the Commission was set up to help. Under
the guise of direct access to a Human Rights Tribunal this legislation
only allows access to a court not justice, said Downey. Its
privatization of a publicly-funded human rights system. The amendments serve to
Americanize the system. .... Read More
Force for Income Security Launches Report and Recommendations Media Advisory: Toronto
City Summit Alliance - May 11, 2006 The
Task Force on Modernizing Income Security for Working-Age
Adults (MISWAA) will release its report addressing the urgent need
to reform Canada's income security policies. The report will detail specific recommendations
that will transform the country's income security system into a more effective
one for working age adults. The proposals constitute a multi-faceted set of solutions
aimed at the federal government, the provincial government, municipal governments,
and other parts of civil society than can ultimately contribute to the solutions.
Most of those receiving social assistance are single mothers
Basic necessities can ensure women & children's health & safety
is not a surprise that many women decide to return
to abusive relationships in order
to survive economically!
Harper, on Mothers Day, women want more that just flowers: we want real equality
National Association of Women and the Law released a Mother's Day Statement
that has been endorsed by over 100 local, provincial and national organizations
across the country. While more fathers have been getting involved, women still
do the lion's share of the work of caring for children and the home. Most mothers
do a double day's work and pay a steep economic price for raising young children.
Motherhood often leads to impoverishment for women, to overwork, exhaustion and
guilt. The Mothers Day Statement calls on the Harper government to take concrete
measures toward the social and economic equality of mothers. Read
are the women? Kirby Report is hit and miss, advocates for women's mental health
say Working Group Releases Background Overview of Women,
Mental Health, Mental Illness and Addiction in Canada Womens
mental health, mental illness and addictions experts and advocates from across
Canada applauded the call for a Mental Health Transition Fund by the Standing
Senate Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology, but expressed deep
concern over the absence of any gender analysis in the Committees final
report on mental health, mental illness and addiction in Canada, released yesterday.
Globally, the media shows little interest in women's issues by
Kamala Sarup, May 10, 2006, LA Chronicle reprinted with
permission of the author Excerpt:
The International Federation of Journalists, the world's largest journalists'
group, says that stereotyping of women in media and the restricted entry of women
into the charmed circle and largely male world of management in journalism are
key obstacles to gender equality in the media industry. "Around
the world the struggle for equality in media is a constant battle for recognition
of women's rights. The issue is always there whether it is in discrimination over
jobs and pay or in the diet of sexist and titillating journalism that still contributes
to the difficulties faced by women in all sections of society," the IFJ said.
Read the full article
- Update & Invitation: May 17 - CEDAW 25th Anniversary Event ...
FAFIA is hosting
an event onParliament Hill on Wednesday, May 17th between 5:15 and 6:30
p.m. entitled 25 Years: Ready or Not?.
This gathering is intended to give Parliamentarians more information regarding
Canadas obligations under CEDAW. It also offers FAFIA members an opportunity
to talk with Parliamentarians regarding our efforts to ensure Canadas full
accountability for its human rights commitments to women.
objective for the event is to convey our confidence that with the right approach,
the current session of Parliament can potentially be a positive and productive
one for the advancement of womens rights in Canada. We also intend to demonstrate
FAFIAs commitment to working with all Parliamentarians and parties willing
to go the distance on the UN recommendations. Read More
8, 2006 Additions to the site include:
National Elizabeth Fry Week / Annoncé
la semain e nationale elizabeth fry National
Elizabeth Fry Week: May 8 - 14, 2006 Theme:
Women in Community Purpose
of National Elizabeth Fry Week: The
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) celebrates National
Elizabeth Fry Week annually. Elizabeth Fry societies across the country organize
public events in their communities throughout the week.
goal is to enhance public awareness and education regarding the circumstances
of women involved in the criminal justice system, especially those who are criminalized.
We hope to challenge and gradually break down the negative stereotypes that exist
about women who are victimized and criminalized.
Elizabeth Fry Week is always the week preceding Mother's Day. The majority of
women in prison are mothers. Most of them were the sole supporters of their families
at the time they were incarcerated. When mothers are sentenced to prison, they
and their children are also sentenced to separation. Many women find this the
most severe punishment. We try to draw attention to this reality by ending Elizabeth
Fry Week on Mother's Day each year. Read Moreen français
Experts question Canadas inaction on poverty, housing, aboriginal rights GENEVA - Many
of the issues our committee raised in 1993 and 1998 are unfortunately still live
issues today, said Ariranga Govindasamy Pillay, a member of the UN Committee
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights during the committees review of
Canadas performance. Years later, the situation appears to be unchanged,
and in some respects worse. There is continuing homelessness and reliance on food
banks, security of tenure is not still not enjoyed by tenants, child tax benefits
are still clawed back, (...) the situation of aboriginal peoples, migrants and
people with disabilities doesnt seem to be improving. ...
committee members were disturbed by the lack of investment in social programs
and by continuing high poverty rates of themost marginalized(women,
aboriginal peoples, people of colour and immigrants) [editor's
comment: What about people with disability???] and wondered why this
has happened when the government is enjoying budget surpluses year after year.
Back Mother's Day March & Protest May
14, 2006 at 2:00 pm - 15 Huntley Street (Sherbourne & Bloor) - Toronto For most
Canadians, Mothers Day is a time when families honour their mothers
hard work. But for many of low income families find that on Mothers Day,
peace and joy is in very short supply, especially now that more than 30,000 of
their youngsters languish in foster homes.
did not lose our children because of abuse, rather we lost our children because
of poverty, lack of affordable adequate housing, being single, being young, having
a child with special needs, being in recovery from substance abuse issues, having
survived an abusive partner, or having worked in the Adult Entertainment Industry.
for decades by shame and guilt, we suffered alone with our grief, believing that
we were the only ones. Now we find that we are not alone. Mothers Day began
as a day to honor the public activism of mothers. It began in 1870 because mothers
declared that they would not lose their children as casualties of war.
