Tag Archives: poverty

Support the Act to Eliminate Poverty

You can support the Act to Eliminate Poverty with this petition: http://static.makepovertyhistory.ca/documents/BILL_C545_Petition.pdf

This is an old fashioned paper petition, not an electronic one like we usually ask you to sign. This petition conforms with House of Commons rules so that it can be presented in the House of Commons by Members of Parliament. There is a 15 minute period in the House of Commons Agenda every day for MPs to present petitions. MPs are honour bound by parliamentary tradition to present petitions from their constituents, whether they agree with the petition or not.

By asking as many MPs as possible to present this Bill C-545 Petition we can send a strong message to the MP and to Parliament that there are many voters in his or her riding and across Canada that care about poverty and want their government to take leadership to do something about it.

If this act is passed, the federal government would be required to develop a poverty reduction plan that includes reduction targets and timetables. It requires that the plan be developed with input from civil society groups and people living in poverty. The act also requires regular reports on progress.

Act now and urge your MP to support Bill C-545, an Act to Eliminate Poverty.

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).

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

613 234 8252