Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination
against Women
Sixth and Seventh Reports of Canada
Covering the period
April 1999 – March 2006
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
FOREWORD
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted
by the United Nations General Assembly on November 7, 1967. Canada ratified the Convention
on December 10, 1981.
States Parties are required to report to the United Nations on measures they have taken to give
effect to the Convention. The present report was submitted to the Committee on the Elimination
of Discrimination against Women in 2007 and covers the period of April 1999 to March 2006. It
was prepared in close collaboration by the federal, provincial and territorial governments and
describes measures and initiatives taken by these governments with respect to the Convention.
The report is published so that it can be made available to interested groups and individuals.
Through its publication, it is hoped that Canadians will be encouraged to become familiar with
the measures adopted in Canada to ensure the implementation of the Convention and to broaden
their understanding of the obligations contracted by Canada through ratification of this important
international treaty.
Copies of the report, in both official languages, may be obtained free of charge from the Human
Rights Program, or at any regional office of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This report is
also available on the Human Rights Program Web site at: http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/.
Human Rights Program
Department of Canadian Heritage
15 Eddy Street (15-11-B)
Gatineau QC K1A 0M5
Tel: 819-994-3458
Fax: 819-994-5252
Email: [email protected]
© Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada 2007
Catalogue No. CH37-4/12-2007E-PDF
ISBN 978-0-662-45465-6
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Table of Contents
Index of Articles............................................................................................ ii
List of Acronyms.......................................................................................... vi
Part I – Introduction......................................................................................1
Part II – Measures Adopted by the Government of Canada ......................12
Part III – Measures Adopted by the Governments of the Provinces*.........33
Newfoundland and Labrador .............................................................................. 34
Prince Edward Island.......................................................................................... 45
Nova Scotia ........................................................................................................ 51
New Brunswick ................................................................................................... 59
Québec ............................................................................................................... 65
Ontario................................................................................................................ 75
Manitoba............................................................................................................. 85
Saskatchewan .................................................................................................... 98
Alberta .............................................................................................................. 108
British Columbia ............................................................................................... 119
Part IV – Measures Adopted by the Governments of the Territories* ......134
Nunavut ............................................................................................................ 135
Northwest Territories ........................................................................................ 141
Yukon ............................................................................................................... 145
Appendix 1 – Public Consultations...........................................................152
Appendix 2 – Review of Jurisprudence....................................................156
Appendix 3 – Gender-based Analysis......................................................168
Appendix 4 – Pay Equity ..........................................................................171
___________________________________
* In geographical order, from east to west
Table of Contents
i
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Index of Articles
Article 1: Definition of Discrimination
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 156
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 108
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 119
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 13
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 85
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 59
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 34
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 141
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 51
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 135
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 75
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 45
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 65
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 157
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 98
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 145
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 109
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 120
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 16
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 87
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 59
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 35
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 141
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 53
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 136
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 77
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 46
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 66
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 159
Saskatchewan............................................................................................................................ 99
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 146
Index of Articles
ii
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Article 5: Stereotyping
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 160
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 122
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 20
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 90
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 60
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 142
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 79
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 47
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 68
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 161
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 101
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 113
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 123
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 22
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 90
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 60
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 37
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 143
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 54
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 138
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 80
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 47
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 68
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 102
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 148
Article 10: Education
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 113
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 123
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 91
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 60
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 38
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 143
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 55
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 80
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 48
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 69
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 103
Index of Articles
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Article 11: Employment
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 114
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 125
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 23
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 93
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 61
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 39
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 143
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 55
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 138
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 81
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 48
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 70
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 161
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 104
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 149
Article 12: Health
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 116
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 127
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 26
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 94
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 62
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 40
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 144
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 56
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 139
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 82
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 49
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 72
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 165
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 104
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 150
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Alberta..................................................................................................................................... 117
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 130
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 28
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 96
New Brunswick......................................................................................................................... 64
Newfoundland and Labrador .................................................................................................... 42
Northwest Territories .............................................................................................................. 144
Nova Scotia............................................................................................................................... 58
Nunavut................................................................................................................................... 140
Index of Articles
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Ontario ...................................................................................................................................... 83
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 50
Québec ...................................................................................................................................... 73
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 165
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 105
Yukon...................................................................................................................................... 151
Article 14: Rural Women
British Columbia..................................................................................................................... 133
Government of Canada ............................................................................................................. 31
Manitoba ................................................................................................................................... 97
Prince Edward Island ................................................................................................................ 50
Saskatchewan.......................................................................................................................... 106
Article 16: Marriage and Family Life
Review of Jurisprudence......................................................................................................... 166
Index of Articles
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
List of Acronyms
AAHB – Alberta Adult Health Benefit
ACHB – Alberta Child Health Benefit
AETS – Aboriginal Education and Training Strategy
AHHRI – Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative
AHI – Affordable Housing Initiative
AHRDS – Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy
AHWS – Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy
AISH – Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped
AMHB – Alberta Mental Health Board
APP – Aboriginal Peoples’ Program
BC – British Columbia
BCTC – British Columbia Treaty Commission
BDC – Business Development Bank of Canada
BEP – Bridging Employment Program
BOI – Board of Inquiry
CALACS – Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel
CALP – Community Adult Literacy Program
CAP – Community Assistance Program
CAVAC – Centres d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels
CCOHR – Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights
CEDAW – Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
CFDCs – Community Futures Development Corporations
CHRC – Canadian Human Rights Commission
CIC – Citizenship and Immigration Canada
CPPD – Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
CVS – Community Volunteer Supplement
DAWN – Disabled Women’s Network
DTC – Disability Tax Credit
DVC – Domestic Violence Court
EPO – Emergency Protection Order
FAFIA – Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action
FedNor – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
FNIHCC – First Nations and Inuit Home and Community Care
FPT – Federal, provincial and territorial
FSCD – Family Support for Children with Disabilities
FSIN – Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations
FVI – Family Violence Initiative
List of Acronyms
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
GBA – Gender-based analysis
GNWT – Government of the Northwest Territories
ICERD – International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
ICESCR – International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
IRPA – Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
LAA – Legal Aid Alberta
LAO – Legal Aid Ontario
LCP – Live-in Caregiver Program
LICO – Low Income Cut-Off
LMAPD – Labour Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities
MDF – Male-dominated fields
NCB – National Child Benefit
NWE – Network for Women Entrepreneurs
NGO – Non-governmental Organization
NLHC – Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation
NPS – National Pharmaceuticals Strategy
NWAC – Native Women’s Association of Canada
NWT – Northwest Territories
OHRC – Ontario Human Rights Commission
OHRT – Ontario Human Rights Tribunal
OWHC – Ontario Women’s Health Council
PDD – Persons with Development Disabilities
PEI – Prince Edward Island
PWD – Persons with disabilities
SEP – Shelter Enhancement Program
SCPI – Supportive Community Partnerships Initiative
SHRC – Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission
SWC – Status of Women Canada
TAC – Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with Disabilities
TRPs – Temporary Resident Permits
UNPAC – United Nations Platform for Action Committee
VPI – Violence Prevention Initiative
WE*ACT – Women Elders in Action
List of Acronyms
vii
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Part I
Introduction
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
1.
The present report outlines key measures adopted in Canada from April 1999 to
March 2006 to enhance its implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). As Canada updated the Committee
on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women during its January 2003 appearance,
the primary focus of this report is from January 2003 to March 2006 (with occasional
references to developments of special interest that occurred up to July 2006).
2.
In order to improve the timeliness and relevance of reporting to United Nations treaty
bodies, effort has been taken to keep this report concise and focused on selected key
issues where there are significant new developments and where information is not already
provided within reports under other treaties to which Canada is a party. Where detailed
information is available in other reports, these reports are referred to, but, with few
exceptions, the information is not repeated in this report.
3.
The key issues addressed in this report are as follows: gender-based analysis, social
policy, health, legislative and labour issues, violence against women and girls, Aboriginal
women, and immigrant and refugee women.
4.
These issues were identified through an examination of the Concluding Observations by
the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights, the principal federalprovincial-territorial body responsible for intergovernmental consultations and
information sharing on the ratification and implementation of international human rights
treaties.
5.
The views of non-governmental organizations were sought with respect to the issues to
be covered in this update report. The following organizations responded to that invitation:
FAFIA (Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action), Women Elders in Action
(WE*ACT), DAWN Ontario (the Disabled Women’s Network Ontario), the Assembly of
First Nations, and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs.
6.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments routinely consult with civil society in the
development of legislation, policies and programs that relate to the provisions of the
CEDAW. Examples of such consultations are included in Appendix 1.
7.
Information on jurisprudence of relevance can be found in Appendix 2 to the present
report.
8.
The Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination
against Women and Canada’s previous reports were provided to all federal departments
and provincial and territorial governments. Canada’s reports are available to the public on
the Web site of the Department of Canadian Heritage at http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdphrp/docs/index_e.cfm.
9.
Detailed information about the implementation of human rights in Canada and Canadian
federalism can be found in Canada’s Fourth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-
Introduction
2
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
hrp/docs/escr/tdm_e.cfm), as well as Canada’s Core Document
(http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/core_e.cfm).
Statistical information
10.
According to Statistics Canada, slightly more than half of all people living in Canada are
women or female children. In 2004, there were a total of 16.1 million females in Canada,
representing 50.4 percent of the overall population that year. Census data show that, in
2001, three percent of the total female population reported they were either North
American Indian, Métis or Inuit, while 14 percent identified themselves as being
members of a visible minority. Females also make up the majority of the Canadian
population with disabilities; in 2001, 13.3 percent of Canadian females had a disability.
11.
Statistics show that women are playing stronger roles in the workplace (see below), have
made dramatic gains in the proportion of persons with a university degree and have
somewhat higher literacy skills, on average, than the male population. Statistics also
show that the average earnings of employed women are substantially lower than those of
men, women make up a disproportionate share of the population with low incomes and
are much more likely than men to work part time.
12.