Sunday May 14th 2006, let's Take
Back Mothers Day" by joining with Mothers across Toronto as
we rally in front of the Childrens Aid Society at
15 Huntley Street at 2:00pm to demand... Read
6, 2006 Featured article:
Line to Injustice Ontarians
want a strong and effective Commission, one that is both comprehensive and flexible;
not one that merely achieves a case management efficiency by the slashing and
burning of human rights. by
Lorne Foster, May 5, 2006 - from rabble news The Ontario Liberals
recently announced in the Legislative Assembly a proposal to create a new human
rights system. Bill 107 effectively guts the Ontario Human Rights Commission,
eliminating the entire enforcement provision. By voiding the investigation and
compliance functions of the Commission, complainants will be expected to navigate
the process on their own or hire a lawyer. Read
the full article on rabble news
of First Nations (AFN) *
Federal Budget Ignores Health Crises in First Nations Communities *
Assembly of First Nations Statement on the 2006 Federal Budget - First Nations
Sacrificed to Build a Better Canada
Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) Native
Women's Association of Canada President Beverley Jacobs disappointed with the
lack of clear financial commitment the Conservative Gov't has committed to Aboriginal
people in its 2006 Budget
Budget short-changes Canadian Children Reaction
to the Federal Budget by the Presidents of: Ontario
Public School Boards' Association (OPSBA); Elementary Teachers' Federation of
Ontario (ETFO); Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation (OSSTF); Canadian
Teachers Federation (CTF); Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations
of transparency: Harper developing into most secretive PM in history
by Geoffrey Stevens, StraightGoods.com, May 2, 2006 Excerpt:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper campaigned for election on the twin principles
of transparency and accountability. A Conservative government would be an Open
Government yes, sir. No more sweeping of corruption under the Privy Council carpet
no, sir. Open Government that's the ticket. ...
there is any lingering doubt about the hollowness, the emptiness, the cynicism
the sheer hypocrisy of the Harper campaign promises, it is swept away by the devastating
report released on Friday by Information Commissioner Reid. Reid is a servant
of Parliament, not of the government. It is his duty to defend the publics access
to information about what government is doing and how it is doing it, so that
the people may judge whether their representatives are competent or incompetent,
honest or dishonest, well-motivated or mean-spirited. Read
the full article on StraightGoods
3, 2006 additions to the
Buget Wrap Up (updated document dated
May 5, 2006) There
is little evidence that this federal budget was subjected to a gender analysis
during its development. Many of the issues that preoccupy millions of women, including
access to childcare, language training and mentorship programs for employment
(for new Canadians in particular), skills development and training, as well as
income support programs (eg. social assistance, employment insurance) are not
meaningfully addressed in this budget. For the third consecutive year, FAFIA has
commissioned Armine Yalnizyan to provide a gender based analysis of the federal
budget which will be available in the coming weeks. In advance of this, to help
our members, partners and friends understand what the implications of this budget
are, we have compiled the following responses from a range of sources. Read
No Child-Care Clawback for Manitoba Families: Melnick News Release:
Manitoba Family Services and Housing Families with children under age
six in Manitoba receiving employment and income assistance (EIA) will receive
the full federal Universal Child Care Benefit and their income assistance levels
will not be affected, Family Services and Housing Minister Christine Melnick announced
today. "The incomes
and the quality of life for low-income Manitobans who are participating in the
EIA program will not be affected," said Melnick. "We are committed to
helping people achieve their full potential and providing children with the right
start in life." Read More
2006 featured today:
15 cent per hour increase to Quebec's minimum wage
This article appeared in The Gazette yesterday about the 15 cent/hr increase to
Quebec's minimum wage ... Note the figures quoted from Stats Canada ... "According
to Statistics Canada data for last September, almost two-thirds of minimum wage
workers in Canada are women. One in three teenagers age 15 to 19 work for minimum
wage - accounting for nearly half of the minimum wage earners in the country,
StatsCan says. ... Another 17 per cent of minimum wage workers are age 20 to 24,
and nearly half of them are students."
wage hike is peanuts critics: Hourly pay jumps today by dime, nickel;
'Please. Fifteen cents? Where can I go with that? Multiply that by eight hours
a day' by Natalie Goldenberg-Fife, Freelance, The Gazette, Monday,
May 01, 2006 Excerpt: "Quebec's
minimum wage increases by 15 cents an hour today, but many workers who will benefit
are not exactly jumping for joy. The rate goes to $7.75, up from $7.60 an hour.
For those receiving tips, it will be $7 - up from $6.85. ... Jean-Pascal Bernier,
a spokesperson for Labour Minister Laurent Lessard, said as many as 118,000 Quebecers
will benefit from the increase. "We are talking about those in the service
industry, single mothers and young people," he said. The increase is part
of a provincial plan - adopted in 2004 - to reduce poverty, Bernier said.
"Increasing the minimum wage on a regular basis
will help to make poverty disappear." ??? Read
the Full Article
Dryden, Liberals - "Thinking big" just wont cut it by
Arthur Weinreb, Associate Editor, Canada Free Press Excerpt:
A day after he formally announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Liberal
Party of Canada, a column penned by Ken Dryden appeared in the National Post.
Titled "Canada needs to think big", Dryden outlined what he would like
to see happen in the next ten years. He wrote,
ten years, let us: * Cut child poverty in half. * Become one of the top
five most productive countries on earth. * Lead the world in alternative energies
and energy efficiency. * Finally and forever make Aboriginal peoples full
participants in the success of Canada. * Build a truly inclusive, accessible
country for Canadians with disabilities."
