Thursday, October 05, 2006

Harper shows his cards: "Equality" isn't one of them

Via Scott Tribe at ProgBlogs: "Tories to cut funding for womens' advocacy work" (Canadian Press)
OTTAWA -- The federal Conservative government says it will no longer fund women's groups that do advocacy, lobbying or general research, leaving some to wonder what's left.
The drastic change to the mandate and operation of Status of Women Canada also drops the word "equality'' when listing the agency's goals.
Previous objectives such as helping women's organizations participate in the public policy process and increasing the public's understanding of women's equality issues have been eliminated from government literature.
Harper's message: Shut up, ladies before I really give you something to cry about! I don't have time for every little boutique or ghetto 'cause.'
Organizations that receive funding from the Trudeau-era agency were stunned.
"When you look at this Conservative government's policy it's like, `Be good girls, be quiet.' It's shocking really,'' said Monica Lysack of the Child Care Advocacy Association of Canada.
Under the new funding guidelines, SWC groups are no longer allowed to participate in discussions with the government; they can't lobby or speak on behalf of their member groups.
Alia Hogben, executive director of the Canadian Council of the Muslim Women, argues without the funding the government provided her group, it would never have successfully struck down the use of Muslim shariah law in Ontario family court cases.
"That makes it very difficult, because if you don't lobby and you don't advocate, you're not going to make systemic changes,'' said Hogben.
"A majority of us are new immigrants, we don't know all the systems, we have to struggle with adaptation . . . to say we're going to get money, or any large sums of money to do this work is just not reasonable.''
No, it's not reasonable. It's fucking heartbreaking. I can't believe how quickly this came to pass. And during Women's History Month!


Blogger SUZANNE said...

You can lobby all you like.

Lobby on your own dime, like we so-cons have been doing for years.

What's sauce for the so-con...

It's patently unfair for the government to pay a group to say what it wants to hear.

Now it's a level playing field. You want to lobby the government-- you go ahead and do that. You raise your own money.

10/05/2006 1:06 AM  
Blogger Mark Francis said...

Actually, it's not a level playing field, because money is very much involved.

Next, we have this important document called the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. The Government has a duty to follow it. So there are great reason for it to NOT fund groups which are against it. Actually, the government can't legally give funding to any groups actively seeking to have government violate it.

10/05/2006 8:11 AM  
Blogger Scott Tribe said...

I see you've gotten your REAL Women (a misnomer for a name if there ever was one) talking points Suzanne.

10/05/2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger SUZANNE said...

No, I just happen to agree with REAL Women, and so many non-feminists and non-so-cons.

Actually, it's not a level playing field, because money is very much involved.

Whose money? It's not your money. It's taxpayer money. Large numbers of Canadians object to the causes and the purposes being funded. It is entirely undemocratic for marginal groups to dictate how the taxmoney of the Canadian people is spent.

Contrary to the hysterical statements of the left, so-cons are not rich. The social conservative movement is for the most part a grassroots movement and lives off the donations of its members. If your cause is so crucial, then Canadians will swiftly open their wallets and give to it. Right now, we are not an equal footing. Why should I have to pay for feminist lobbying, while I get nothing? I shouldn't. If your cause is right, then convince Canadians of it, and have them vote accordingly. That's what pro-lifers have been told for decades now, and it's time social liberals live by that dictum as well.

10/05/2006 3:27 PM  

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