From the WISE website:
Wellbeing through Inclusion, Socially and Economically (WISE) began in the summer of 2003 as one woman’s vision.
In exasperation with a system that had no heart, ‘Chris’ wrote her story of painful marginalization. With the urging of a friend, the story came to the attention of an understanding Programs Officer at Status of Women Canada. Together, the two women convinced Chris to write a proposal for a project on women’s poverty. As only organizations or groups can receive project funding and Chris’ poverty had kept her isolated from and distrustful of existing groups, she created her own.
WISE has since developed into a grassroots movement, led by women living in poverty and supported by other persons and groups of like-minded inclination.
Life will be different now, for the women of WISE. From an email posted to PAR-L (and reprinted, with permission, here):
Not only the recent cuts to Status of Women Canada but the “Women’s Program
Renewal” paints a bleak picture for groups like WISE.
Had the current situation been the case in 2003, WISE would never have
existed and its two Policies of Exclusion, Poverty & Health initiatives
(Stories from the Front and our current Scarlet Letter Campaign) would never
You see, before Harper’s “new government,” Status of Women Canada would fund
initiatives by ad hoc groups, which is what WISE is. Post-Harper, it can no
longer do so.
Because of what we are, SWC was the only source of funding WISE had. No
other government agency would fund projects by ad hoc groups; and due to
Canada’s Charity Act, no foundations can fund entities that aren’t
themselves registered charities.
WISE’s very survival has always depended on what we could generate ourselves
– we, women in poverty. Left to book sales, fees from Associate Members and,
hopefully, donations from WISE Friends, there can be no more WISE projects
because we can get no more project funding.
That, of course, is exactly what the Harpercrits want.
Chrystal Ocean, WISE Coordinator
So, it’s thanks for nothing, PMS and his NGC.