<sniped> ... These
grand visions of reducing child poverty (where have we heard that before?)
and making Aboriginals full participants in the success of Canada, whatever
that means are nothing more than wishes and dreams. We need a leader who can set
realistic and achievable goals and then carry them out. Or in the words of Nike;
someone who can "just do it". Read
the full article
1, 2006 additions to the
Call to End Women's Poverty May
1st, 1pm-3pm at the 519 Church Street Community Centre Join us on May
1st from 1 to 3pm to organize a mass delegation of women (to take place in
the later part of May) to demand that the government:
implement a 40% increase in the social assistance rates,
the clawback of the National Child Tax Credit, and
the Special Diet supplement.
meeting will take place at The 519 Church Street Community Centre (Wellesley Subway)
Child Care will be provided upon request. ASL interpretation will be provided
upon request. Contact: Ginny Santos at 416-392-3138 (TTY: 416-392-3031) or firstname.lastname@example.org Read More
Must Re-Invest in Women, Groups tell United Nations in Geneva - en
français Ottawa - Today in
Geneva, womens organizations and other social justice groups from Canada
will report on Canadas disappointing performance under the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The United Nations Committee
is due to review Canadas compliance under this Convention in the coming
a broad alliance of womens organizations and human rights groups, and the
National Association of Women and
the Law (NAWL) are submitting a joint report to the UN
Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights that demonstrates
how past federal budgets have starved many crucial social programs between 1995
and 1998. As a result, welfare rates are at levels that the National Council
on Welfare calls punitive and cruel, civil legal aid for family
law and poverty law matters is in a state of crisis, and deep cuts have been made
to front line services for women fleeing violence. Despite eight years of federal
budget surpluses since then, monies for these programs have never been restored.
fails to meet economic and social rights obligations, United Nations told Canada is going
backwards on its commitments to implement the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, a network of Canadian non-governmental organizations
say in presentations they will make to a UN Committee on May 1. Though
Canada is one of the wealthiest nations in the world with low unemployment and
record Federal budget surpluses, too many people are being denied the human rights
guaranteed by the Covenant, such as the rights to an adequate standard of living,
to social security, to housing, to food, to health, and fair working conditions
including fair wages. Disproportionate numbers of Aboriginal people, women, people
with disabilities, people of colour, refugees and youth experience poverty and
other rights violations in Canada today. Read More
by Canada and Quebec's Child Care Coalitions Unprecedented
joint effort to win Parliamentary support for child care funding in budget
La Coalition des services de
garde et des services aux familles and the Child Care Advocacy Association of
Canada are joining forces to pressure federal politicians of all parties to deliver
multi-year funding for child care in the federal budget. We are doing so in an
effort to ensure that Canada's Parliament acts to fulfill its responsibilities
to young children and their parents. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's decision
to cancel promised funding to the provinces and territories will strike a blow
to families in Quebec and the rest of Canada. The decision ignores the reality
of Canadian families who need flexible quality child care whether they are in
the workforce, at home or in school. It also flies in the face of extensive research
and experience here and internationally that demonstrates the benefits of quality
early learning and child care for children, families and society at large. Read
Social Policy and the Speech from the Throne: Evaluating the Four Top Social Policy
Priorities of the Conservative Government en français In
keeping with its focus on the pursuit of social justice, the Canadian Association
of Social Workers (CASW) announces the publication of
Blue Social Policy and the Speech from the Throne: Evaluating the Four Top
Social Policy Priorities of the Conservative Government. The report
provides a comprehensive analysis of the four social priorities of the Conservative
government and concludes that, while it is good news that four of the five priorities
of the Conservative government are related to social policy, the bad news is that
some of the policies are likely to lead to a widening gap between high and low-income
families. For example, reductions in the GST will benefit the poor but disproportionately
benefit high-income families, and the real value of the proposed children s allowance
to most families will be less than $1,200 because of tax-backs and possible cutbacks
in other children s benefits. Read More
Maria Minna (Beaches-East York, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, conservative-minded groups
are actively campaigning to have the Status of Women Canada program disbanded.
Can the minister reassure the House that the government will take no such action
and that no cuts will be made to the budget of this very important department?
Bev Oda (Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, CPC): Mr. Speaker,
the member's question gives me the opportunity to indicate that this government
recognizes the importance of women. They represent 50% of all Canadians. We will
support them in their endeavours. The resources they require so they can fully
participate in Canadian life will be assured. Read
29, 2006 additions to the site include:
governments aren't doing enough' by Bill Dunphy, The Hamilton
Spectator dd Apr 29, 2006 Excerpt: The
politics of poverty makes for strange bedfellows. A surreal air suffused Hamilton's
council chambers yesterday morning as politicians from all three levels of government
gathered to praise and applaud a man about to step onto an international stage
and excoriate two of those same governments for failing to protect the rights
of the poor. Poverty lawyer Craig Foye is bound for Geneva, Switzerland,
where on Monday he will address a United Nations committee and accuse the provincial
and federal governments of violating international human rights covenants by failing
to ensure an adequate standard of living for Hamilton's -- and all of Canada's
-- poor. Read the Full Article
April 27, 2006
additions to the site include:
Rights Now Only Available in Ontario If You Can Afford It Ontario
Federation of Labour Press Release Excerpt:"... The fundamental
role of any Human Rights system is to make it as completely accessible as possible
to all people who have a complaint. The Legislation before the House will do no
such thing. It takes away previously guaranteed rights to free resources that
include investigation, mediation and legal support. This Legislation even allows
the Tribunal to charge user fees," Downey said. "If you're wealthy enough
to afford a lawyer, your case will probably get to the Tribunal - otherwise -
forget it." ... "Under
this model the Tribunal becomes the investigator, the Judge, the Jury and the
ultimate decision-maker in deciding if a case should move forward. The Tribunal
has the final say - there is no appeal." Read
to the Prime Minister and send copies to the Minister Responsible for Status of
Women and to the Liberal, NDP and Bloc Québecois Critics for Status of
Women, in support of increased funding for women's equality-seeking groups!
(see sample letter) As
previously posted, the R.E.A.L. Women of Canada group has
been lobbying for the last 7 years to disband Status of Women. With Harper and
the Conservatives in power, the time to act is NOW!