Additional statistical information can be found in the following documents, which are
being submitted with the present report:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Introduction
Women in Canada: A gender-based statistical report
(www.statcan.ca/english/freepub/89-503-XIE/0010589-503-XIE.pdf);
Canada at a glance: 2006 (www.statcan/english/freepub/12-581-XIE/12-581XIE2005001.pfd);
Profile of the Canadian population by age and sex: Canada ages
(http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/Products/Analytic/companion/age/images/
96F0030XIE2001002.pdf);
Income of Canadian families
(http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/inc/pdf/96F0
030XIE2001014.pdf);
The changing profile of Canada’s labour force
(http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/paid/pdf/96F
0030XIE2001009.pdf);
Earnings of Canadians: Making a living in the new economy
(http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/earn/pdf/96F
0030XIE2001013.pdf);
Education in Canada: Raising the standard
(http://www12.statcan.ca/english/census01/products/analytic/companion/educ/pdf/96
F0030XIE2001012.pdf);
Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical Trends 2006
(www.statcan.ca/english/research/85-570-XIE/85-570-XIE2006001.pdf);
Family Violence in Canada: A Statistical Profile 2006 (www.statcan/85-224-XIE/85224-XIE2006000.pdf).
3
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Low-income rate
13.
Overall, the low-income rate1 among females in Canada has been steadily declining since
the mid-1990s, from 16.5 percent (or 2,420,000 women) in 1996 to 11.7 percent (or
1,833,000 women) in 2004. This downward trend has occurred in all provinces. Between
1996 and 2004, rates have also dropped in all age categories:
•
•
•
14.
For girls 18 years and under, a decrease from 18.1 percent (or 623,000) to
12.6 percent (or 413,000);
For women 18 to 64, a decrease from 16.6 percent (or 1,550,000) to 12.3 percent (or
1,262,000) and
For women 65 and over, a decrease from 13 percent (or 248,000) to 7.3 percent (or
159,000).
The low-income rate for single mothers has also declined considerably in recent years,
from 52.7 percent (or 303,000) in 1996 to 35.6 percent (or 196,000) in 2004. The lowincome rate for children living in families headed by single mothers has also fallen, from
55.8 percent (or 522,000) to 40 percent (or 367,000) over the same period.
Employment
15.
According to Statistics Canada’s report Women in Canada, the increased participation of
women in the paid work force has been one of the most significant social trends in
Canada. There were 7.5 million Canadian women with jobs in 2004, twice the figure in
the mid-1970s. Overall, 58 percent of all women aged 15 and over are part of the paid
work force, up from 42 percent in 1976. In contrast, the proportion of men who were
employed fell during this period from 73 percent to 68 percent. As a result, women
accounted for 47 percent of the employed workforce in 2004, up from 37 percent in 1976.
16.
The majority of employed women continue to work in occupations in which women have
traditionally been concentrated. In 2004, two-thirds of all employed women were
working in teaching, nursing and related health occupations, clerical or other
administrative positions, and sales and service occupations. However, women have
increased their representation in several professional fields. In 2004, women made up
over half of those employed in both diagnostic and treatment positions in medicine,
related health professions and in business and financial professional positions. There has
also been a long-term increase in the share of women employed in managerial positions;
37 percent of all those employed in managerial positions were women, up from
30 percent in 1987.
1
The post-income tax version of the Low Income Cut-offs (LICOs) is the low-income measure most widely known
and used for poverty analysis in Canada. See response to question 11 on the list of issues for the review of Canada’s
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/cescr/docs/canada_5threport.pdf).
Introduction
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
17.
Women are much more likely than their male counterparts to work part time. In 2004,
27 percent of the total female workforce were part-time employees, more than double the
proportion of just 11 percent among employed men.
Non-standard employment
18.
In 2005, 37.3 percent of employed Canadians worked in non-standard employment. The
following provides a breakdown for women:
As a proportion of all non-standard workers
As a proportion of permanent part-time workers
As a proportion of seasonal workers
As a proportion of temporary, term, or contract workers
As a proportion of casual workers
As a proportion of own account, self-employed and unpaid family
members
As a proportion of self-employed with employees
% of Women
50.7%
73.3%
36.3%
54.3%
60.8%
38.6%
26.6%
Education
19.
Education and skills are key determinants of labour market outcomes for individuals. In
Canada, females have outpaced their male counterparts in high-school completions, and
young women are more likely than young men to pursue and complete post-secondary
education. These strong education trends have helped women make gains in the labour
market.
20.
There has been a dramatic increase in the proportion of the female population with a
university degree in the past several decades. In 2001, 15 percent of women aged 15 and
over had a university degree, up from just three percent in 1971. While women are still
slightly less likely than men to have a university degree, the gap is narrower than in past.
Women with disabilities
21.
Women with disabilities, like men with disabilities, face multiple barriers to entering
standard employment. The employment rate for women with disabilities has, however,
improved significantly from 38 percent in 2001 to 43 percent in 2003.2 Furthermore, the
average earnings for women with disabilities also rose from $21,400 in 2001 to $24,400
in 2003. Despite the gain in earnings, women with disabilities continue to have lower
employment rates and lower income levels than men with disabilities.3
2
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
People with disabilities not currently in the labour force, but who wish to work, cite various barriers that prevent
them from working. Physical barriers, negative attitudes, inadequate workplace accommodation measures and their
interaction with a health condition all prevent people with disabilities from achieving their potential for adequate
employment. Of the people with disabilities who were out of the labour force, 28 percent stated that their condition
3
Introduction
5
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
22.
Women with disabilities have also made gains in educational attainment. The percentage
of women with disabilities with a post-secondary diploma has risen from 37 percent in
2001 to 41 percent in 2003; for women without disabilities 46 percent had a postsecondary diploma in 2001, rising to 49 percent in 2003.4
Immigration
23.
As outlined in the table below, of the 262,236 new permanent residents admitted to
Canada in 2005, 51.27 percent (134,452) were female and 48.73 percent (127,784) were
male. There are proportionately more women than men in the Family Class, while the
total figures for the other three categories seem to indicate a relatively balanced mix of
the two sexes. Additional information is available in Facts and Figures 2005 –
Immigration Overview: Permanent and Temporary Residents, available online at
http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/pub/facts2005/index.html.
Immigrant Category
Total Economic Class
(including dependants)
Total Family Class
Total Protected Persons
Total Humanitarian and
Compassionate Grounds/
Public Policy
TOTAL
Male
Number
80,905
%
51.76
Female
Number
%
75,405
48.24
Total
156,310
25,047
18,565
3,267
39.54
51.9
48
38,305
17,203
3,539
60.46
48.1
52
63,352
35,768
6,806
127,784
48.73
134,452
51.27
262,236
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Facts and Figures 2005.
Violence against women
24.
In 2004, seven percent of women (six percent of men) reported experiencing spousal
violence at least once during the previous five years, representing an estimated
653,000 women. Between 1999 and 2004, there was a slight decline in the level of
spousal violence against women (eight percent to seven percent), and no significant
change in the level of spousal violence against men.
25.
Women are more likely than men to experience more serious forms of violence. In 2004,
twice as many women as men were beaten by their partners; four times as many were
choked, and twice as many reported ongoing assaults.
26.
Female victims of spousal violence are also more likely than males to suffer physical
injury. In 2004, 44 percent of female victims reported they had been injured as a result of
the violence compared to 19 percent of male spousal violence victims. Female victims of
did not completely prevent them from working or looking for work. The percentage of this 28 percent who are
women is not known.
4
Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics.
Introduction
6
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
spousal violence were also more than three times more likely than male victims to fear
for their lives (34 percent versus 10 percent).
27.
Victimization surveys reveal that the majority of spousal violence incidents are not onetime occurrences, and women are more likely than men to report being targets of 10 or
more violent spousal episodes. However, only 28 percent of incidents are reported to
police. The rate of reporting tends to depend on the severity and frequency of the
violence, and whether children were witnesses.
28.
The spousal homicide rate for both male and female victims has fallen over the past three
decades, with the rate for female victims dropping 57 percent and down 68 percent for
male victims. Like non-lethal violence, women are also more likely than men to be killed
by their spouse. The rate of spousal homicide against females has been three to five times
higher than the rate for males.
29.
Aboriginal women in Canada experience much higher rates of spousal violence;
according to the 2004 General Social Survey, 24 percent of Aboriginal women reported
being victims of spousal violence over the previous five-year period, more than three
times the rate for non-Aboriginal women (seven percent) and higher than the rate for
Aboriginal men (18 percent). Spousal homicide rates are almost eight times higher for
Aboriginal women than for non-Aboriginal women (4.6 and 0.6 per 100,000 population,
respectively).
Gender-based Analysis
30.
Gender-based analysis (GBA) is increasingly being used by governments in Canada.
Over the years, the focus in implementing gender-based analysis has evolved from
building individual capacity to working with organizations, including government
departments and agencies, to ensure they are able to make GBA a sustainable function.
Please see Appendix 3 for an overview of federal, provincial and territorial approaches to
gender-based analysis. Where appropriate, additional information is provided in the
respective government’s section of this report.
Pay equity
31.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada ensure equal pay for equal
work through a combination of pay equity legislation, labour standards, human rights
legislation and policies. Please see Appendix 4 for an overview of federal, provincial and
territorial approaches.
Federal-provincial-territorial collaboration
32.
Federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) governments collaborate through various FPT
fora on policies and programs that serve to implement the provisions of the CEDAW.
Some of these fora discuss general issues, while others focus on specific issues that can
Introduction
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
be found in the CEDAW and the concluding observations of the Committee on the
Elimination of Discrimination against Women, for example, health or social services.
Status of Women
33.
Over the past three years, Federal-Provincial/Territorial Ministers responsible for the
Status of Women have made the situation of Aboriginal women, in particular their
vulnerability to violence, a priority for action on access to programs and services, public
education and policy development. In March 2006, the Policy Forum on Aboriginal
Women and Violence: Building Safe and Healthy Communities brought together over
250 delegates representative of First Nations, Inuit and Métis organizations, advocates,
policy-makers, and federal, provincial and territorial officials. The Forum provided an
opportunity to explore ways to build capacity and take collective or individual action to
prevent and address violence against Aboriginal women. It also provided an opportunity
for: dialogue on policy and program initiatives between government officials and
Aboriginal women’s organizations; sharing best practices on violence prevention; and,
showcasing successful programs and services. The Forum allowed participants to provide
additional insight into challenges and to identify possible solutions on improving service
delivery, public education, etc.
Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights
34.
