It’s taking me a while to get my head around all this bitch’n’dog stuff, particularly because I’m no great fan of the Liberal Party. But what Belinda says here is good stuff.
“The evidence that this minority Conservative government is disrespectful of Canadian women is mounting,” said Ms. Stronach. “First, this government eliminated ‘equality’ from the mandate of the Status of Women – the only agency within government that protects and fights for women’s rights. Then yesterday the President of the Treasury Board confirmed in this House that the government has no intention of supporting advocacy.
“Canadian women and groups who work to advance women’s rights in this country are paying attention. Why does this government insist on being so disrespectful of women? Is that because it would prefer that we simply shut up and stick to our knitting?”
The knitting reference is in support of Alexa McDonough who was the recipient of a sexist slur from MacKay during the last election campaign.
McDonough and MacKay were sparring about constituency races in Nova Scotia. When he said she was using her reputation to drag NDP candidates across the finish line, she defended the NDP candidate running in his riding.
“We’ll just see what happens,” MacKay replied. “I think you better stick to your knitting and win your own riding.”
It seems, now, that the apology to Alexa was really quite meaningless. MacKay learned nothing from the previous incident except, perhaps, to avoid public airwaves.
The Baird piece is important, too. Here’s a reminder, from the Senate, of what Baird said.
Hon. Jim Munson: Honourable senators, today, I wish to add my concerns about recent cuts in government funding in support of literacy.
To preface his budget cuts on September 25, Treasury Board Minister Baird, in a joint announcement with Finance Minister Flaherty, said:
We are trimming the fat and refocusing spending on the priorities of Canadians.
And John Baird’s remarks in the House are pretty revealing, too.
Hon. John Baird (President of the Treasury Board, CPC):
Mr. Speaker, we are looking at all government expenditures to ensure that they are achieving the results they were intended to achieve. It is something that is tremendously important.
Rather than put funds to have conferences and symposiums, rather than put funds to have advocacy, which was so popular among the previous government members, we want to focus on something unique. We want to focus on actually helping people learn to read and write.
We know women have not yet reached full equality, but we’re closer than we were 30 years ago. So, it seems obvious to me that SWC was, indeed, achieving the intended results. The rationale for the gutting of SWC doesn’t ring as true as Belinda’s words. He and his buddy, MacKay, are part of the war on women.