Thursday, October 05, 2006

Good for Irene Mathyssen

NDP demands Oda resign as Minister for Status of Women

OTTAWA – Today, NDP Critic for the Status of Women Irene Mathyssen demanded Bev Oda resign as the Minister responsible for the Status of Women. The changes Oda has made to the funding mandate for the department will severely limit the ability of organizations promoting equal rights for women. These restrictions are unacceptable. They prove that Oda is not committed to promoting the interests of Canadian women.

“The Minister refuses to face the fact that women have not yet achieved equality in Canada,” said Mathyssen. “Study after study and report after report have all come to this conclusion, but the Minister refuses to acknowledge the importance of the work that women’s advocacy groups do.

“Instead, she shuts down organizations or cripples them by cutting their funding. She does not represent women in this country. She must step down,” insisted Mathyssen.

Tuesday, Oda released the new federal guidelines for funding to women’s programs. These guidelines will eliminate federal funding for research programs and cut all advocacy and lobbying activities on behalf of women.

“This is an outrage!” said Mathyssen. “These absurdly restrictive guidelines will mean the end of essential research relating to women in Canada. Long-term and national initiatives will no longer be eligible for the crucial funding they rely on.”

The Minister’s dedication to the Status of Women file is shaky at best. The new mandate was released Tuesday; a week after the last mandate expired.

“This is a clear attack on women’s rights in this country. The conservatives are trying to silence Canadian women.” said Mathyssen. “We are moving backwards. Instead of promoting women’s equality in Canada, the Conservative government is abandoning its obligation to 52% of the population.”

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