Through the Continuing Committee of Officials on Human Rights (CCOHR), federal,
provincial and territorial governments consult and share information on international
human rights treaties, to enhance domestic implementation of Canada’s international
human rights obligations. All the international human rights treaties to which Canada is a
party, including the CEDAW, are standing items on the agenda of the CCOHR. By
facilitating sharing of information and best practices, the CCOHR ensures awareness of
treaty obligations, including the views of treaty bodies, which can influence policy and
program development, and in turn contribute to the implementation of the treaties. The
CCOHR also facilitates the preparation of Canada’s reports to the UN on its
implementation of human rights treaties and discussion of the concluding observations.
Justice
35.
Since the mid-1980s, all provinces and territories have implemented directives or
guidelines to police and Crown prosecutors with respect to domestic violence cases
including: pro-charging policies, which require charges to be laid where there are
reasonable and probable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed; and, proprosecution policies, which require a prosecution where there is a reasonable prospect of
conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute. A FPT Working Group of Justice
Officials reviewed these policies and found that, properly interpreted and applied, they
have improved the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence. The final
report Spousal Abuse Policies and Legislation: Final Report of the Ad Hoc FederalProvincial-Territorial Working Group Reviewing Spousal Abuse Policies and Legislation
(April 2003) is available at http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/fm/reports/spousal.html. In
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April 2004, Justice Canada implemented its revised Crown Counsel Prosecution Policy
on Spousal Abuse, which is applicable in the territories.
36.
Justice Canada, together with its federal/provincial/territorial partners, developed
guidelines for police, Crown prosecutors and other criminal justice personnel on the
investigation, charging and prosecution of criminal harassment cases - sometimes
referred to as “stalking.” First released in December 1999 and revised in March 2004, A
Handbook for Police and Crown Prosecutors on Criminal Harassment has been
distributed to police, Crown Attorneys, victim services, corrections, the judiciary and
other criminal justice personnel across Canada. The Handbook is available online at:
http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/fm/pub/harassment/index.html.
Health care
37.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments continue to work together to improve
access to health care in Canada. See Canada’s Fifth Report on the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for information on these initiatives.
38.
The following is an update on some of the key commitments of the 10-Year Plan to
Strengthen Health Care:
•
•
•
•
Governments committed to establish evidence-based benchmarks for medically
acceptable wait times in five areas: cancer, cardiac care, diagnostic imaging, joint
replacements and sight restoration. In December 2005, provinces and territories
announced a set of common performance goals for the provision of certain medical
treatments and screening services.
Governments have developed action plans to address health human resources issues,
and have made these plans public. For example, in December 2005, Saskatchewan
released Working Together: Saskatchewan’s Health Workforce Action Plan
(http://health.gov.sk.ca/hplan_health_workforce_action_plan.pdf) and New
Brunswick released Health Human Resource Planning: Gaining Momentum
(http://www.gnb.ca/0051/pub/pdf/3582e-final-web.pdf). Manitoba issued its action
plan, Manitoba’s Health Human Resources Plan: A Report on Supply in April 2006.
There was agreement on the development of a National Pharmaceuticals Strategy
(NPS), including options for catastrophic drug coverage, a national drug formulary,
and a range of other initiatives to improve the cost-effectiveness of prescription
drugs. In July 2006, provincial and territorial Ministers of Health met to discuss the
NPS, and identified seven steps in its development.
First Ministers and national Aboriginal leaders met in November 2005 and agreed to
the goal of closing the gap in health status between Aboriginal peoples and other
Canadians.
Promotion of the Convention
39.
The Government of Canada promotes a greater understanding of human rights,
fundamental freedoms and related values. Funding assistance and technical advice are
Introduction
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provided to non-governmental organizations and community groups for activities that
educate the public about human rights. Various human rights materials, including the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the principal international human rights
instruments, and Canada’s periodic reports to the United Nations under the various UN
human rights treaties to which it is a party are distributed free of charge. A Web site
provides information on human rights in Canada, and includes on-line copies of the
human rights instruments, Canada’s periodic reports to the United Nations, and the
concluding observations made by each UN Committee on Canada’s reports (see
http://www.pch.gc.ca/ddp-hrd).
40.
The Government continues to support the efforts of developing countries to promote and
implement the CEDAW. For example, since February 2003, the Canadian International
Development Agency has been supporting a $10.5 million, five-year program to
specifically support the implementation of CEDAW in seven countries in South East
Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Philippines, Thailand,
Timor Leste and Vietnam.
41.
Examples of provincial and territorial initiatives include the following: the Government
of the Northwest Territories states its commitment to CEDAW in its public policy
Equality of Men and Women in the Northwest Territories, posted on its Web site. In the
annual report published by the Women’s Policy Office in Newfoundland and Labrador,
shared commitments to CEDAW are identified.
International co-operation
42.
While the CEDAW does not include an obligation related to the prevention of
discrimination against women in the international development policy of the State,
Canada has continued to mainstream gender equality throughout its international
cooperation. Canada has been active in promoting women’s rights and equality between
men and women in various international fora and with developing country partners.
Canada has underlined that gender mainstreaming and gender-based analysis must inform
natural disaster response and risk management, including both policies and programming.
Canada has also continued to stress the need for gender analysis in project proposals for
relief funding in response to natural disasters and complex emergencies.
43.
Canada supports its multilateral partners, including the United Nations and international
financial institutions, to strengthen their results for gender equality, including through
gender mainstreaming. For example, Canada helped fund the UNDP’s gender
mainstreaming evaluation, which was completed in 2006, and finalized a joint
institutional approach with Sweden and the United Kingdom to support UNICEF that
includes gender equality as a critical area of work. Similarly, funding was provided in
2003 to the Asian Development Bank’s Gender and Development Trust Fund, which has
enabled it to strengthen the institutionalization of gender mainstreaming in its work.
44.
The Government of Canada has continued its leadership role in the area of policy
development and research initiatives on women, peace and security issues focussing on
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the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace
and security. Canada’s response to the UN Secretary General’s request for information on
the full implementation of Resolution 1325 was submitted in July 2004
(http://www.international.gc.ca/foreign_policy/human-rights/resolution-1325-response-e
n.asp). In 2006, Canada undertook an assessment of its gender equality training for
personnel involved in Peace Support Operations. The results of this assessment will be
included in Canada’s Action Plan for the Implementation of UN Security Council
Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
45.
Canada has also integrated gender equality into its development cooperation with
countries in conflict, post-conflict, and reconstruction, for example, support for victims of
sexual violence, technical assistance in the area of gender equality, which resulted in the
creation of family violence units in police forces and the establishment of women’s
shelters, and research on the involvement of girls in fighting forces. Findings from this
research have influenced UN training and programming on disarmament, demobilization
and reintegration.
Introduction
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Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
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Part II
Measures adopted by the
Government of Canada
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
46.
The Government of Canada acknowledges the recommendations raised in paragraph 356
of the Committee’s Concluding Observations concerning civil legal aid as well as
funding for equality test cases.
47.
Between April 2003 and March 2006, the Government provided dedicated funding for
civil legal aid through contribution agreements. This funding has been extended for the
period of one year, ending March 31, 2007.
48.
Between April 2003 and March 2006, the Government of Canada allocated a total of
$34.5 million in immigration and refugee legal aid to the six jurisdictions that provide
these services.5 This funding was used to assist and to represent immigrant and refugee
claimants through the refugee determination process (according to the legislative
provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act). In 2003-2004, the six
provinces processed 46,350 claims; in 2004-2005, 44,231 claims were handled. No data
disaggregated by sex are collected regarding the recipients of these services.
49.
The objective of the Legal Aid Pilot Project Fund is to address unmet legal aid needs in
targeted areas of civil law (including immigration and refugee, family and poverty law)
by developing effective and efficient approaches to the delivery of civil legal aid services
in these targeted areas; improving access to civil legal aid services; and informing
federal, provincial and territorial legal aid policy development and implementation.
Between April 2003 and March 2006, the Government of Canada contributed a total of
$3.1 million towards the cost of 12 civil legal aid pilot projects.
50.
Although no sex-disaggregated data are collected regarding the recipients of legal aid
services, provincial and territorial governments estimate that approximately 70 percent of
the people receiving family and poverty law services are women. Most of the projects
were funded for all three years of the Legal Aid Renewal Strategy; two were funded for a
one-year period only.6
51.
Interim report findings on projects funded have shown:
•
•
•
Many of the projects address unmet needs in civil legal aid by improving the delivery
of legal aid and offering more services.
Reserving lawyers’ time for legal rather than administrative matters (i.e. using
paralegals to assist lawyers in immigration and refugee law matters) has shown
promise.
There is a need for more civil legal aid services, particularly in the territories.
5
The participating jurisdictions are British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Québec, and Newfoundland and
Labrador.
6
In most instances, the performance summary is based on the interim evaluation results that were submitted in
June 2005.
Government of Canada
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•
•
•
52.
However, the projects have also encountered a number of challenges:
•
•
•
•
53.
The projects with links to other community services are able to provide more
comprehensive support to clients by helping them address their both their legal and
non-legal needs.
Legal services have been offered to people who would otherwise be considered
ineligible for legal aid.
The “store-front” approach to offering legal assistance services appears to make it
easier for clients to find out about services and to make use of them.
a lack of community infrastructure, which in turn, causes delays in project start-up
and operation;
a lack of sufficient funding to fully implement the pilot projects to meet client
demand;
a lack of commitment of key stakeholders; and,
ongoing concern over the future of the pilot projects following the conclusion of the
project contribution agreements.
With respect to equality test cases, funding for the Court Challenges Program continued
over the period of this report for challenges related to federal law and policy.
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
54.
From 2002-2005, the percentage of complaints to the Canadian Human Rights
Commission (CHRC) that cited sex (female) as a ground of discrimination has remained
fairly constant, with a slight decrease in 2005 (14 percent in 2002, 14 percent in 2003,
15 percent in 2004 and 10 percent in 2005). The majority of complaints on this ground
have arisen in the employment context, related to harassment, differential treatment and
termination of employment. The following table provides a breakdown of complaints.
CANADIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
Number of complaints where the ground of sex (female) was cited
during the period of January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2005
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
Number of accepted complaints by year
Total
140
147
179
153
84*
1,296
ALLEGATIONS
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005*
TOTAL**
Employment - differential treatment (2005***)
29
44
57
59
28
217
Employment – harassment
83
79
98
78
32
370
Employment - pay equity
8
4
1
0
2
15
Employment – policy or practice (2005****)
Employment - recruitment forms, ads or
inquiries
2
10
12
17
6
47
0
1
0
0
0
1
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Employment - refusal to accommodate
1
3
6
16
6
32
Employment - refusal to hire
4
5
8
3
4
24
Employment - termination of employment
22
33
42
33
25
155
Notices, signs, symbols
0
0
0
0
1
1
Services - denial of service
1
2
1
0
2
6
Services - differential treatment
0
1
5
5
3
14
Services – harassment
2
4
6
2
3
17
Services - policy or practice
5
0
8
1
2
16
Union membership
0
1
0
0
1
2
157
187
244
214
115
917
Grand Total
*594 related complaints have been grouped into one. They all relate to a job classification issue in a female predominant
occupation (nursing) in a large government department. As the CHRC legislation does not contemplate class action
complaints as a matter of course, and as the complainants were not represented by a specific bargaining agent or
employee association, it was necessary to accept complaints from each individual to preserve any possible entitlement
to a remedy, even though a single investigation was conducted to address the issue.
**The total number of allegations cited exceeds the total number of complaints received because some complaints dealt
with more than one allegation.
*** Allegation - Employment - differential treatment – In 2005, 258 new complaints which relate to job classification
were grouped and counted as only one (as per * above).
**** Allegation - Employment - Policy and Practice – In 2005, 439 new complaints which relate to job classification
were grouped and counted as only one (as per * above).
Aboriginal women
55.
Information on gender-based analysis within the programs, policies, legislation and
negotiation activities related to Aboriginal women can be found in the response to
question 14 on the list of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the
fourth periodic report of Canada concerning the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights
(http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/E.C.12.CAN.Q.4.Add.1.En?OpenDocument ).
56.
Information on activities of the Aboriginal Peoples’ Program (APP) is also available in
the response to question 14. An evaluation of the APP conducted in 2005 has shown that
it strengthens the capacity of Aboriginal women to maintain national organizations and
access others sources of funding to further their work, including issues related to human
rights, while project funding has helped individual Aboriginal women to assume a
leadership role within their communities and contribute to their cultural and socioeconomic well-being.
57.
On June 20, 2006, a Ministerial Representative was appointed to work with the Native
Women's Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations in developing a plan
for consultations on the issue of matrimonial real property. This nation-wide consultation
is the first of a series of measures to protect the rights and to ensure the well being of
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women, children and families living on-reserve. This is a complex issue because it
touches on intergovernmental relations, jurisdictional matters and constitutional
questions. Any legislative model proposed would ensure that on-reserve residents have
access to matrimonial real property rights and remedies.
58.
In addition, Canada has developed self-government guidelines on matrimonial property
to assist federal negotiators in ensuring that the issue of matrimonial property is
addressed in self-government negotiations and that the Indian Act legislative gap with
regard to matrimonial real property is not duplicated in any self- government regime.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Gender-based analysis
59.
In September 2005, the Government of Canada established a three-member Expert Panel
on Accountability Mechanisms for Gender Equality, to study accountability and provide
advice on strengthening gender equality in Canada. The conclusions and
recommendations of the Expert Panel were tabled in the House of Commons in
November 2005. The final report was released in July 2006 and can be found on the
Status of Women Canada Web site at http://www.swccfc.gc.ca/resources/panel/report/index_e.html. Follow-up to the report is included in the
Government’s response of September 2006 (see below).
60.
In May 2006, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Status of Women re-tabled
its report entitled Gender-Based Analysis: Building Blocks for Success
(http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?SourceId=143449), which
focused on accountability concerning the use and results of gender-based analysis (GBA).
The report made nine recommendations for ensuring the systematic application of GBA
to all federal policies and program activities. The Government response of
September 2006, outlines action undertaken to implement GBA and the Government’s
commitment to ensure a GBA lens is applied to new proposals and to increase
accountability for the application of GBA within government structures and mechanisms.
(http://cmte.parl.gc.ca/cmte/CommitteePublication.aspx?COM=10477&Lang=1&SourceI
d=171841).
Violence against women and girls
61.
Canada’s multi-disciplinary approach to addressing violence against women includes
legislative responses coupled with the development of programs, policies and other
initiatives. Canada’s criminal laws provide a broad range of protection against violence
including provisions prohibiting assault/sexual assault, criminal harassment, trafficking in
persons, female genital mutilation, and child sexual exploitation (including child luring,
child pornography, child prostitution, and other sexually exploitative conduct). Canada’s
criminal law also requires that instances of spousal or child abuse be taken into
consideration as aggravating circumstances for the purposes of sentencing.
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62.
In January 2006, Criminal Code and Canada Evidence Act amendments came into force
that facilitate the receipt of testimony by children and other vulnerable victims and
witnesses (including victims of trafficking, sexual or spousal violence) and provide
greater protection by extending and making more readily available the use of testimonial
aids such as screens, closed-circuit television and support persons. Victims and witnesses
under the age of 18 will receive any of these testimonial aids and other measures upon
application. Other vulnerable victims and witnesses such as women who have
experienced violence may receive a testimonial aid or other measure if the judge feels it
is necessary for the victim or witness to provide full and candid testimony. Victims of
criminal harassment (commonly known as stalking) will be able to have a lawyer
appointed to conduct their cross-examination if the accused is self-represented. The
January 2006 reforms also facilitate the criminal law enforcement of breaches of civil
restraining prevention or protection orders, often used in cases of family violence.
63.
The Policy Centre for Victim Issues (http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/voc/index.html),
established in 2000, works toward improving the experience of victims of crime,
including women who have experienced violence, in the criminal justice system. The
Centre engages in legislative reform, consultation, policy development, research, and
project funding.
64.
A range of resources and tools have been developed to help criminal justice
professionals, community organizations and individuals better prevent and curb family
violence and violence against women, for example:
•
•
•
•
•
65.
promotion of access to justice for deaf people who have been victims of domestic
violence, including resource tools for judges;
a Handbook for Police Responding to Domestic Violence that provides information
on domestic violence and its impacts on children;
a National Forum on Family Violence that educated police executives on family
violence issues and initiatives, explored approaches and profiled good practices in the
police and community response to family violence;
a National Network of support and capacity building for frontline workers addressing
partner violence against immigrant and visible minority women;
a two-day national forum Femmes francophones en situation minoritaire solidaires
dans la lutte à la violence faite aux femmes (National Forum on francophone women
in minority situations) that brought together service providers and key representatives
from each province and territory to discuss issues regarding domestic violence.
Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
and Rights (http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/cesc_e.cfm) and Canada’s
response to the questionnaire from the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against
Women (http://www.swc-cfc.gc.ca/pubs/unreport/index_e.html) provide additional
information on Government of Canada initiatives that address intimate partner violence
against women, including the key results, performance indicators and measurement
approaches used in the evaluation of the Family Violence Initiative (FVI).
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66.
The Family Violence Initiative Performance Report 2002-2003 and 2003-2004
(http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfv-cnivf/familyviolence/pdfs/2004-Family-ViolenceInitiative_E.pdf), demonstrates that the FVI has continued to play an important role in
efforts to prevent and respond to family violence. Results include strengthening the
Initiative's horizontal management approach, advancing partnerships, focusing on the
unique needs of specific populations, increasing its responsiveness to diversity and
refining information dissemination strategies. The performance report provides an
overview of the Government of Canada’s investments, progress and results in family
violence prevention and intervention from April 2002 through March 2004.
67.
Status of Women Canada is using its annual FVI allocation ($1 million over four years,
from 2003-2004 to 2006-2007) to fund national initiatives undertaken solely by
Aboriginal women's organizations on violence against Aboriginal women.
68.
The National Clearinghouse on Family Violence continues to operate as part of the FVI.
Additions to the Clearinghouse reference and information collection include updated
versions of Violence in Dating Relationships – Overview Paper, Violence against Women
with Disabilities – Overview Paper and Transition Houses and Shelters for Abused
Women in Canada. A needs assessment study conducted in 2005 produced
recommendations that will enhance the Clearinghouse’s ability to address the needs of
women who are victims of violence. A list of publications available from the
Clearinghouse can be found at http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/ncfvcnivf/familyviolence/femabus_e.html.
Aboriginal women
69.
In May 2005, $5 million in funding over five years (2005-2010) was announced for the
Sisters in Spirit initiative, a campaign that the Native Women’s Association of Canada
(NWAC) launched in March 2004 to raise awareness about the high rates of racialized
and sexualized violence against Aboriginal women (www.sistersinspirit.ca/). The funding
supports activities aimed at quantifying the number of missing and murdered Aboriginal
women, identifying trends, understanding the root causes of violence and underlying
factors contributing to racialized and sexualized violence, and influencing policy,
programs and services meant to eliminate violence. The Sisters in Spirit initiative will
develop a comprehensive policy strategy for work at both national and international
levels on issues relating to Aboriginal women’s human rights.
70.
Other initiatives supported by the Government of Canada in the reporting period include:
•
•
A Nunavut Symposium on Violence Against Women, held in January 2006, brought
together professionals and community members to consult on issues related to the
high levels of violence against women, examine policies and resources that exist
within Nunavut to address family violence, and explore solutions.
The Pauktuutit Inuit Women’s Association elaborated a “National Strategy to Prevent
Abuse in Inuit Communities” that aims to develop sustained relationships among
partner organizations addressing abuse in Inuit communities; co-ordinating the efforts
Government of Canada
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•
of these organizations and implementing practical, effective and culturally
appropriate services and programs to promote healing.
The Pulaarvik Kablu Friendship Centre’s “Spousal Abuse Counselling Program for
Rankin Inlet” was a pilot project consisting of a culturally appropriate counselling
program for abusers, victims, and an educational community outreach program. The
program was aimed at reducing spousal abuse incidences in Rankin Inlet (in Northern
Canada). An evaluation of the pilot project indicated that it was promising.
Shelters for victims of violence
71.
The Shelter Enhancement Program (SEP) assists in repairing, rehabilitating and
improving existing shelters for women, children and youth as well as men who are
victims of family violence, and in the acquisition or construction of new shelters and
second stage housing where needed. Overall, federal, provincial and territorial partners
provided over $47 million in funding for the SEP from 2003 to 2005.
72.