Read More & Take Action
24, 2006 additions to the site include:
up: "Mother Moon" on world tour Cult
leader Sun Myung Moon calls himself the "enemy
of feminism," which he calls "Satanic". Nevertheless,
he understands that women are a force to be reckoned with, so he has established
several bogus women's organizations, as well as bogus Jewish, Moslem, African-American
and Native Indian ones. He also provided money to form the anti-environmental
"Share" groups two decades ago. Though Moon is calling for a Christian
theocracy, he has himself in mind as the Messiah! Though we don't hear
much about him here, Moon is a billionaire with many thousands of followers and
hundreds of front groups around the world. (South America, Africa and Oceania
are now receiving special attention.) His fishing fleets provide a huge amount
of supermarket fish sold in North America, and almost all sushi. Read
is the Money for Women's Rights?
It seems that there
are too few interested funders, with too little money, to support existing women's
rights organizations and initiatives. Is it that women's rights groups are not
bold enough in their fundraising strategies? Is it that donors simply don't understand
the urgency and importance of this work? What has really been happening in terms
of funding for women's rights organizations in the last ten years and what have
been the driving forces behind those trends? This report is the result of an action
research initiative launched by AWID to explore precisely those questions
and to give insights into possible strategies for changing the existing funding
landscape so that more resources are made available to women's rights organizations.
Contraception Campaign Underway The
Canadian Federation for Sexual Health has
launched its Emergency Contraception public awareness
campaign. The poster and postcard campaign are part of a nation-wide
awareness campaign supported by the Ontario Womens Health Council - highlighting
the fact that emergency contraception (EC) is now available at the pharmacy counter,
without a doctors prescription. ... In addition to the postcards and posters,
Canadians can also find updated information on emergency contraception, including
what it is, how it works, and where to get it, by calling the new national toll-free
line at 1-888-270-7444 or by visiting the Canadian Federation for Sexual
Health website at: http://www.cfsh.ca/ppfc/content.asp?articleid=503.
Policy Paper: Sexuality and Development Jolly, S. April 2006 Development has generally treated sexuality
as a problem - considering it only in relation to population control, family planning,
disease and violence. However, sexuality has far broader impacts on people's well-being
and ill-being. Using Robert Chambers' framework of the multiple dimensions of
poverty, this IDS Policy Briefing highlights the many links between sexuality
and poverty and suggests constructive ways to engage with sexuality as a development
issue. It looks at how we can take a broader and more positive approach to sexuality,
and how we can foster an environment that enables people to live out healthier,
happier sexualities free from violence and fear. It gives examples of actions
which shift the focus from negative to positive, from violence to pleasure, and
shows how development can approach sexuality through health, human rights and
sexual rights, gender, and religion. For more information see:
- Culture-specific leadership training manuals in 14 languages
- Extensive information about WLP's 18 partner organizations, including the latest
news on our activities - Multimedia materials on leadership and empowerment,
ICT capacity building, culture of peace, women's human rights, and political participation
- Bibliographies, national and international legislation, organizational directories,
and profiles of women leaders - Publications on the reform of family law,
violence against women, and women's human rights - In-depth information on
Claiming Equal Citizenship: The Campaign for Arab Women's Right to Nationality
Consultation on Women Human Rights Defenders Proceedings Victoria Collis, River Path Associates. (December 22, 2005)
This is a full report of the International Consultation on Women Human Rights
Defenders held on 29 November - 2 December 2005 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This
report documents the discussions and analyses of violations and abuses committed
against women human rights defenders through a framework of four key sources of
violations: state actors, non-state actors, family and community, sex and sexuality-based
attacks. It also contains strategies and recommendations made by the participants
to better protect women human rights defenders. To view the report please see: http://www.defendingwomen-defendingrights.org/pdf/WHRD-Proceedings.pdf
21, 2006 additions to the site include:
Korea's First Woman Prime Minister Wins Assembly Approval
South Korean lawmakers approved
the nomination of Han Myeong Sook, 62, to
the post of prime minister, making her the country's first woman premier.
...Imprisoned as a social activist for two years from 1979 for reading socialism-related
books when the country was under a military dictatorship, the Pyongyang-born Han
is a leader of Korea's women's movement. She was the country's first minister
of gender equality and family in 2001 and later also served as an environment
for Feminist Blogs & Websites Matt Leslie has developed a fabulous website
Space of One's Own, for a Master's seminar on Feminism at UNB. It is designed
to be a resource for feminist blogs and websites on the Internet. Over the last
two years, there has been a multiplicity of feminist weblogs starting up. Matt
Leslie attempts to reveal that this isn't just something happening in the US and
the UK, but throughout the entire world. The site showcases a variety of feminist
Fraud: The Constitution of Social Assistance as Crime By: Professor Janet
Mosher, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University and Professor Joe Hermer, Division
of Social Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough, 2005 Excerpt:
impression that there is widespread defrauding of benefits by recipients has been
so successfully installed in public discourse and government policy that social
assistance is now primarily viewed not as a necessary form of support for those
in need, but rather negatively, as a burdensome problem of regulation, policing
and crime control. Those on social assistance, the far majority of them women
and children, are widely viewed as morally suspect persons, criminals in waiting
poised to abuse a public expenditure and trust." Read
Anderson is a Sudbury woman on Ontario Works who has resorted to a hunger
strike in a desperate attempt to get the attention of the provincial government.
No one should feel they have to put their life at risk to get the Liberal government
to take the issue of poverty seriously in this province. And anti-poverty groups
and community agencies shouldn't be put in the position of grappling with how
to support someone who says she is willing to die if she can't live with dignity.
Read More & Take Action
They Vote?: A Resource for Political Accountability "How'd
They Vote?" aims to be a non-partisan website which provides a variety
of in-depth information on the operations of the Canadian Parliament, specifically,
how our politicians vote and what they've said. How'd They Vote takes the Hansards
from the parliament website, and extracts information on bills, members of parliament,
votes, and speeches. The Hansards are an excellent resource, but it is not the
mandate of the parliament website to fully index the Hansards and extract every
nugget of interesting information from them.
