Saturday, December 02, 2006

Canadians! Be grateful!

Maybe I am just irritable, but I am bothered by complacency that we seem to have in my homeland. I posted the following "bulletin entry" on myspace and only got one response?! What is up with that? Do Canadians not really care about gender equity, or am I just a poltical geek?

"So a few months back I posted a rant about proposed cuts to Status of Women Canada and I hope you all wrote to Bev Oda. I have yet to get a repsonse from this cabinet minister, but I guess she has been busy coordinating petty cuts that undermine the work of those fighting for women's equality in Canada. Read news story below, please. I cannot believe the conservatives have the gall to do this. I have also now sent numerous emails to "REAL Women" - a right-wing lobby group in Ottawa that alleged what I consider to be crazy stuff on their website.

As an aside, I am learning lots about women's participation in governance here in Africa and the many mechanisms used to increase women's participation in decision-making. I remember about a year or two ago, the Liberal party voted on whether or not to introduce a quota system into their policies with respect to electoral candidates. At the time, I was dissapointed that the party members voted against it. Now that I am studying the issue in more detail, I am quite horrifed that Canada doesn't have ANY type of quota system in place for women and other disadvantaged groups. WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK ABOUT THIS? Do you think reserving a certain number of seats (locally, nationally, etc.) would be undemocratic? Or do you think it is legitimate? Please share your opinions with me!

Now here is the bullshit from today's news:

Tories close most Status of Women offices
Nov. 29, 2006. 05:40 PM

OTTAWA — The Conservative government has stunned women's advocates with a decision to close three-quarters of the regional offices of Status of Women Canada.

Cabinet minister Bev Oda says 12 of the 16 offices will be shut by April 1.

Status of Women Canada is a federal agency that works to advance women's economic equality, human rights and eliminate violence against women.

Oda says the regional offices do little to serve women directly and money can be better spent by streamlining services.

But Liberal MP Maria Minna calls the move "reprehensible."

She says women still have a long way to go to reach equality with men and the government should be doing more, not less.

New Democrat MP Irene Mathyssen says the decision shows the Tories have no commitment to promoting women's equality.


Bev Oda, MP Parliament Hill Office
121 East Block
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
(613) 992-2792 (Phone)
(613) 992-2794 (Fax)"

You really don't need a law degree or an xx chromosome to care about these things, folks. We are so so so lucky to have democratic institutions and consultative mechanisms to interact with our elected officials.

I was just in the city centre, looking for a christmas gift for my grandma and saw a young guy that looked about 11 huffing some gas or glue (?!) out of a bag. Then he came right over to me and asked for some of my old diet drink. I asked where his family was. He shrugged. He pointed again at my drink and I told him he needs something with energy so we went together to the corner store and I bought him chips and fanta (his choice). I am not sure what to do in these situations. I told him to keep safe. Driving home I admired the glaciar-like clouds coming down the crease between Devil's Peak and Table Mountain and imagined how horrible the little guy's future is going to be.

Tonight I go to Mama Africa for a going-away dinner for Kerensa. She just got back from Nairobi and is leaving for BC on Monday.

I have been working very hard on an essay for the Forum of Federations and am learning so much. I went to the mechanic today to get my roadworthy certificate. I am such an idiot when it comes to cars and it doesn't help when the mechanic's accent is hard to understand.


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8:23 PM  
Anonymous Russ said...

Hey, Meghan. Perhaps myspace just isn't the right forum for that kind of dialogue...? Or maybe we've all just become fat and complacent. But for one, I was spurred on to action by your post, so I wrote Bev Oda.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Meghan said...

yeah, fat and compacent.

Thanks babe!!!

4:03 PM  

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