The 2002 evaluation of SEP found that, from 1996 to 2001, 65 percent of existing
shelters and second stage housing received funding for repairs and improvements and
SEP funding covered 60 percent of all repair costs in these shelters. These expenditures
significantly improved the physical conditions and safety of the shelters.
73.
The evaluation also found that, as a result of improvements, the program had positive
impacts on shelter usage by women and enhanced family violence programs. A third of
shelters that received SEP repair funding reported an increase in the number of women
coming to the shelters and nearly 30 percent said that women were staying longer.
Existing shelters reported an increase of six percent, or 5,567 more women and children
served, in 2000 versus 1998, and the majority reported that improved shelters helped
women better address family violence problems and move to non-violent situations.
74.
In addition to repairs, SEP funding expanded the number of family violence shelters in
Canada by seven percent, with 348 units in 36 shelters. Fourteen of these were for First
Nation communities, which had no shelter facilities prior to 1996. These measures
contribute to the overall objective of the Government of Canada’s FVI.
75.
The SEP evaluation included an assessment of projects funded for youth in 1999-2000
and 2000-2001. SEP funding resulted in a 26 percent increase in capacity in the youth
shelters reviewed. Most of the shelters serve both males and females, two are for females
only and one is for males only. Typical clients served are aged 16 to 24, and one shelter is
for pregnant teens. The main impacts of this program for youth shelters have been to:
improve the facilities, reduce operating costs, enhance safety and expand shelter
programs that have allowed shelters to increase occupancy rates and improve client
services. The evaluation also noted that 79 percent of the youth served have experienced
family violence problems. A continuing need for funding for shelter repairs and
expansion of the capacity to meet demands was evident.
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Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
76.
Since 2002, annual reports to Parliament on the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
(IRPA) include a gender-based analysis of the impact of the IRPA. These are publicly
available and can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration (CIC) Web site at
www.cic.gc.ca, under media and publications.
77.
Assessments of the IRPA legislation and regulations were undertaken to identify
components that might have potential gender impacts and would thus require further data
collection, research and/or ongoing monitoring. Developing mechanisms for collecting
and analyzing gender-related data, training to build capacity and developing a framework
for reporting this information were identified as priorities.
78.
The Strategic Framework for Gender-Based Analysis (2005–2010) sets out the strategic
objectives and principles for gender-based analysis (GBA) at Citizenship and
Immigration Canada and the required steps to strengthen capacity and performance in this
area. GBA Branch Plans are central to the Strategic Framework. In its 2005 Annual
Report on Immigration, CIC identified five Branches with different areas of
responsibility for IRPA as having completed GBA Plans: Refugee Branch, Integration
Branch, Selection/Immigration Branch, Admissibility/Risk Assessment and Mitigation
Branch, and Strategic Policy. These plans identify a range of IRPA reporting priorities.
The report indicates measures being undertaken to implement the branch plans, for
example, the collection of sex-disaggregated data.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Trafficking in women and girls
79.
Canada ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, and its two
Protocols, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons,
especially women and children (Trafficking Protocol) and the Protocol against the
Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air, on May 13, 2002.
80.
Canada’s ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking both domestically and
internationally are guided by international standards. An Interdepartmental Working
Group on Trafficking in Persons, consisting of 17 federal departments and agencies,
coordinates Canada’s federal efforts to address this complex issue.
81.
Canada cooperates with the United States of America on issues related to trafficking in
persons, working with US counterparts at the border to detect and apprehend individuals
who commit cross-border crimes, including human trafficking. Canada also supports TIP
prevention and awareness-raising efforts in source countries abroad, through partnerships
with NGOs and multilateral organizations, including in regions such as West Africa,
Southeast Asia, Central America, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean.
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82.
Canada has strengthened its criminal law response to trafficking in persons. On
November 25, 2005, Bill C-49, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (trafficking in
persons), S.C. 2005, c.43, came into force, creating three new indictable offences to
specifically address trafficking in persons. These offences prohibit: trafficking in persons
(punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment), the receipt of a financial or other
material benefit for the purpose of committing or facilitating the trafficking of a person
(punishable by a maximum of 10 years imprisonment); and withholding or destruction of
documents – such as a victim’s travel documents or documents establishing their identity
– for the purpose of committing or facilitating the trafficking of that person (punishable
by a maximum of five years imprisonment).
83.
To build on Canada’s ongoing anti-trafficking efforts, in May 2006, new guidelines for
immigration officers were released to ensure that victims of trafficking receive
consideration for immigration status, as individual circumstances warrant. The new
measures include the issuance of temporary resident permits (TRPs) to victims of
trafficking for up to 120 days, immediate eligibility for health-care benefits under the
Interim Federal Health Program, including counselling if needed, and a fee waiver for the
TRP. The new measures are designed to help victims of trafficking escape the influence
of their traffickers and recover from their ordeal. Victims of trafficking are not required
to testify against their trafficker to gain this temporary immigration status.
84.
For more information on Canada’s efforts to combat trafficking in persons, please see
http://canada.justice.gc.ca/en/news/nr/2005/doc_31486.html.
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
85.
On September 14, 2005, Canada ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the
Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography.
86.
Bill C-2, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Protection of Children and Other Vulnerable
Persons) and the Canada Evidence Act, S.C. 2005, 32, strengthened Criminal Code
prohibitions against the sexual exploitation of children, including the child pornography
provisions (broadened the definition, created a new offence against audio child
pornography, narrowed the defence and increased penalties). It also amended the sexual
exploitation offence to better protect young persons from those who would prey on their
vulnerability and to provide increased penalties for child sexual exploitation offences. These
amendments came into force on November 1, 2005. Bill C-2 also created amendments to
strengthen provisions that facilitate the testimony of all child victims/witnesses; these
came into force on January 2, 2006.
87.
In May 2004, a national strategy to protect children from sexual exploitation on the
Internet was launched. As part of this strategy, approximately $42 million over five years
was allocated to expand the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s national co-ordination
centre and provide law enforcement with better tools and resources to investigate
Internet-based child exploitation. Some of this funding will be used to provide better
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public education and reporting, and to build stronger partnerships among governments,
industry and other stakeholders.
88.
Cybertip.ca operates as Canada’s national tip-line for reporting the online sexual
exploitation of children. It was officially launched on January 24, 2005, after previously
operating as a successful provincial pilot project for a number of years. Cybertip.ca also
plays an important role in promoting education and awareness about child sexual
exploitation. Since the national launch of Cybertip.ca, 7,013 reports have been fielded
across Canada and around the world, representing a 430 percent increase over the
previous year when the tip-line operated as a pilot project. Further, since its inception as a
pilot project, it has resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals and 972 Web sites have been
shut down. As well, in 2005-2006, approximately 5,771 reports of potential online sexual
abuse of children had been received by Cybertip.ca. For more information, please see
www.cybertip.ca.
89.
The Government of Canada has also created the CyberWise.ca Web site where children,
teens, parents, teachers and youth professionals can find research, learning activities and
other online resources that promote the safe use of the Internet. For more information, see
www.cyberwise.ca.
90.
The Government contributed funding in 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 to the Canadian Red
Cross for the development of an accessible and comprehensive resource tool, entitled
Child Sexual Abuse: Protection, Intervention and Canada’s Laws, for Canadian
professionals and paraprofessionals, working with children or in relevant professions.
The need for this tool was identified through consultations with professionals in the field.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
91.
The Government of Canada recognizes that the active participation of women from
diverse experiences in leadership and decision-making is central to equality. The election
of a new federal government in January 2006 resulted in 62 women being elected out of
308 seats in the House of Commons. Six women were appointed to Cabinet positions.
The Government supports the non-governmental initiative "Getting to the Gate", an
online bilingual campaign course that aims to increase the number of elected women at
all levels of public office by providing practical tools and guidance.
92.
Since 2004, four of nine judges on the Supreme Court of Canada have been women,
making it the most gender-balanced high court in the world. Overall, 26 percent of all
federally-appointed judges are women, and women constitute 35 percent of the Senate.
93.
A number of Canadian Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates have organized
annual activities for International Women’s Day, which have included bringing together
elected female government representatives to speak about their experiences and receive
media attention for their work in the hope of showcasing them as models for younger
generations of women.
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Aboriginal women
94.
Information regarding the participation of Aboriginal women in governance activities can
be found in the response to question 14 on the list of issues to be taken up in connection
with the consideration of the fourth periodic report of Canada concerning the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/E.C.12.CAN.Q.4.Add.1.En?OpenDocument).
95.
The Government of Canada is working to increase the participation of Aboriginal women
in political processes, in particular by engaging Aboriginal women in the negotiation of
self-government agreements with First Nations Chiefs. In 2006, 105 of the 633 Chiefs
were women, a significant increase since 2004.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
96.
In 2006, the Government of Canada introduced the following new measures, which will
also benefit women:
•
•
•
97.
initiatives that facilitate the employability of immigrants and future newcomers and
funding to provide a range of assistance for immigrant settlement, such as helping
newcomers with language training and employment related services;
income tax credits that will help alleviate pressures on low-income Canadians; and
a feasibility study to evaluate current and potential measures to address challenges
faced by displaced older workers, including the need for improved training, and
enhanced income support such as early retirement benefits.
There may be some specific types of social benefits that are not available to workers in
non-standard employment; however, Canada has a well-developed social system, which
provides for a minimum level of support and helps to ensure a wide range of coverage for
Canadians.
Aboriginal women
98.
The Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy (AHRDS) helps Aboriginal
people prepare for, obtain and maintain employment. From 1999 to March 2006, the
AHRDS assisted over 159,330 Aboriginal women receive 244,600 interventions in
employment, training and skills development. The AHRDS supported over
47,400 Aboriginal women in finding employment, and over 18,000 Aboriginal women in
returning to school.
99.
The AHRDS was renewed in December 2003 for five years to March 2009, with an
emphasis on increased federal/provincial/territorial collaboration and increased
responsiveness to skill needs. See Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for additional information (paragraphs 95-98).
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Persons with disabilities
100.
There are several Government of Canada programs that aim to improve the employment
situation of people with disabilities. These programs also often provide disability
supports to enable workplace participation. Canada’s fourth comprehensive report on
disability in Canada, Advancing the Inclusion of People with Disabilities 2006 can be
found at www.hrsdc.gc.ca/en/hip/odi/documents/advancingInclusion06/index.shtml.
101.
In 2004, Employability Assistance for People with Disabilities was replaced with Labour
Market Agreements for Persons with Disabilities (LMAPD). Under the LMAPD, the
Government of Canada contributes funding to provincial programs and services to
support the participation of Canadians with disabilities in the labour market. Since 2004,
the total federal funding under the LMAPD is $223 million a year.
102.
The Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities assists people with disabilities
prepare for and obtain employment or self-employment, as well as develop the skills
necessary to maintain that new employment. The Program works in partnership with
organizations for people with disabilities, including the private sector, to support
innovative approaches to integrate individuals with disabilities into employment or selfemployment and address barriers to an individual’s labour market participation. The
Opportunities Fund has assisted approximately 36,000 Canadians since its inception.
Employment benefits
103.
In 2000, changes were made to enhance the duration, accessibility, and flexibility of
parental benefits. The number of insurable employment hours needed to qualify for all
special benefits was reduced from 700 to 600 hours; the duration of benefits was
extended from 10 weeks to 35 weeks; and flexibility was increased by allowing parents
sharing one parental leave to only serve one two-week waiting period. Further, parents
can earn the greater of $50 or 25 percent of weekly parental benefits without a deduction.
Total parental benefit payments in 2004-2005 totaled $2.1 billion, an increase of
4.4 percent from the previous year. In 2004-2005, the percentage of total parental claims
made by women was 85.2 percent and 14.8 percent for men. Men’s participation in
parental leave continues to increase.
Affordable childcare
104.
In 2003, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers Responsible for Social Services
agreed to a Multilateral Framework on Early Learning and Child Care, building on the
2000 Early Childhood Development Agreement. Through these agreements, the
Government of Canada provided provinces and territories with a combined investment of
$650 million in 2004-2005, reaching $850 million a year in 2007-2008. See Canada’s
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for
additional information (paragraphs 49-52).
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105.
In 2006, the Government of Canada introduced a new approach to supporting childcare.
Canada’s Universal Child Care Plan consists of two key elements designed to give
parents choice in childcare so they can balance work and family life: the Universal Child
Care Benefit that provides $100 per month for each child under age six for families to use
as they see fit; and new measures to support the creation of new child care spaces,
beginning in 2007-2008.
Women entrepreneurs
106.
Women are creating businesses at twice the rate of men. For more than a decade, the
Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) has facilitated financing and improved the
management capacity of women entrepreneurs. This includes increasing support for
women-led businesses:
•
•
•
•
•
BDC’s women in business portfolio reached $1.7 billion at the end of 2006. The
portfolio consists of over 6,200 women entrepreneurs, about double the amount since
the 1990's.
Included in the BDC portfolio are 70 Aboriginal women clients, with a total
commitment outstanding of $21.6 million.
In 2005-2006, BDC authorized $437 million in 2,028 loans to women-led businesses,
including 24 loans for $3 million to Aboriginal women entrepreneurs.
397 loans for $61 million were authorized to women whose businesses were in the
start-up position.
BDC launched a $25 million fund in 2004 to provide quasi-equity financing for
women entrepreneurs wishing to expand their businesses and seek new market
opportunities. Approximately $18 million has been authorized under this program.
107.
The Government of Canada’s Interdepartmental Working Group on Women
Entrepreneurs, which merged with the Women’s International Business Development
Committee, provides a network of cooperation and active engagement among federal
departments and agencies and works collaboratively on issues and programs for the
development of Canadian women in business.
108.
CanadExport Businesswomen’s annual supplement (Going Global – Women
Entrepreneurs in International Markets) and Web site “Businesswomen in Trade”
(http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/businesswomen/menu-en.asp), detail government
programs available for women entrepreneurs.
109.
The Aboriginal International Business Development Committee is an interdepartmental
Committee made up of 29 federal government departments and agencies that are working
collectively to promote the success of Aboriginal small- to medium-size enterprises in
export markets, including women owned enterprises.
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Article 12: Health
Access to health care
110.
The Bureau of Women’s Health and Gender Analysis, in collaboration with Centres of
Excellence for Women’s Health Program, is developing a workshop that will illustrate
how consideration of the unique needs and realities of diverse groups such as women and
men, minority groups, etc. (i.e., gender-based analysis) adds value to policy, research and
program development on wait times and to the broader issue of timely access to care, and
provides an opportunity for governments at all levels to strengthen health planning and
service delivery.
111.
The Women’s Health Indicators initiative aims to ensure that gender and diversity
perspectives are integrated in the broader development of health indicators and reporting
systems and help reduce health disparities and improve women’s health, as well as
gender equity and equality in Canada.
Specific health issues
112.
One of the objectives on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada
(launched in January 2005) is to develop specific approaches for populations vulnerable
to HIV/AIDS (gay men, injection drug users, Aboriginal people, federal inmates, youth at
risk, women at risk, people from countries where HIV is endemic) and people living with
HIV/AIDS and move toward the development of a fully integrated Government of
Canada approach to HIV/AIDS. A framework for population-specific work is being
developed to guide future action. Status reports on each vulnerable population are being
developed. A Specific Populations HIV/AIDS Initiative Fund will address national policy
and program priorities for people living with HIV/AIDS and those populations most
vulnerable to HIV/AIDS in Canada, including women at risk of HIV infection. Through
its community action programs, the Government of Canada provides support for
community-based organizations to deliver local prevention, care and support services to
women living with HIV/AIDS and women vulnerable to HIV infection. It is too early to
assess the impact of the above-mentioned programs. An outcome-based evaluation will
be used to collect meaningful evaluation results.
113.
The Government of Canada supports First Nations people living on reserve to undertake
prevention, education and community capacity-building work to address the issue of
HIV/AIDS among Aboriginal women. Some of the Government of Canada’s national
partner organizations, such as the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network and the Assembly
of First Nations, have developed educational resources targeting women. Social
marketing efforts will also target Aboriginal women.
114.
Additional information on the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS in Canada can be
found at the following Web addresses: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/aids-sida/fiif/index.html; and http://www.leadingtogether.ca/.
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115.
Canada's support to international initiatives related to HIV/AIDS has included a focus on
women and girls. For example, Canada has provided $15 million to the International
Partnership for Microbicides (2004-2007) to develop a prevention method that can be
controlled by women and girls. Canada recognizes, however, that a comprehensive
approach to women’s health should extend beyond sexual and reproductive health and
include, for instance, the education sector. Significant funding is provided to health
initiatives worldwide, which includes support to country partners and various initiatives
on sexual and reproductive health, improving nutritional status and food security, and
addressing high-burden diseases, particularly HIV/AIDS among women and girls. The
Government of Canada is also working with countries to scale up national health systems
to ensure the provision of equitable care and services and to remove gender-based
barriers to achieving health outcomes.
Aboriginal women
116.
See Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights (paragraph 148) for detailed information on new federal initiatives to
address Aboriginal health, such as the Aboriginal Health Transition Fund and the
Aboriginal Health Human Resources Initiative (AHHRI). These new initiatives will
establish specific approaches to gender-based analysis (GBA), for example, by including
a requirement that integration and adaptation plans take into consideration GBA
perspectives, and where appropriate, develop specific GBA components into adaptation
and integration projects; and, that the investments in health promotion and disease
prevention are geared towards better health outcomes for both men and women. Through
increasing supports to Aboriginal health care students, many of whom are typically
women, the AHHRI will aim to improve the socio-economic health of Aboriginal
women, as well as increase Aboriginal women’s access to culturally competent health
care providers.
117.
Ongoing funding continues for a national First Nations and Inuit Home and Community
Care (FNIHCC) Program. The Program is a coordinated system of home and community
based health-related services that enable people with disabilities, persistent or acute
illnesses and the elderly to receive the care they need in their home communities. Due to
the nature of home care, FNIHCC has a significant impact on women, since they are
more likely to be either clients or caregivers. Program delivery data indicates that
60 percent of clients are female. Family caregivers (or “informal” caregivers) provide the
bulk of support to home care clients. Approximately 79 percent of family caregivers in
First Nations and Inuit communities are female. The provision of in-home respite to
support caregivers is a mandatory service element of the program (program data shows
that this respite care totaled more than 100,000 hours in 2004-2005, or about 16 percent
of all FNIHCC hours).
118.
In 2003, an Aboriginal Women’s Health and Healing Research Group was established as
a formal commitment to Aboriginal women’s health and research.
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119.
In April of 2005, the Government furthered its commitment within the Women’s Health
Strategy by sponsoring the National Aboriginal Health Organization to conduct a national
Aboriginal Women and Girl’s Health Roundtable. The findings of this national
Roundtable provide the basis for the development of Aboriginal women specific health
indicators and a culturally-relevant gender-based analysis thereby supporting the
initiatives outlined in the Strategy.
120.
As part of new investments in health promotion and disease prevention, the Government
has invested $110 million over five years for maternal and child health services for
pregnant First Nations and Inuit women and families with infants/young children. For
First Nations living on reserve, this funding will support access to prenatal supports,
home visiting, identification of families at risk of poor health outcomes and, when
appropriate, referrals to other services. These investments will begin to align
programming in First Nations communities on-reserve, with what is available to other
Canadians. For Aboriginal people living in the North this funding will provide increased
access to the health promotion programs that the Government of Canada offers to
complement the maternal child health services they receive from the province or territory
in which they live.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
121.
The Government provides a range of supports to enhance the economic security of all
Canadians. For families with children, there is the Canada Child Tax Benefit, including
the National Child Benefit (NCB). In 2004-2005, the Government spent $8.9 billion on
the initiative. For seniors, there is the Old Age Security, Guaranteed Income Supplement,
and Canada Pension Plan, through which the Government of Canada transfers $50 billion
annually in income benefits. In addition, in 2004-2005, through the Employment
Insurance program, $12.7 billion in income benefits was provided to unemployed
Canadians. For more information about these and other federal programs that enhance the
economic security of Canadians, please see Canada’s recent reports on the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
122.
Analysis shows that in 2002, as a direct result of the National Child Benefit,
106,000 children and 45,900 families were prevented from living in low income, a
9.7 percent reduction. The NCB initiative has also made a significant impact on loneparent, low-income families with children, including families headed by single-mothers.
For example, in 2002, the NCB prevented 35,000 children in 18,600 single-parent
families from living in low income.
123.