Government's Online Pre-Budget Consultations for Budget 2006 and Beyond Started April 6, 2006 -
Closing Date: April 19, 2006 Between
now and April 19th, the Stephen Harper government is requesting input on what
to put in the upcoming 2006 budget and future budgets of the Federal government.
Consultations Issues Without
restricting other comments you make, the Federal Gov't would appreciate your views
on the following questions:
1. What would you like to see in Budget
2006 and future budgets? 2. If you propose further tax cuts - or spending
increases - where should the gov't spend less? 3. How can the government deliver
programs more efficiently and effectively?
respond, you can use one of the following options:
E-mail: email@example.com Regular mail:
and Communications Branch Budget 2006 Consultations Department of Finance
Canada 140 O'Connor Street 19th Floor, East Tower LEsplanade
Laurier Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G5 (613) 992-1573
12, 2006 additions to the site include:
women human? In
her new book, leading feminist Catharine MacKinnon argues that women are
still treated more like "things" than people. She talks to Stuart Jeffries
about her war on pornography - and whether men and women can ever really connect.
Read More at http://tinyurl.com/fgxys
Bread Food Bank announces education savings program to help break poverty cycle
Scholarship Trust Foundation facilitates starting an RESP for Daily Bread clients The Daily
Bread Food Bank announced today a new partnership designed to help break the poverty
cycle through an accessible education savings program. Recognizing the importance
of saving for post-secondary education in reducing the barriers to higher education
and encouraging self-sustainability, Daily Bread and Canadian Scholarship Trust
Foundation have partnered to help low-income families take advantage of the Canada
Learning Bond program by setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).
am writing asking for your support in defending the sexual assault center at
McGill University. The McGill University Administration has sent an eviction
notice to the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students' Society (SACOMSS).
This eviction will leave SACOMSS without its confidential, secure night office
where it currently runs its help line. Read
More & Take Action Sign
the online petition:http://www.petitiononline.com/sacomss/
Improve Federal/Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Federal Social Transfer Must be
Strengthened, say Womens Groups While
Premiers meet in Montreal today to discuss the fiscal imbalance, FAFIA,
a broad alliance of womens and human rights groups, is calling on governments
to strengthen social programs and services for Canadians in all jurisdictions.
is calling on the federal government to significantly
increase the funds transferred to provinces and territories under the Canada Social
Transfer (CST). They also urge the federal government and the premiers
to agree to common standards for programs and services that the CST supports...
Over the past decade, the federal government has withdrawn funding and the provincial
governments have eroded and diminished many programs and services that are vital
to women. Read More
le Transfert canadien en matière de programmes sociaux, disent les groupes
de femmes Alors que les premiers ministres se rencontrent
aujourdhui à Montréal pour discuter du « déséquilibre
fiscal », lAFAI, une alliance étendue dorganisations
de femmes et de groupes de défense des droits de la personne, appelle les
gouvernements à renforcer les programmes et services sociaux dans toutes
les régions. Plus
spécifiquement, lAFAI exige du gouvernement fédéral
une augmentation significative des sommes transférées aux provinces
et aux territoires dans le cadre du Transfert canadien en matière de programmes
sociaux (TCPS). Ces groupes pressent également ladministration fédérale
et les premiers ministres de convenir de normes communes pour les programmes et
services financés par le TCPS. ...
« Au cours de la dernière décennie, le gouvernement fédéral
a coupé des budgets et les gouvernements provinciaux ont sapé et
réduit plusieurs programmes et services dune importance essentielle
pour les femmes. » Read
Council of Canadians denounces unprecedented power handed to big business at Summit Prime Minister
Stephen Harper has taken Canada further down the road of continental integration
- a move that will further erode Canada's ability to make decisions independent
of the United States and in the interests of citizens, says the Council of Canadians,
Canada's largest citizens' advocacy group. The so-called "Three Amigos Summit,"
which wrapped up in Cancun this morning, dramatically advanced the agenda of deep
integration by making the three governments directly answerable to a new North
American Competitiveness Council and mandating ministers to meet with business
leaders - an unprecedented development. Read More
March 30, 2006 additions to the site
Are Invited to A Community
Forum on the Need to Rescue the Ontario Human Rights Commission Hosted
By: The Ontario Federation of Labour & Sam Gindin Chair In Social
Justice and Democracy, Ryerson University -- Terry Downey &
Judy Rebick (Co-Moderators) When: Wednesday,
April 5, 2006 At 5:30 pm. Where: United
Steelworkers Hall, 25 Cecil Street (Spadina & College Area) Light Refreshments
Provided ASL Interpreted Guest
Speaker:Mary-Woo Sims, Former Chief Commissioner B.C. Human Rights Commission Panel
Parsons, African Canadian Legal Clinic; David Lepofsky, Disability
Rights Activist; Avvy Go, Metro Toronto Chinese & Southeast Asian Legal
Clinic Read More - RSVP
under fire for benefits clawback "Most
serious of broken promises" Voters at polls for three by-elections Robert Benzie, Queen's Park Bureau Chief, Toronto Star dd Mar. 30, 2006
Excerpt: As voters go
to the polls in three by-elections today, Premier Dalton McGuinty is weathering
a storm over his government clawing back federal benefits for Ontario's poorest
children. NDP Leader Howard Hampton, whose party expects to regain the Toronto-Danforth
riding, said the by-elections are a referendum on McGuinty's leadership. "The
failure to end the clawback of the national child benefit is the most recent
and I think the most serious of a series of broken promises,"
Hampton said yesterday. Read
the Full Article
MacDonald on Rabble
Flora MacDonald's recent talk at the Canadian Club of Toronto is available online
on Needs No Introduction, a rabble.ca podcast series featuring speeches and lectures
from noted intellectuals, politicians and writers. Download or stream the speech
at: http://www.rabble.ca/rpn/nni The rabble podcast network is a collection of independent Canadian podcasts
created in partnership with rabble.ca, a popular website for independent and progressive
journalism founded in 2001 by writer and activist Judy Rebick.
