Tag Archives: affordable housing

CFUW Calls for a Budget that includes women

Budget 2011: It’s time to include women

Canadian Federation of University Women call out the Government’s failure on equality

OTTAWA, March 17, 2011 – The Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) want women’s inequality addressed in the upcoming federal budget. “We need a budget for Canadian women and families,” said CFUW National President Brenda Wallace. “We are worried that the deficit will be used as an excuse to continue to ignore the problems facing women. The burdens of the recession and cuts to social programs have been made on the backs of women; it’s time to put women back in the budget.”

CFUW has urged the government to focus on key issues that address the economic and gender inequality that has grown deeper over the past five years. Canadian women desperately need commitments to child care, affordable housing and pension reform to address poverty and women’s economic security.

The 2011 budget will follow the fifth anniversary of the cancellation of the child care agreements between the provinces and Ottawa. “It is time for the government to include child care in the budget,” said Wallace, “Lack of affordable and quality child care affect women’s ability to access the workforce as well as post secondary education and training.” The Harper Government’s Universal Child Care Benefit has not created new child care spaces nor helped families who cannot afford or access quality child care.

Access to affordable housing is another issue that would have a huge impact on women. “A national housing strategy is urgently needed to address Canada’s housing crisis,” Wallace insists. “Affordable housing will help lift families out of poverty, and give women the independence and economic security needed to help them leave violent situations.”

Persistent wage gaps, higher participation in part-time, contract and unpaid work make women more likely than men to be poor. This inequality follows many women into their old age. Ms. Wallace advocated that “Increasing the Guaranteed Income Supplement by 15% will raise all seniors above the poverty line. Raising the GIS will give seniors their dignity back, and stimulate the economy.”

Without spending in key areas like childcare and a national housing strategy, women’s economic inequality will continue. This budget is an opportunity to build a prosperous and inclusive future for all Canadians, CFUW hopes that women will be a part of it.

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded, non-governmental organization of about 10,000 women university graduates in 118 Clubs across Canada.  CFUW works to improve the status of women and girls, education, peace, and human rights.  CFUW holds special consultative status at the United Nations and serves on the Sectoral Committee on Education of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  CFUW is the largest of 67 national affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).

-30-

Contact: Robin Jackson, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of University Women
613 234 8252

Advertisements

Red Tents! Support C-304 for Affordable Housing Now!

Today was the National Day of Action for Affordable Housing! In cities across Canada people demanded safe and affordable housing: rallies were held in Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Regina, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

CFUW attended and joined hundreds of supporters on the hill. Members of Parliament, John McCallum, and the bill’s sponsor Libby Davies, gave speeches about the work that has been done on Bill C-304. The rally ended with a march, while carrying single person red tents (which we carried on our heads down Wellington!) to the Human Rights Monument. (To learn more about the significance of the Red Tents click here.)

The support for Bill C-304 is growing; it is now time for our politicians to sign on to supporting the bill.

Adequate and affordable housing is a women’s issue. Women in abusive situations face greater challenges when leaving violence if there is no hope of securing affordable and safe housing for themselves and their children. Increasing access to affordable housing would help many women out of violent situations, and work to reduce the hardship housing costs place on low income women.

Addressing the homelessness problem in this country would not only help millions of Canadians out of poverty, but it would save tax payers the $6 billion it costs to improperly deal with the housing crisis via emergency responses like police, shelters, and hospital visits. Between 1993 and 2004, Canadian taxpayers spent an estimated $49.5 billion maintaining the status quo on the homeless problem in Canada. It costs $48,000 a year to leave someone out on the street. It costs $28,000 a year to house them. Without the knowledge of the human cost to this crisis, the economic one speaks for itself.

We know we can do better, and we can do this through Bill C-304.

Budget 2010 – Leaving Women Out

Budget Leaves Women Out

Canadian Federation of University Women

OTTAWA, March 4, 2010 – “Thursday’s budget offers very little support for women.  In fact it has really left women behind,” says Susan Russell, Executive Director of the Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW). Ms. Russell concluded, “On the issues that would lift women out of economic recession and poverty this budget is shamefully silent.”

The budget, which has been described as satisfactory by the business community can only be given a failing grade by women because it fails to consider the gender bias inherent in the stimulus spending. This bias was revealed in a study conducted by Queen’s Professor, Kathleen Lahey this week.  The study showed that women have only received about 7 to 22 per cent of federal infrastructure spending, as the spending has been focused in physical infrastructure projects where women are underrepresented in employment. Increased spending in social infrastructure and mandated employment equity in projects funded by the stimulus would begin to reverse this bias. Canada cannot begin to recover economically if half of its population is left behind.

Much-needed childcare spaces were not included in the budget. While increasing the child tax benefit for single parents may help some families, many women find it difficult to access quality childcare and when they do, it is a serious financial burden that limits their ability to participate in the workforce. The government has again missed out on an opportunity to provide economic stimulus though providing the social infrastructure of childcare that would benefit and employ women across the country.

The additional funding for ending violence against Aboriginal Women must be allocated to the Sisters in Spirit Initiative.  The CFUW calls on the government to allocate this funding to the Sisters in Spirit immediately.

Finance Minister Flaherty predicted that his budget would create a, “… a Canada in which our children and grandchildren will surpass us.” Yet without a strategy to end the poverty experienced by almost 1 child in 6 in Canada this will not happen. Without spending in key areas like childcare and a national housing strategy, women’s economic inequality will continue. This budget has failed to invest in women and to take on the work of building a prosperous and inclusive future for all Canadians.

CFUW is a non-partisan, voluntary, self-funded, non-governmental organization of about 10,000 women university graduates in 118 Clubs across Canada.  CFUW works to improve the status of women and girls, education, peace, and human rights.  CFUW holds special consultative status at the United Nations and serves on the Sectoral Committee on Education of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO.  CFUW is the largest of 79 national affiliates of the International Federation of University Women (IFUW).

-30-

Contact: Susan Russell, Executive Director, Canadian Federation of University Women

613 234 8252

Online Budget Consultations!

There’s still time!

Participate in the Government of Canada’s online budget consultations.

Click here for our tool kit for the consultations! We have a list of helpful suggestions to Mr. Flaherty and Prime Minister Harper!

To participate in the consultation click here.

Anti-Poverty Campaign

Happy New Year!

National Office is working on an Anti-Poverty Campaign as part of the CFUW’s work with Campaign 2000.

As part of this campaign we want to highlight some the awesome advocacy work of ACORN Canada (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

If you are in the Ottawa, Metro Vancouver, Toronto or Hamilton areas please check out acorncanada.org.  To get involved call or email your local office today!

A few ongoing ACORN Campaigns:

Ottawa Living Wage Campaign

  • send an email to Council to support the Poverty Reduction Strategy

Affordable, Livable Housing

  • ACORN is calling for affordable and livable housing initiatives. Click here to send an email to Harper, Flaherty and Ignatieff.

——————————-

About ACORN:

Interested in learning more about ACORN. Check out their website here.

ACORN Canada is one of Canada’s largest and most successful networks of community organizations, with more than 20,000 low and moderate income members organized into 20 neighborhood chapters in 4 cities across Canada.

ACORN members come together to improve our communities, by tackling pressing concerns in our neighborhoods, cities and the country. Members choose what issues to address—from traffic problems or lack of police protection, to nationwide concerns such as increasing affordable homeownership and raising the minimum wage. They take action to get decision-makers to make real changes.

Our priorities include: better housing for tenants, living wages, more investment in our communities from banks and governments, addictions services funding, financial literacy and better jobs in our communities.