BC Wome's Centres

Ms. Libby Davies (Vancouver East, NDP): Mr. Speaker, 37 women's centres in B.C. are facing closure because of a decision by the B.C. Liberal government to eliminate 100% of their funding.

Violence against women is on the rise, more women are facing poverty, women are denied access to legal aid and daycare is being cut too by the meanest and most vicious provincial government that has targeted the most vulnerable in our society. The question is, why is the federal government not doing anything?

As the report on Canada's lack of compliance with the UN convention on the elimination of discrimination against women points out, the federal government must step in and protect women's equality. It must make it clear that what the B.C. government is doing is unlawful and unjust. It has been 30 years since the Royal Commission on the Status of Women, yet women are falling behind, especially poor, disabled and aboriginal women.

The former Finance Minister is the architect of that failure and we demand that the government live up to its international commitments for dignity and equality for women. The federal government must support these vital centres and not let them die by political neglect.

This Statement in the House of Parliament was posted on October 22, 2003