28, 2006 additions
to the site include:
must Act to Solve Child Care Crisis: National Strategy Meeting Federal
MPs must make it a parliamentary priority to ensure that children have access
to high quality regulated child care spaces, say delegates emerging from a weekend
strategy session on child care. About 80 delegates from across Canada gathered
in Ottawa last week for a policy research forum and on the weekend met to discuss
ways to move forward on building a long-awaited national child care program. They
came away determined to mobilize in every province and nationally around the need
for significant and sustained funding to create and maintain quality community-based
child care. Read More
Poor children still wait for fair deal Toronto Star - Mar. 27, 2006 When
anti-poverty advocates accuse Queen's Park of stealing food right out of the mouths
of hungry children, most Ontarians tend to dismiss their claims as hyperbolic
"lefty" rhetoric. Surely no government is that callous. Yet that is,
in effect, what happens because of the province's clawback of the National Child
Benefit Supplement, a federal cash benefit that was intended to improve the lot
of poor children throughout Canada. Read
the full Editorial
important new title which is a public record of feminist remembrance
and a powerful contribution to the movement to end violence again women. Read
March 29, 2006, 6:30 - 9:30 pm Oakham
House Lounge At Ryerson University 63 Gould St., Toronto (corner of
Church, north of Dundas)
April 5, 2006, 6:30 - 9:00 pm Greenroom,
The Book Shelf 41 Quebec St., Guelph, ON
March 27, 2006 additions
to the site include:
finds BC's welfare system denying assistance to people in need, 'diverting' many
to homelessness and hardship A
major study released today finds that BC's welfare system is systematically
discouraging, delaying and denying assistance to many of the people most in need
of help, with harmful consequences for some of the province's most vulnerable
residents. "Denied Assistance: Closing the Front Door on Welfare in BC"
examines why the number of people receiving welfare has plummeted in the wake
of changes to eligibility rules and the application system, and looks at what
is happening to people who seek and are denied welfare. It is the first in-depth
assessment of the new application system, drawing on data obtained through Freedom
of Information requests and extensive interviews with people who have applied
for welfare, front-line community advocates and Ministry workers. Read
March 26, 2006
McGuinty has done relatively less for poor than reviled Mike Harris, says Linda
Linda McQuaig, Toronto Star, Mar. 26, 2006 Excerpt:
"... The thing about Mike Harris was that he always seemed mean. As he happily
trampled the powerless under foot and delivered the goods to his right-wing base,
the former Ontario premier came across as a kind of Canadian Dick Cheney. ...
So when Harris slashed Ontario's welfare rates by almost 22 per cent as one of
his first orders of business, you knew what you were dealing with. Dalton McGuinty,
on the other hand, seems like a ridiculously nice guy the kind of neighbour
who would clip your side of the hedge. It's impossible to imagine him shooting
a quail, let alone an old friend who was shooting quail." Read
the full Op-Ed
the Premier to support this letter's call for prior notice of all proceedings
in the Legislature on any bill to amend the Human Rights Code, and generally to
ensure that all proceedings on a bill are fully open, accessible and barrier-free.
In your letter
or email you might say:
urge you to fulfill the request of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
Act Alliance's request that all proceedings on any bill to amend the Ontario Human
Rights Code be fully open, accessible and barrier-free. For example, your Government
should give sufficient prior notice of all proceedings in the Legislature on any
bill to amend the Code. There should be province-wide public hearings on any bill."
address: Dalton.McGuinty@premier.gov.on.ca Read More
2006 additions the site:
21: International Day for the Elimination of Racism
March 21 marks the 40th International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
around the world. Once again this year, the National Union [NUPGE] is urging its
340,000 members across Canada to pause and reflect on how tolerance and racial
harmony enrich our lives. Read
EVERYDAY RACISM March 21st, International Day for the Elimination of Racial
International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
is marked every year on March 21st. The global theme this year is Fighting
Everyday Racism. Forty-six years have passed since the Sharpeville
massacre in South Africa, where 69 demonstrators were shot and killed during a
non-violent protest against apartheid on the 21st of March. The United Nations
chose this date to draw attention to the continuing fight against all forms of
Despite many efforts, racism still exists. People
from all over the world suffer from systemic, direct or indirect discrimination,
from acts of violence and hate crimes, from harassment and religious persecution.