The Government of Canada has made significant investments in the NCB: As of July 1,
2006, benefits increased by $250.00 per child annually for low-income families. By
2007-2008, total federal child benefits, including the NCB Supplement, are projected to
reach $10 billion a year.
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Support programs and services
124.
The Government of Canada implemented a number of measures aimed at men and
women with disabilities in this reporting period.
•
In 2003, the Technical Advisory Committee on Tax Measures for Persons with
Disabilities (TAC) was established to review federal government taxation policies as
they relate to persons with disabilities. The Government of Canada implemented the
majority of the TAC recommendations in Budget 2005 and completed
implementation in Budget 2006. In 2004, the Disability Supports Deduction replaced
the Attendant Care Deduction with a broader deduction for education and
employment supports.
•
Budget 2005 expanded the eligibility for the Disability Tax Credit (DTC) along with
the list of expenses eligible for the disability supports deduction. The disabilityrelated expenses amount that caregivers can claim on behalf of their dependent
relatives was raised to $10,000; students eligible for the DTC were also supported by
these tax incentives. The maximum annual Child Disability Benefit was also
increased from $1,661 to $2,044 in the 2005 Budget, and again increased from $2,044
to $2,300 in the 2006 Budget; this amount will be indexed to inflation hereafter. Also,
the Child Disability Benefit was extended to more families caring for a child eligible
for the DTC by reducing the rates at which the Child Disability Benefit is reduced as
family income rises.
Women’s access to housing
125.
The housing needs of women are well recognized in Canadian housing policies and
programs. Although the programs are not targeted to women specifically, a significant
portion of this housing assistance benefits women. This is because women, either in
single-parent, female-led households or living alone or otherwise, are disproportionately
represented among the target groups for the programs; female-led households in general
have a greater incidence of core housing need7 than male-led households (21.7 percent
compared to 9.3 percent respectively). The national percentage of households in core
housing need is 13.7 percent.
126.
Information on Government of Canada measures to meet the housing needs of Canadians
are detailed in Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social
and Cultural Rights (paragraphs 123 to 139).
7
Households which occupy housing that falls below any of the dwelling adequacy (not requiring major repairs),
suitability (enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of residents in the households, according to National
Occupancy Standard requirements), or affordability (dwelling cost less than 30 percent of before-tax household
income) standards, and which would have to spend 30 percent or more of their before-tax income to pay for the
median rent of alternative local market housing that meets all three standards, are said to be in core housing need.
Source: Research Highlight, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, February 2004, Socio-economic Series
04-001.
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127.
Measures during the reporting period include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
A one-time investment of up to $1.4 billion towards helping Canadians, including
many women and children, find safe, adequate and affordable housing in all
provinces and territories includes an affordable housing trust of up to $800 million, a
Northern housing trust of up to $300 million and a trust for off-reserve Aboriginal
housing of up to $300 million.
$450 million over two years to improve water supply and housing on-reserve,
education, and living conditions for Aboriginal women, children and families.
The Government of Canada is investing $1 billion under the Affordable Housing
Initiative (AHI), and bilateral agreements have been signed with all provinces and
territories in this regard. The federal investment is being matched by provinces and
territories and third parties. Provinces and territories have the flexibility to design and
deliver programs that are best suited to their affordable housing needs. As of
March 31, 2006, over 26,900 affordable housing units have been committed or
announced nationally under the AHI.
The Government provides some $2 billion annually primarily to support
approximately 633,000 lower-income households in existing social housing,
including single women and female-led, single-parent households.
In 2003, the Government renewed its Housing Renovation Programs for three years at
a cost of $384 million. These programs provide assistance to bring homeowner, rental
and rooming house units up to minimum health and safety standards; to complete
emergency repairs on homes in rural areas; to make housing accessible for persons
with disabilities; and to repair, rehabilitate and improve shelters for victims of family
violence, as well as create new shelters or second stage housing where needed. Nine
provinces and territories either cost-share the federal renovation programs or have
equivalent provincial programs, thereby increasing the number of households that can
be assisted across Canada. A recent evaluation of the renovation programs confirmed
their value in contributing to the preservation of adequate, affordable housing for
Canadian households. Enhancements to the programs in 2003 included an increase in
maximum assistance limits. Further enhancements in 2005 added assistance for
secondary suites to accommodate seniors and disabled adults.
Canada’s National Homelessness Initiative, including the Supporting Communities
Partnership Initiative, has been extended by one year to March 2007, with funding in
the amount of $134.8 million.
The Partnership Centre, which provides information, guidance and other tools to help
facilitate the production of housing by non-profit and private sector proponents and
others who are planning to develop affordable housing includes seed funding and
interest-free proposal development loans. The Centre facilitated the production of
some 12, 800 affordable housing units between January 2003 and December 2005.
The Government provides an estimated $261 million annually to help address
housing needs on reserve. This supports housing construction and renovation, as well
as ongoing subsidies for some 25,000 rental units. In 2005, the Government of
Canada committed a further $295 million over five years to help address the backlog
in housing on-reserve. The Government’s housing renovation programs are also
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available to First Nations. Off-reserve, Aboriginal people are eligible for all current
federal housing initiatives, for example, the AHI.
Live-in caregiver program
128.
The Live-in Caregiver Program (LCP) assists Canadian and permanent resident
employers to recruit caregivers to live and work in their homes to provide childcare,
home support for seniors or the disabled. The number of live in caregivers who entered
Canada in 2005 is estimated at 6,659.
129.
Live-in caregivers have the unique right to apply for permanent residence from within
Canada after working in their field for two out of three years from their date of entry. The
live-in requirement is a vital component of the LCP.
130.
To maintain program integrity, Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations
introduced in 2002 require participants to have signed contracts that conform to
provincial employment standards with their employer. Provincial and territorial labour
laws establish employment standards, such as minimum wage, overtime and vacation pay
and maximum amounts for room and board. These labour laws also provide a complaint
mechanism for employees. The Government of Canada determines the current labour
market need for live-in caregivers, and ensures that wages and working conditions of the
job offer meet provincial standards. Before approving an application, the Government
must be satisfied that there is a genuine employment contract; the employer has the
ability to pay the stated wages; the applicant has the necessary education/experience to do
the job; and the applicant has an ability to communicate in one of Canada’s two official
languages in order to be able to work unsupervised.
131.
The Government of Canada funds a Canadian Orientation Abroad program in the
Philippines (where the majority of caregivers originate), which provides pre-departure
counselling to potential immigrants coming to Canada, including live-in caregivers. This
assists them in adapting to Canadian life and makes them aware of their rights. A
pamphlet is distributed to every caregiver with their work permit, containing information
about their rights, contact information for advocacy groups and recourse through
provincial labour laws if they encounter an abusive employment situation. As well, a
revised communications strategy is being developed to improve employer awareness of
their obligations when hiring a live-in caregiver.
Article 14: Rural Women
132.
The Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) delivers
the Community Futures program in Ontario, which provides support to 61 Community
Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) located throughout rural and Northern
Ontario. FedNor provides funding to women-targeted projects across the province. From
April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2006, 529 women-led businesses received loans valued at
over $22 million, and 3,366 women received counseling and other services to start or
expand their business.
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133.
From 2003 to 2006, through the Northern Ontario Development Program, FedNor
invested in 16 projects valued at $1.2 million targeted to women. These projects
leveraged an additional $1.6 million. Projects ranged from providing assistance to the
PARO Centre for Women Enterprise in Northwestern Ontario, to entrepreneurship and
business training, and access to capital support for women-owned businesses.
134.
FedNor also partners with the Network for Women Entrepreneurs (NWE) in rural and
northern Ontario to promote their services to women across the province. Administered
by the Canada-Ontario Business Service Centre, it gives women business owners access
to people, programs, business information and services specifically tailored to the needs
of businesswomen in the province. In 2005-2006, NWE served over 18,000 clients.
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Part III
Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the
Provinces
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Newfoundland and Labrador
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
135.
The Government’s 2006 budget provided an increase in funding for legal aid to allow
additional lawyers and support persons in certain areas of the province.
136.
Statistics on female applications to legal aid and approved applications are as follows:
Type of law
2003-2004
2004-2005
2005-2006
Applications Received
Civil
Criminal
Youth
Immigration
Total Received
2,686
670
197
15
3,568
2,682
690
144
9
3,525
2,522
579
135
10
3,246
Applications Approved
Civil
Criminal
Youth
Immigration
Total Received
1,173 (43%)
388 (57%)
177 (89%)
10 (66%)
1,748 (48%)
1,282 (47%)
420 (60%)
112 (77%)
4 (44%)
1,818 (51%)
1,147 (45%)
361 (62%)
102 (75%)
6 (40%)
1,676 (51%)
Complaints related to gender discrimination
137.
For the period of January 2003 to May 2006, the Human Rights Commission accepted
71 gender related complaints. There were 32 complaints of sex discrimination: nine
complaints related specifically to pregnancy, 15 complaints of sexual harassment and
15 complaints based on marital status.
Aboriginal women
138.
In March 2006, the first province-wide Aboriginal women’s conference took place. The
conference, The Path to the Good Life, helped participants identify the steps necessary to
improve the quality of life in their communities. Issues identified included: culture, health
care, governance, violence, justice, education and training, housing, access to programs
and funding, and employment.
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Aboriginal women in custody
139.
Between 2003-2006, approximately 10 percent of the women admitted to the
Newfoundland and Labrador Correctional Centre for Women were Aboriginal. It should
be noted that the total Aboriginal population in Newfoundland and Labrador is less that
one percent of the overall adult and youth population and, therefore, even though the
absolute number of Aboriginal women detainees is low, the number of such admissions is
disproportionate to the general population composition.
140.
However, the number of women Aboriginal detainees in Newfoundland and Labrador has
continued to decline over time. The decline in this number may be attributed to a number
of factors: a change in sentencing patterns adopted by local judges in the Labrador
Region; and more community-based support being afforded to Aboriginal women, such
as community safe houses, victim services, addictions programming and women’s
advocacy groups. The Government is consulting Aboriginal organizations in Labrador to
identify the types of community-based programming that would be most effective in
preventing criminal activity, minimize the rate of re-offending and ensure the safer
reintegration of offenders back into the community. Such programs will be developed in
collaboration with Aboriginal organizations, including women’s advocacy groups.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
141.
