And When Is Canada’s Federal Government Going to Stop Just Talking, and Start Walking the Walk to Do Something About It?
A Brief Commentary from Doug Draper on Niagara At Large
Posted March 8th, 2021
This Monday, March 8th is International Women’s Day, and political leaders around the world, including Canada’s own Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who was once audacious enough to call himself a “feminist” – want to be seen, through circulated statements, paying homage to it.
“Every day, women and girls strengthen our communities, our country, and our world. They drive our economy as business leaders, help advance our knowledge in all fields, and create opportunity and security as heads of state and government,” says Trudeau in a statement the Prime Minister’s Office released in the morning of this.March 8th.
“This year,” the statement continues. “women have helped lead our response to the global COVID-19 pandemic and have fought on the front lines of this crisis. They have put their health, and that of their loved ones, at risk to protect our community and country, and as we begin to build back better for everyone, we must defend the rights of women and girls and ensure everyone has the chance to reach their full potential.”
This all sounds good, as does so much of the warm, fuzzy rhetoric that comes out of Trudeau’s office on everything from human rights to the need to take action on the global climate crisis.
But maybe we should be asking Trudeau and the Liberal MPs that make up his government some questions on this day for celebrating women?
How come a disproportionate number of women are working at frontline jobs without the proper resources, and for less pay than their male counterparts, and without paid sick days?
Why isn’t Trudeau and his government weighing in on those billionaire corporatists who are making a fortune with their grocery and pharmacy store chains during this time of pandemic, when these same autocrats cut a $2 per hour pandemic pay bonus last year, and refuse to give it back as we have faced second and third waves of this killer virus this year?
Why didn’t Trudeau and his government react earlier when they learned that top brass in Canada’s military were sexually harassing female underlings, and why are they now going after those who blew the whistle on their lack of action?
Why did it take so long for Trudeau and company to finally ditch Julie Payette from her role as Canada’s governor-general – only to give her a six-digit a year severance pay – after learning at least six months earlier that this individual had been cruelly harassing staff that were mostly female?
And lest we forget, we are still waiting for justice around the more than a thousand missing and murdered Indigenous women across the country? Can you image police being as casual about this file if these women came from affluent white families?
So please Mr. Trudeau, spare us the words. All they add up to is a steaming pile of dung if you don’t walk the walk around taking firm and effective action.
Doug Draper, reporter/publisher, Niagara At Large
To read the full text of Canadian Prime Minster Justin Trudeau’s International Women’s Day statement, click on – https://pm.gc.ca/en/news/statements/2021/03/08/statement-prime-minister-international-womens-day .
On this same International Women’s Day, the following statements were also released –
Trudeau Government Attempts To Cover-Up Sexual Misconduct By Threatening Whistleblower
March 8, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Canada’s federal Conservative Party
Ottawa, ON – James Bezan, Conservative Shadow Minister for National Defence, Pierre Paul-Hus, Conservative Shadow Minister for Public Services and Procurement, and Leona Alleslev, MP for Aurora—Oak Ridges—Richmond Hill, released the following statement on reports that a senior member of the Trudeau government threatened a Canadian Armed Forces member attempting to report allegations of sexual misconduct by the Chief of the Defence Staff:
“According to media reports, the Trudeau government has undertaken a coordinated campaign to threaten and silence a sexual misconduct whistleblower. This includes telling the whistleblower that if he told Canadians about allegations of sexual misconduct, his ‘career in the military would be over.’
“This is more evidence that Justin Trudeau and his Liberal government have gone to great lengths to cover-up allegations of sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
“We ask a lot of the brave Canadian women who serve in our Armed Forces. In return, we have a duty to protect those who have sworn an oath to protect all of us. That’s why Conservatives will continue to search for answers and further expose this cover-up.
“Threatening a member of the Canadian Armed Forces to secure their silence is a clear and concerning abuse of power. The lengths that the Liberal government will go to in order to hide the truth from Canadians is appalling.
“That is why Conservatives are calling for an emergency meeting of the Defence Committee, so that we can understand the extent of this orchestrated cover-up.”
STATEMENT, March 8, 2021
Andrea Horwath’s statement on International Women’s Day
*Statement from NDP Women’s Issues critic follows
QUEEN’S PARK — This International Women’s Day, we recognize the toll the pandemic has taken on women specifically and celebrate the extraordinary ways women in Ontario and around the world have been supporting their communities and leading change to challenge inequality and injustice.
Women have been leading the fight against COVID-19 and are disproportionately bearing the impacts of the pandemic. Women make up the majority of frontline health care workers and other essential workers going to work each day. We know this is especially true for BIPOC and racialized women, and women in lower-income communities, where the risk of infection is higher, financial security is more precarious and benefits that everyone deserves — like paid sick days and family care days to stay home with an unwell child or loved one — are often denied.
Women have disproportionately lost jobs and income during the pandemic, and are on the front lines at home, too, many juggling work while caring for kids stuck at home and supervising children’s online school.
Women and girls are at the forefront of movements that challenge the status quo and push for change in areas like labour, education, housing, the environment and social justice.
As Ontario NDP leader, I will continue to fight for solutions to help women, their families and communities, things like paid sick days for all workers, a ban on evictions during the pandemic, more affordable non-profit and public child care options, direct financial support for women-led small businesses, support for women who have lost jobs and need to re-enter the workforce, a pandemic equity strategy that includes supports for marginalized folks and hard-hit communities, safe schools with better ventilation and smaller classes, and more hands-on care in long-term care with staff paid a living wage and given permanent employment with benefits.
Women have been stepping up in extraordinary ways to help their families and communities, and we must ensure they are given every support needed to thrive.
Happy International Women’s Day!”
To read a recent Globe and Mail story on the PMO learning of alleged cases of sexual harassment committed by a top Canadian military officer as early as 2018, click on – https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-pmo-senior-adviser-alerted-sajjan-was-troubled-about-information-on/
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