New forms of discrimination seem to defy any gains we have made. The Internet
is used for the propagation of racism, the number of victims of human trafficking
is rising and xenophobic arguments in the political arena are on the rise. Read More
20, 2006 additions the site:
shows national child care plan can meet diverse needs Building
a Community Architecture for Early Childhood Learning and Care Child
Care Advocates, Federal/Provincial Politicians Meet To Save Child Care Agreements Child care advocates from across Canada will meet at Toronto City Hall
today with Ontario's children's minister and the child care critics from the three
federal opposition parties to save Canada's national child care program.The strategy
session takes place against the release of significant findings from a Canada-wide
study. It was sponsored by YWCA Canada and examines the potential of developing
a national child care plan that could meet the varied and unique needs of modern
Canadian families. The results give evidence that Canadian communities want a
national child care program. They are willing to invest resources and are committed
to its full development. The findings and the accompanying community development
tools will be discussed in a day-long strategy session beginning with a media
briefing and political commentary. Read More
19, 2006 additions the site:
Ontario's Open Letter to Premier McGuinty Re: Proposed Reforms to the Ontario
Human Rights Code Excerpt: "Women
with disabilities are often doubly-disadvantaged. They need a strong, effective
and properly funded Ontario Human Rights Commission, not a weakened one, to investigate
and prosecute organizations that discriminate against them. Women with disabilities
will rarely be able to afford to hire their own lawyer, conduct their own investigation,
and prosecute their own human rights cases. They shouldn't have to depend on over-worked,
understaffed Legal Aid clinics. Nor should they have to hope for lawyers to take
their cases pro bono. Pro bono, in the end, is charity. We heartily commend lawyers
for doing pro bono work. However, charity is no substitute for a public investigation
and prosecution of human rights complaints." Read
14, 2006 featured sites:
an online clearinghouse for community legal education in Ontario
... For organizations that produce, use, or need community legal education materials,
CLEONet is a tool to find resources, share information, and work together
Safety Toolkit and the Web Effect As the Internet becomes more heavily relied upon for access to basic government
information, and more generally to communicate and share information, it is essential
that users be given the tools on how to navigate safely. The Online Safety Toolkit,
and scheduled Train-the-Trainer workshops during March 2006 aim to share these
to the site:
Women Would Gain from a Guaranteed Livable Income by C. L'Hirondelle,
published for the Status
of Women Action Group (SWAG) in 2003 Revised in Dec. 2004 for the Canadian
Woman Studies Journal With increasing
numbers of women around the world being pushed into ever deeper poverty -- 70
percent of people living in abject poverty in the world are women (United Nations
Development Programme 1999) -- it is clear that women would have the most to gain
from a universal Guaranteed Livable Income. Read
13, 2006 additions
to the site:
rights body needs fixing, not dismantling by
Avvy Yao-Yao Go, Margaret Parsons & Uzma Shakir Toronto Star Op/Ed
dd Mar. 13, 2006 Last month, Attorney General Michael Bryant announced
his plan to revamp the Ontario Human Rights Commission. One central feature of
the reform is that it will get rid of the commission's "gatekeeper"
function, that is, the power of the commission to dismiss cases. Those
who favour the new model say the reform is a step in the right direction because
it will allow complainants to take their cases straight to the Human Rights Tribunal.
In exchange for the "direct
access," however, the commission will no longer help individuals with the
investigation and prosecution of their complaints. Instead, the commission will
dedicate its resources to public education, research and monitoring systemic discrimination.
this the kind of reform our communities really need?We think not.
For Health - International Women's Day From
the Centres of Excellence for Women's Health (CEWH) the Canadian Women's Health
Network (CWHN) and the three National Working Groups on Women's Health Canada's
leading women's health researchers and community advocates call for improved living
conditions and greater attention to women's equality in health research in order
to improve the health of women living in Canada, and reaffirm their commitment
to achieving this goal. Across the country, the four Centres of Excellence
for Women's Health (CEWH), the Canadian
Women's Health Network (CWHN) and three National Working Groups continue
their comprehensive effort to bring women's health issues to the centre stage.
8, 2006 additions
to the site:
International Women's Day
To all of our sisters who work for women's equality, & who continue to support
the work of DAWN Ontario to advance the inclusion, citizenship, human rights and
equality of women & girls with disabilities, Happy International Women's Day!!!
Mark International Womens Day? by
Nancy Peckford, Director of Programs, Canadian
Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA) In yesterdays
Globe and Mail, there was an article by Margaret Wente entitled How
the feminists betrayed feminism. It was an unfortunate and misleading
portrayal of feminism. It also made the claim that equality in Canada has been
achieved and that women are mobilizing for no reason at all. FAFIA has responded
with the following article on why we think feminism
Women Facts Chart Here is is
a good depiction of women's economic reality compared to men's.It's an analysis done using 2004 Revenue Canada data by the Women's
Economic Justice Project. They paid for this data (with funding from Status
of Women Canada BC/Yukon Region) and created a bar graph showing the income breakdown
according to men and women. Their findings showed that there are 8.3 million women
versus 5.6 million men in the lowest income categories ($0-30,000) but also in
each higher income group, there are more men that women. Read
Women in Canada Report Stats Canada Daily Women are playing stronger
roles in the workplace and their profile is rising in many professional fields,
according to a new assessment on the evolving status of women in Canadian society.
However, there are still substantial gaps between the sexes in many key area.
7, 2006 take action:
Rights Reform Action Kit Help
Prevent the Gov't from Weakening Enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code On Feb. 20, 2006,
the Ontario Gov't said it will introduce a law (likely late March or April) to
change enforcement of the Ontario Human Rights Code. That system needs reform.
It's too slow, frustrating, and hard for many to use. Yet,
the Government's proposal will make things worse, not better. It will create new
barriers that make it harder for people to get their human rights respected.
We ask everyone to support
our call for the Ontario Government to stop its announced changes. We want the
Government to properly consult the public before introducing any new law and to
make the human rights system better, not worse. We don't say the current system
is acceptable. However it needs a fix that doesn't set victims of discrimination
must get your message right now, before it soon introduces its planned law. The
Government is testing the waters to see if there will be opposition to its announcement.
Don't worry if you don't know much about the Human Rights Code. This Action Kit
gives you all you need to know to help stop the Ontario Government from taking
away important enforcement rights from victims of discrimination. In this Action
us preserve the gains we made when the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities
Act (AODA) was passed. Add your voice to ours. Endorse
Blue for Child Care Code
Blue for Child Care is a national campaign that is being led by the Child Care
Advocacy Association of Canada and a coalition of our partners. Code
Blue means "medical emergency". Canadian politicians need to know that
saving child care is an urgent need. Make
your voice heard before Parliament resumes on April 3.
Do your part by signing this open letter online: www.buildchildcare.ca/BE_petition.php/honourthem Circulate this to as many people as you can - friends, co-workers, family,
daycare parents - so that they can add their voices to those telling Stephen Harper
that he can't take away our child care!
