National women's group calls for investigation into funding decisions by
Helena Guergis as Minister of Status of Women Canada

OTTAWA, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women (CRIAW) calls for an investigation and review of funding decisions made by Helena Guergis, former Minister for Status of Women Canada (SWC), as more women's advocacy organizations learn their projects were refused funding this year.

"SWC has turned down a growing list of women's groups this year, that they previously funded," CRIAW President Judy White points out. "In addition to CRIAW, this includes the Womanspace Resource Centre in Lethbridge Alberta, the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity, CIAFT* - a Quebec provincial association dedicated to defending the rights of women at work and others. We know there are more but some are afraid they will lose more government funding if they speak out."

"This is the first time ever that SWC flatly refused CRIAW, despite a track record of delivering high quality results for over 30 years," White said. "CRIAW and its stakeholders want the federal government to explain why this historic decision was taken. Why have certain women's advocacy organizations had their projects turned down this year? The public deserves greater transparency around these important decisions taken by Helena Guergis as Minister," White insisted.

"This is deeper than the government's decision to eliminate funding for advocacy, lobbying and most research when they changed the SWC funding mandate 4 years ago," White asserts. "CRIAW worked closely with its Status of Women Canada project officer to meet the program criteria this time. We addressed a pressing issue in the delivery of services to women in line with the funding priorities and we were still denied funding."

"What could be more important than a project to ensure that all women can access shelters when they need refuge from oppressive and violent relationships?" White asks. CRIAW sought to address the emerging needs of providing transition services to an increasingly diverse population of women.

White calls on the Standing Committee on the Status of Women to conduct a special investigation into decisions made at Status of Women Canada under Helena Guergis' leadership. "A deeper investigation and review is needed to provide public transparency for these shocking decisions," White demanded.

*le Conseil d'intervention pour l'accès des femmes au travail


For further information: For further information: For comments contact Judy White through the CRIAW office: (613) 563-0681

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