Camilla Anne Burke shares this news with the Women of our World!
Pls read it and share to the Cdn female community—WE have all worked too hard to advance against his type Patriarchal Rule of Oppression against Women! I did not vote for him in the Advance Polls and nor did 34% of the voters so far—Enough is Enough—we can’t afford to ‘GO backwards’ not one more step~
What has Stephen Harper done for women over the last 5 years?
Harper has systematically undermined women in Canada by stripping their advocacy groups of tens of millions of dollars (especially targeting those critical of his anti-abortion stance. In 2010 alone the Conservatives ended funding to 14 woman’s groups, including cutting $400,000 funding the non-governmental woman’s advocacy agency MATCH International received from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) for the last 34 years! Targeting any group that disagrees with him; in fact, since 2006 Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 42%, shut 12 Status of Woman offices across the country and Eliminated funding of legal voices for woman and minority groups, including the National Association of Woman and the Law and Ottawa’s widely admired Courts Challenges program (which helped finance expensive court cases for women seeking constitutional & equality cases funding.)
• There is a list of 32 women’s organizations Harper has cut funding to or killed at: (this is while giving more tax breaks to big business…) www.womensequality.ca/resources.html#fundingcuts <http://www.womensequality.ca/resources.html#fundingcuts>
• Harper scrapped the planned national child-care program when he got in in 2006; and since the recession; women have only received 22% of federal infrastructure spending (Prof Lahey of Queen’s U study) Lahey also notes of the 9.4 billion spent on stimulus only 0.00006 % went to upgrading women’s shelters. –TRIPLE that amount went to upgrading 3 animal shelters…
• Members of Parliament; traditionally are @ ¼ female (25% under Paul Martin, 26% under Jean Chretien) Harper has only 11% women MPs.
• Conservatives also say they are committed to help victims of domestic violence, yet they are opposed to gun control laws (that all women’s groups are demanding) and seek to abolish the long gun registry. (used by every police force in the country.)
• Harper’s now internationally ridiculed policy going into the 2010 G8 summit on ‘maternal and child health’ which does not include any family planning! (remember George Bush and his ‘foreign aid only to places that outlaw abortions’ policy..) This is complete right wing religious ideologue; that his maternal policy would not even include family planning. All of which would have included the pill, and condoms, and sex education and family planning that these Developing world places need according to doctors, medical groups, international aid groups, and the health care workers in the field. They all contradict Harper and his ‘policy’ as Harper’s cabinet MP Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon said March 2010 “This policy does NOT deal in any way, shape, or form with family planning. Indeed, the purpose of this is to be able to save lives. And personally I am pro-choice” ..as if family planning is all about abortion? Guess Harper never heard of AIDS orphans, or high-risk pregnancy, or STD’s, or Obstetric fistula, or teen pregnancy, or contraception. Then Harper didn’t set a G8 funding target for its so called maternal health initiative either…killing any momentum to raise profile let alone the funds, education or awareness coming out of G8 /G-20 meetings. Yet it was supposed to be so important to him??
• Briefing notes were presented to Harper in January 2010 from CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) that cited safe legal access to abortion and family planning services will save numerous women’s lives in developing countries (as documents obtained under access-to-information act showed, and CIDA President Margaret Biggs confirmed.) Stated that including abortion was necessary to meet any maternal health goals Ottawa planned to promote at G8 or G-20 meetings. These briefing notes –which should have formed the basis of Harper’s policy also included input from WorldVision, C.A.R.E., and UNICEF (groups that work in maternal and child health fields) also included the UN statistic that 2.5 million teenage girls suffer various complications from unsafe ‘back alley’ abortions causing 13% of maternal deaths.’ They were ignored by Harper, once again letting his right-wing religious firver taint national policy when a procedure (that is legal in Canada) which could drop female deaths by 13% is banned.
• US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently; “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health and reproductive health includes contraception and family planning and access to safe, legal abortions.” Harper’s anti-abortion policy for poor countries is the one first used by George Bush, (that President Obama ripped up as soon as he took office.) In fact Harper’s approach is now out of step with ALL other G-8 countries on this issue, including USA and Britain. Top British medical journal The Lancet slammed Harper for his ‘policy’ where they state 70,000 women die from unsafe, ‘alley abortions’ worldwide every year. When 80 aid representatives from various aid relief groups and women’s associations protested, Conservative Senator Nancy Ruth told them to “shut the fuck up! about abortion funding, or risk a government backlash.” Threats? To silence opposition and support their religious ideology -even when it goes against our natio
n’s laws (abortion is legal here) but tries to impose it hypocritically elsewhere.
• Harper says he won’t reopen the abortion debate, he secretly got around it by having one of his backbenchers put forth a new private members bill to penalize anyone who “coerces” a woman into having an abortion. MP Rod Bruinooge (chair of the pro-life caucus in Parliament) crafted this bill to sneak in an abortion law that if passed could make it a crime for anyone from counselling services, family planning, or even parents who “intimidate their teenager into terminating an unwanted pregnancy.” [backbenchers do not hold news conference nor introduce legislation without PMO consent, so Harper must be lying again when he says he would not reopen abortion debate, he approved this members bill]
• May 2010, $10 million earmarked for federal research funding under Canada Excellence Research Chairs… not a single women recipient. All 19 were white males. This research program (set up by the Liberals in 2000) has already faced a formal gender-discrimination complaint with the Human Rights Commission in 2003. (it was settled with agreement for future targets in recruitment and appointments -Conservatives say that agreement doesn’t apply to this ‘new’ program.) Also the Chairs were awarded in Harper’s ‘priority focus areas’ only. (such as natural resources and energy) Nothing in any of the humanities, or social sciences, or sustainable economic development. How Big brother to try and steer scientific research; as if politicians are better to decide then scientists and academics?
• Voted to deny the recognition of the rights of aboriginal peoples in the U.N. (one of only 3 countries to vote against it.)
• Though it did get funding in 2009, Toronto Pride was denied any federal grant in 2010 (though the criteria hasn’t changed in the federal Marquee Tourism Events Program) ..is there a larger more impacting ‘marquee tourism event’ then Toronto Pride in Canada?? ..well Gatineau Hot Air balloon Festival, Canada’s Largest Ribfest, and Lethbridge’s Whoop-Up Days all did get funding (they are all Conservative MP ridings as well…)
• A Harper hidden agenda in cutting the long form census? Municipalities without vital data have no argument to ask for more government funding or services. Bureaucrats can more easily rebuff demands without hard facts. Who says women are in need of aid agencies, or funding.. where’s the facts? And not just the long form census… did you know Harper has also cut or compromised all the following data gathering reports that might help women’s groups: the annual Workplace and Employee Survey (health-, pay- pension- benefits data); the Annual Survey of Household Spending (savings rates, family debt levels, spending patterns), the Survey of Financial Security (net worth across income age and ethnic groups); the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants (snapshot of how newcomers are faring in Canada); Participation and Activity Limitation Survey (people coping with physical and mental disabilities.)
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Camilla Anne Burke is talking to Canadian Women!
April 28, 2011 By Leave a Comment