Minute Action to Stop
Tuition Fee Hikes The
announcement of the details of Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's "tuition
fee [increase] framework" is just days away and it is important for us to
clearly communicate the consequences of the choice that the Premier is about to
make. Our message is clear: KEEP
THE TUITION FEE FREEZE OR LOSE MY VOTE ...
now, from www.ReduceTuitionFees.ca,
students, parents and supporters can quickly and easily fax that message to all
103 members of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario. Please send your fax right
now and encourage everyone you know who supports affordable, high-quality, public
education to send a fax to Queen's Park today. It only takes a minute to have
your say! Click here to send your message: http://www.ReduceTuitionFees.ca/
college faculty members fighting for quality education Management
hardens demands as strike deadline arrives, driving two sides further apart Toronto (7 March
2006) Education quality is the central issue in a dispute between Ontario's
24 community colleges and 9,100 faculty members represented by the Ontario Public
Service Employees Union (OPSEU/NUPGE). The instructors, who have been working
without a contract since Aug. 31, 2005, reached a legal walkout deadline at 12:01
a.m. Tuesday. Read
term 'Welfare Wall' is used by politicians and policy makers to refer to
barriers they argue discourage people from leaving social assistance. Usually
they are most concerned with the income differential between people receiving
social assistance and those earning minimum wage. Put simply, the argument is
that unless people earning minimum wage are financially better off than those
on social assistance, a 'welfare wall' is created that acts as a disincentive
to those on social assistance to find paid employment. Read
the clawback of the National Child Benefit Supplement (NCBS) would make a big
difference in the lives of families on social assistance. When
youre already living below the poverty line, being able to keep the approximately
$115 you get every month for each of your children would go a long way towards
paying your bills. But thats not what happens.
month the federal government allows the Ontario government to clawback the NCBS
from 163,726 children across the province simply because their parents
are on social assistance. Its not right.
involved in the Hands Off!
Campaign. Tell the federal and provincial governments to end the clawback
women had posted major gains in terms of educational achievement, political representation
and economic viability, the goal of gender equality was elusive, as women continued
to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of poverty and underrepresentation
in political life, the Commission on the Status of Women was told today, as it
continued its general discussion.
on the priority themes of the Commission's fiftieth session - enhanced participation
of women in development and the equal participation of women in decision-making
- some 55 participants, including numerous ministers, took the floor in two meetings
today to share their national experiences in meeting the targets set out in the
1995 Beijing Platform for Action. Read
21, 2006 additions to the site:
to ODSP Earnings & Employment Supports On
February 8th, the Province of Ontario announced changes to the earnings and employment
support rules for ODSP recipients. To read a preliminary summary from the Income
Security Advocacy Centre, please
click here. To read
a chart (created by Rick Ludkin of the of the ODSP Action Coalition's Employment
and Earnings Working Group) that compares the additional income recipients get
right now from working with the income you will get under the rules that come
into effect on November 1, 2006, please
click hereRead More
Health Institute Project Bulletin 1 Winter 2006 In August
2005 the Honourable George Smitherman, Minister of Health and Long Term
Care announced the creation of a provincial Women's Health Institute (WHI).
Working closely with partners, the mandate of this new institute will be to promote
women's health throughout Ontario and grow to become a national leader on women's
health issues. It is anticipated that the new WHI will be in place for April 2007
and, as part of its mandate, integrate the Ontario Women's Health Council
and its important work into its operations. With respect to patient care, the
Minister also announced the re-emergence of Women's College Hospital as
a separate organization from Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences
Centre. As an academic health sciences centre, Women's College Hospital will
provide state of the art ambulatory care services to women and their families
in Toronto. In order
to achieve the goal set out by the Minister, the Women's Health Institute Project
has been established to provide a vehicle for broad consultation and input
on the vision, strategic role and governance model, for the new provincial WHI.
Stephen Harper has
a magnificent political opportunity in front of him. In one stroke, Harper can
underline the progressive side of his Conservative party, demonstrate a keen grasp
of the nature of the mandate Canadians have given him, and embody responsiveness,
accountability and honour. Read
More & Take Action
17, 2006 additions to the site:
endorsements re: Increased Access to ECP A
coalition of national organizations, spearheaded by Women
and Health Protection and theCanadian
Women's Health Network, has been working for some time to increase access
to Emergency Contraception (ECP) for women and girls
in Canada. You may recall
that non-prescription status was granted to Plan B in 2005, making it no
longer a drug requiring a prescription from a physician. It became a "Schedule
II" drug, available behind the counter in a pharmacy with access controlled
by pharmacists. You
may also recall that In Ontario and Manitoba in the past 3 months, there has been
attention to the fact that some pharmacists are requiring that women seeking Plan
B provide private and confidential information to the pharmacist before they can
receive the product. This has been duly challenged by privacy authorities in both
provinces. While we strongly support a role for pharmacists in consumer education,
we do not support this as a mandatory activity. Read More
2006 additions to the site:
Initiative Will Empower Women on the Web Womenspace announces the virtual
launch of Womyns Voice Womenspace
announces the virtual launch of Womyns
Voices, an innovative initiative centered around women and ICTs (Information
and Communications Technologies). Given the dramatic under-representation
of women on the internet, we want to provide a virtual space for active engagement
and consultation on issues like violence and exploitation of women,
says Kathy Marshall, project coordinator for
Womyns Voices and Executive Director of Womenspace. A leader in the promotion
of womens participation in information and communication technology, Womenspace
launches Womyns Voices as a portal to an interactive set of web-based resources,
offering cutting edge feminist analysis and information on womens equality
and ICT issues. Read More
Voices FemmeVox - Engaging women to advance equality
on the Family (FOTF) Canada - Watch FOTF
Canada Press Release - Grand opening: Think-tank to launch next week! Institute
of Marriage and Family Canada (IMFC) dd February 7, 2006 Hold your nose ...
as you read and get ready to mobilize around the issues facing us as a nation
vis a vis the fundamentalist desire for political supremacy. Read
13, 2006 additions to the site:
Party Links to Right Wing American Groups Over
20 candidates and members of Parliament for the Conservative Party of Canada,
including leader Stephen Harper, Justice Critic Vic Toews, Foreign Affairs Critic
Stockwell Day and Firearms Critic Garry Breitkreuz, have links to organizations
established under the umbrella of the Council for National Policy (CNP), an American
group that the New York Times calls a club of a few hundred of the most
powerful conservatives in the country, 
and which Rolling Stone reports has funnelled billions of dollars to right-wing