Wednesday, October 04, 2006

More On The "Spending Cuts"

As the details come out, there's more nastiness to the $1 billion in spending cuts that the Conservatives announced recently.

Tonight, it comes out that these cuts are targetted at women's advocacy and lobbying groups. (After all, the Conservatives seem to be so enamored with their blinding brilliance that it is inconceivable to them that they might get something wrong...)

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.

This is vitally important to understand. By far, the Conservative cuts have most affected those groups who lobby and agitate for equality. Not just for women, but also minority populations as well.

But they were told this week by Status of Women Minister Bev Oda that they would no longer be able to receive funding for projects that involved advocacy work, lobbying of the government or general research, as part of new terms and conditions for grants.

Oda was not available for comment Wednesday. But last week she made reference to the changes in the Commons.

"The new terms and conditions are consistent with our commitment to accountability and value for money," Oda said. "Canadian women know the value of a dollar. They know what good use of hard-earned money means."

Of course, as is typical of this government, the minister is avoiding answering for her actions (no doubt, having been well muzzled by Harper, who wants this to take a low profile).

I think this quote summarizes things quite nicely:

"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.

As I said before, this is nothing more than the CPoC implementing their unstated social conservative agenda by the back door. Canadians should be outraged.

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