It seems like the Conservative government is waffling on ‘equality’. First, they take the word out of the Status of Women Canada’s mandate and now they’ve quietly put it back in. Of course, they didn’t change any of their altered funding requirements for their women’s programs. Here are excerpts from the press release from the Liberal Party about the incident:
“Ms. Verner had the word ‘equality’ quietly added to the overarching goals of the Women’s Program and tried to suggest at committee that it applied across the board. When Liberal members asked the Minister to clarify why the so-called change is not in the funding guidelines section on the department’s website, she dodged questions. Later departmental officials confirmed that adding the word ‘equality’ was only symbolic and that ‘nothing had changed’.”
In September 2006, the Conservative government changed the terms and conditions of the Women’s Program at Status of Women Canada. The changes included removing “equality” from its mandate, which meant that women’s groups and organizations that do advocacy work were no longer eligible for federal funding as they had been in the past. The Women’s Program at Status of Women is the main vehicle to fund projects to promote equality for all women.
“This is insulting to Canadian women, but it’s more proof that the Conservative government is only prepared to pay lip service to the importance of equality and what it means to the Women’s Program and women’s groups,” said Ms. Minna.