I Heart Conservative Ethics (Almost as Much as Conservatives Heart Uppity Women)

by matttbastard

A now-infamously short-lived Conservative candidate may be facing a REAL shit-creek legal situation (sans paddle, of course).

dBO @ Birth Pangs:

Rosamund Luke, purportedly a member of R.E.A.L. women and until a week ago Conservative candidate for the Halifax riding, may be facing a criminal investigation regarding the disappearance of funds allocated to her [organization] by Status of Women Canada, under the New™ guidelines established by the Harper government.

Ms Luke was the executive director of an organization called All Women’s Empowerment and Development Association, the beneficiary of $142,700 federal grant last March from Status of Women Canada. The funding was meant to fund a 12-month pilot project to integrate low-income immigrant women into Nova Scotia’s small business community. About $130,000. is missing, according to the two remaining board members who fired Ms Luke. The association, whose goal was to bring economic independence to immigrant women, provided financial help to only seven women. Seven women.

That total does not include Ms Luke, who may have been quite well served by her turn as director of the organization. Transparency and accountability, it’s the Conservative way of doing business.

Heh.  Indeed.

(PS–read the whole damn thing)

Related: NDP MP Peter Stoffer’s letter to Auditor General Shelia Fraser formally requesting an investigation into the circumstances of how the grant was awarded:

Tuesday 23 September 2008

Sheila Fraser, FCA
Auditor General of Canada

Office of the Auditor General of Canada
240 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0G6

Dear Ms Fraser:

I am writing to you to formally request an investigation by your office into a $142,700 grant by Status of Women Canada to a group calling itself the All Women’s Empowerment and Development Association (AWEDA).

I’m confident you are aware of recent media coverage concerning the Halifax-based organization as well as the controversy concerning its executive director Rosamond Luke and her political activities on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Most recently, today’s Halifax Chronicle Herald reports deeply worrying details about the decision by AWEDA’s board of directors to remove Ms. Luke from her position “citing accounting irregularities”.

The department’s Grant and Contribution disclosure record states that the $142,700 grant was awarded on March 2008. It also says that the project it is purposed to be in support of as follows: “This 12 month pilot project is designed to enable and integrate low-income immigrant women in Nova Scotia society through entrepreneurship, self-employment and micro enterprise projects.”

The very same Chronicle Herald article states that the doors of the program, opened near the Armdale Rotary, have now been closed – only six months into the 12 month pilot project.

I am personally supportive of the mission of the grant, and am now grievously worried that public funds approved by parliament for one purpose may have been used for a very different one. This is why I am hoping your office will take appropriate measures to ensure that this was not the case.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.


Peter Stoffer, MP
Sackville—Eastern Shore

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“Canada has to move forward and Neanderthal is yesterday’s man and this man has got to go!” UPDATE 09.24: CLC-CTC Statement

by matttbastard

Not gonna mince words here: if it wasn’t clear before, it should now be plain as day: the Conservative gov’t has, in essence, declared war on the public sectorespecially programs that benefit Canadian womenfull fucking stop.

Godammitkitty (who has a PLETHORA of pertinent links and info – go!go!go!) and Alison @ Creekside have lots more on the latest surgical strike against ‘advocacy’; via F-email Fightback, Ginette Pettipas-Taylor asseses the collateral damage.

Update: also via F-email Fightback:

Amnesty International Canada expresses concern about the closure of the National Association of Women and the Law in the face of government funding restrictions

September 20, 2007

Canada has been a leader in creating critical international standards and institutions for the protection of women’s human rights. However, Canada has failed fully to implement those standards at home. The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women has cited Canada for not implementing its obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The sad consequence is that Canada is failing adequately to protect the human rights of women in this country. Government programs and policies for the protection of women’s human rights have been fragmented and shortsighted. Last year’s significant decrease in the budget of Status of Women Canada and the imposition of restrictions on the activities of organizations that receive funding from Status of Women combined to drastically curtail the work of a range of local and national organizations dedicated to defending the human rights of women and challenging existing barriers to the full realization of those rights. When it becomes more difficult to defend rights and challenge barriers, the risk of violence and discrimination inevitably increases.

The fact that the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) has been made to close in the face of funding cuts is a stark illustration of what is at stake. NAWL has played a critical role in demanding domestic compliance with the international human rights standards that Canada helped to create. NAWL has provided important support to women and women human rights groups, to address and change the systemic causes of violence and discrimination.

NAWL and other women’s human rights advocacy groups play an essential role in challenging the gaps and failings of government policies, both federally and provincially, and proposing recommendations for reform. NAWL will be missed. Without that expertise and attention, Canada fails women in this country.

Update 09.24: via rabbleCLC/CTC statement on the closure of NAWL:

Women’s Equality moves to the back of the shop – Closure of NAWL leads to renewed call from labour for government to restore Status of Women mandate and funding
September 20, 2007

OTTAWA – The Canadian Labour Congress renewed its call today for the federal government to reverse budget cuts that have devastated progressive women’s groups across the country and immediately reinstate the equality mandate for Status of Women Canada.

The call followed the announcement that the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) was shutting down its offices and laying off its staff in the wake of government funding cuts.

“The National Association of Women and the Law has a proven track record of getting results for women through careful research and principled calls for change when that research pointed toward a better deal for women in Canadian society,” said Barbara Byers, executive vice-president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

Byers says the closure of NAWL’s offices and its relegation to a back room with volunteer resources is a sad development that diminishes an important voice in Canadian society.

Women’s organizations, like NAWL, have played an important role in demonstrating why federal and provincial government should consider changing laws, policies and practices that discriminate against women. Through their dedicated work, reforms such as the inclusion of maternity benefits under Employment Insurance, amendments to human rights laws to prohibit sexual harassment and discrimination based on pregnancy and sexual orientation, the criminalization of wife assault and many others became a reality.

“Governments who placed a high priority on women’s equality and the elimination of discrimination recognized the value of what organizations like NAWL had to offer. Constructive criticism is a fundamental part of parliamentary democracy, which is why groups like NAWL found financial support through Status of Women Canada. The removal of that support, abruptly and without consultation by the new government has sent a chill through civil society, and silenced another voice for equality,” said Byers.

The Canadian Labour Congress, the national voice of the labour movement, represents 3.2 million Canadian workers. The CLC brings together Canada’s national and international unions along with the provincial and territorial federations of labour and 136 district labour councils. Web site: http://www.canadianlabour.ca

Contact: Jeff Atkinson, 613-526-7425 and 613-863-1413

Also, Godammitkitty points to this bitterly bang on post by April Reign:

The highjacking of our government by special interest groups intent on forcing their narrow minded, narrow viewed, religious and idealogical doctrines upon the country as whole is a travesty that must be opposed.

We have only to look south of the border to see the havoc wrecked upon a society catering to the lowest common denominator.

This lengthy 2006 Walus article provides some examples of the feast currently being gluttonously enjoyed by our homegrown lowest common denominator, supping at the Tory policy table while the rest of us are left to scramble for the meager crumbs that drop on the floor.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers