Canadian's mourn the Harper conservative's silencing of women's equality

    OTTAWA, March 7 /CNW Telbec/ - The Harper Conservatives commitment to
governing all Canadians - irrespective of gender -is questionable at best.
    "For women in Canada the sting of the Federal government abandoning its
commitment to equality is razor sharp. It is not only about abandoning funding
to the Status of Women program, it is about the utter lack of commitment to
the principal of equality," said Paul Moist, president of Canada's largest
union the Canadian Union of Public Employees. CUPE represents over half a
million Canadians - that is 1 in 60 working Canadians is a member of CUPE.
    The federal government is enjoying a robust surplus of $7.3 billion. "The
move to cancel federal support to equality initiatives by our Prime Minister
will set women's equality work back by a generation. It is a stunning decision
that must be reversed," Moist added.
    Highly productive and competitive countries invest significantly in early
childhood education and care, with public spending equivalent to between 1%
and 2% of GDP. Canada is at the bottom of the list, only investing about
    "Not surprisingly the $100.00 monthly payment the Conservatives used to
replace the previous government's proposed program made things worse, not
better. One hundred dollars per month does not even begin to cover the costs
of childcare. The code blue childcare-working group has reported that under
the Harper government not one new childcare spot has been created," Moist
    Canadians want the federal government to invest in a real national
childcare program, respecting the principles of quality, universality,
affordability with delivery by not-for-profit providers. "Childcare enables
parents to study, work and contribute to society at a time when Canada is
facing a labour shortage in some areas," said Moist.
    "On the eve of International Women's Day we gather to celebrate many of
the struggles and victories of the women's movement. At the same time, the
need to organize to effect political change is ever present. We mourn how the
Harper Conservatives have thrown more roadblocks to achieving true equality
than any other minority government in history. We also know that the
resilience of our mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, co-workers,
grandmothers, mentors and women leaders will continue to grow. Together, we
will not give up," concluded Moist.

For further information:

For further information: Paul Moist, CUPE national president, (613)
237-1590 ext. 224, (613) 558-2873 (cell); Catherine Louli, CUPE
communications, (613) 237-1590 ext. 268, (613) 851-0547 (cell)

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