Via Mister Sinister: Our no-longer-progressive Conservative government took advantage of diverted media attention late Wednesday night to announce the imminent closure of 12 local Status of Women Canada branches. The move follows a 40% cut of SWC’s administrative budget this past September.
According to Status Report, the Tories will ‘replace’ the offices, scheduled to shut down April 1st, 2007, with ‘regional centres’ located in 4 cities: Edmonton, (to service Western Canada, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon); Montreal (representing Quebec and Nunavut); Moncton (to oversee operations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador); and Ottawa (to handle Ontario and all national organizations).
Heritage Minister Beverly Oda tried to defend the closures today with typical anodyne euphemisms like ‘streamlined’ and ‘inefficiences’, but she also expressed what is likely the government’s primary motivation behind the cuts:
“We don’t need to separate the men from the women in this country. . . This government as a whole is responsible to develop policies and programs that address the needs of both men and women.”
MP Irene Mathyssen (NDP, London-Fanshawe), had harsh words for Oda:
“These closures will not improve women’s status in Canada, nor will it make Status of Women more efficient. This is part of a wider assault on ordinary Canadians and will result in numerous job losses.
“This minister is not fulfilling her mandate. She is not protecting Canadian women, nor is she pushing for their equality. Rather, she is abandoning them altogether.”