The Violence Prevention Act came into effect on July 1, 2006. The legislation provides
for new justice system responses in the form of Emergency Protection Orders to help
adult victims of family violence and their children in emergency situations. The
legislation fills a gap in the justice process for victims by providing for a broader range of
more immediate responses than those available through the Criminal Code; note,
however, that all criminal justice responses to family violence will remain in place.
142.
In April 2006, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador launched a new six-year
violence prevention plan. Taking Action Against Violence focuses on preventing violence
against women, children and youth, Aboriginal women and children, seniors, persons
with disabilities and others who are victims of violence because of ethnicity, sexual
orientation, or economic status. The plan will implement those action items committed
through the Violence Prevention Initiative (VPI).
143.
In 2003-2005, funding was provided to six regional coordinating committees and two
provincial committees to coordinate services and promote violence awareness. In
addition to improved coordination of regional services, this funding resulted in several
conferences, workshops, and other special events engaging the community in violence
prevention awareness.
144.
A formative evaluation of the VPI was completed in March 2004 by an external
evaluator. The overall conclusion was that the VPI is an encouraging initiative that brings
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government departments together and forges meaningful links between government and
the community in addressing this key social policy issue. However, the report said both
short- and long-term reform is required to fulfill the mandate and vision of the VPI. The
Government continues to work with stakeholders of the VPI on the suggested
improvements from the evaluation report.
145.
In 2003-2004, the advisory committee to ministers responsible for the VPI, with a
membership of 20 government and community representatives, collaborated on the goals
and objectives of the VPI and the evaluation of the Initiative.
146.
An annual action plan for the VPI was completed in 2003 through to 2005 that included
department-specific objectives and broad process objectives for all partners.
147.
Partner departments use the Interdepartmental Anti-Violence Policy Framework,
implemented in 2000, which fosters the use of a “violence prevention lens” in developing
social policy. The Framework outlines each department’s commitment to strengthening
policy related to violence prevention. The 2003 document Collaborating with
Community: Introduction, Rationale and a Guide for Government, an adjunct to the AntiViolence Policy Framework, led to the formation of a Department of Justice-community
collaboration working group on the justice system’s response to violence against women.
This group developed a long-term strategy as well as short-term solution focused
approaches.
148.
A community strategy was developed in 2005 to increase public awareness on violence
prevention. A wide variety of activities were undertaken by government and community
partners.
149.
In 2005, a Ministerial Committee on Violence against Women was launched to review
issues relating to violence against women and advise the Government on several issues,
such as needed changes to family legislation.
Aboriginal women
150.
In December 2005, the Government announced funding for a Special Violence
Prevention Fund for Aboriginal women and children in Newfoundland and Labrador to
help prevent violence and provide services to victims of violence in their communities.
The projects included:
•
The Labrador Inuit Health Commission, Hopedale Community Day Treatment
Program – Funding enabled the group to facilitate a five-week addictions program
within the community. In the past, individuals had to leave the community to receive
treatment.
•
Sheshatshiu Innu First Nation, Aboriginal Women’s Retreat on Violence Prevention –
This project aimed to increase awareness of violence among Innu women. The retreat
trained frontline workers, Band employees and other women from the community on
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the different kinds of violence, signs and symptoms of violence and how and where to
get help when in a violent situation.
151.
•
Federation of Newfoundland Indians, Walking the Prevention Circle for Aboriginal
Women and Children – Eighteen participants from local Bands received the three-day
training on types of abuse and neglect, the indicators and effects on children, and the
actions that can work to prevent abuse and neglect at individual, organizational and
community levels.
•
Conne River Health and Social Services – Miawpukek First Nation, Creating a Place
to Hear our Women and Children – With the support from the Violence Prevention
Initiative, this group was able to create an accessible space to implement
programming to support violence prevention of Aboriginal women and children,
which provided a place for a community support worker to meet with youth,
providing programming and support for victims of abuse or violent crimes.
In addition, the Government is working towards improving translation services for
Aboriginal people in the justice system.
Shelters for victims of violence
152.
In the 2006 Budget, the Government announced an increase in funding to support the
operation of eight Women Centers across the province.
153.
In 2004, the Government supported the opening of Hope Haven, a new shelter and
resource centre for women and their children fleeing abusive situations in Western
Labrador.
154.
In 2005, funding was announced to support the Hopedale Women’s Shelter to provide a
full-time staff person, emergency support such as food, bedding, toiletries and other basic
needs, as well as to ensure connections were made with appropriate community agencies
to assist women in crisis.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
155.
The Government confirmed its commitment to gender equality in the hiring and
appointment practices for all departments, agencies, boards and commissions.
156.
In 2005, the Government partnered with the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of
Municipalities to deliver a province-wide seminar series with local equality seeking
women’s organizations to encourage women to run in the 2005 municipal election. The
2005 municipal election resulted in women being elected to 29 percent of municipal
positions.
157.
In 2006, expressions of interest were invited for the positions of president and board
members to serve on the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women. A public
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competition was held to fill the position of President to increase transparency and to
ensure that the appointment was based on merit. The new board appointees all have
strong feminist and social perspectives and include diverse representation.
Aboriginal women
158.
With respect to Aboriginal women in leadership roles, there are numerous cases where
Aboriginal women represent their members in leadership roles, including but not limited
to Nunatsiavut’s Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, Chief of the Sheshatshiu
Innu Band Council and the General Manager of the Miawpukek First Nation.
159.
The representation of Aboriginal women on negotiating teams varies by Aboriginal
group. For example, the negotiating team of the Miawpukek First Nation self-government
agreement is primarily Mi’kmaq women; the Labrador Inuit Association land claims
negotiation team had a slim majority of male negotiators; and there are no Innu women
on the Innu Nation land claims negotiating team. A small minority of Innu women are on
Innu negotiating teams regarding the devolution of Child, Youth and Family Services,
Income Support, and Education.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
160.
The Government collaborates, supports and is working with Aboriginal groups, local
school districts and Band Council members to implement a balanced education for all
Aboriginal learners, including females. The entire prescribed curriculum, resources and
associated teacher support is made available to improve and support successful
completion of high school for Aboriginal students. It is hoped that this comprehensive
approach of focusing on the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, career and physical needs
will help female Aboriginal learners to become more self-confident to complete high
school and access and experience success in post-secondary education.
161.
The provincial Social Studies and Religious education programs in particular ensure that
female Aboriginal learners in the province will have the opportunity to learn about their
Aboriginal heritage and traditional culture, while acquiring the skills necessary to survive
in the global economy and thus pursue post-secondary education. These programs make a
concerted effort to include a study of empowered female Aboriginals as role models.
162.
Two program specialists, one Aboriginal Education Program Development Specialist
responsible for assisting in the development of culturally relevant curriculum and one
Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Consultant, have been hired by the Department
of Education. They are engaged in various professional development activities including
collaborating and consulting with all Aboriginal groups in the province regarding issues
related to Aboriginal education and FASD programming and prevention initiatives.
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163.
The Government, in collaboration with the Memorial University of Newfoundland and
Labrador, provides professional development to empower and enable female Aboriginal
teachers and teacher assistants to provide culturally relevant and academically rigorous
instruction in their classrooms.
164.
In collaboration with Aboriginal groups, the Government is developing culturally
appropriate resources and materials to support the provincially prescribed curriculum that
eliminates stereotypes and fosters academic achievement of Aboriginal learners.
165.
As a result of the funded provincial Fine Arts Strategy (called Cultural Connections), a
specific resource containing cultural profiles of provincial Aboriginal females as role
models has been developed and is being distributed to all provincial schools during the
2006-2007 school year.
166.
The Government has made provision to help hire Innu Community-School Liaisons in
Sheshatshiu and Natuashish whose role is to encourage and support school attendance
and foster better relationships between the school and community. These positions are
cost shared with the Government of Canada.
167.
Various workshops and professional development in collaboration with the Innu in the
areas of language, curriculum development and the provision of special services have
been provided. As well, there have been meetings with stakeholders to explore options
for certification of Innu teachers.
168.
Discussions to broaden the Native and Northern Education program at Memorial
University to include Innu as well as Inuit are ongoing.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
169.
While women’s increasing participation has accounted for virtually all labour market
growth since the 1970s, women still lag behind men on a number of key labour market
indicators, including participation, employment and wages. Furthermore, despite
increasing opportunities in traditionally male-dominated occupations, women’s
participation in some of these occupations, particularly in the skilled trades, has been
extremely low.
170.
Having relevant and current information about the provincial labour markets is essential
to understanding the strategic challenges and opportunities facing the province in the
coming years. To that end, in May 2006, the Government established a Labour Market
Development Division to gather and disseminate labour market information. This critical
information will complement the efforts of the Government and other community
partners to help increase participation among under-represented groups in the labour
market, including women, persons with disabilities, Aboriginal populations, older
workers and youth.
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171.
Pilot projects have been established that provide single parents with income supplements
and employment and career supports.
172.
The Government provides funding to Women in Resource Development, which offers an
Orientation to Trades and Technology Program and provides women the opportunity to
explore non-traditional trades.
173.
The participation of women in employment programs is monitored. Approximately
50 percent of all employment program placements sponsored by the Government were
filled by women. Career counseling services are provided to clients including women in
non-traditional occupations.
174.
The Income and Employment Support Act and Regulations, proclaimed in
November 2004, modernizes the approaches to providing benefits and the provision of
supports to find, attain and monitor employment. The process for developing the
legislation included gender-based analysis. The Act and Regulation ensure there is no
discrimination against women; allow for the provision of income support benefits with no
distinction for persons with disabilities with the exception of higher earning exemptions
which is provided to both men and women who receive supplements to earnings; no
requirement for specific residential address, for example, rural versus urban, which could
address differently the economic security for women living in rural areas of the province.
Affordable childcare
175.
The Child Care Services Subsidy Program provides financial support to lower and middle
income families who require childcare in order to access work or training. In 2005 and
2006, the minimum income level to receive this benefit was raised to allow thousands
more families access to the program.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
176.
In 2004, a review of the provincial health care system resulted in reorganization of the
14 health boards into four Regional Health Authorities to provide for better coordination
and planning for the health needs of regions and reduce duplication of service.
Specific health issues
177.
All women in the province can avail of pregnancy and postnatal services through the
Regional Health Authorities. High-risk antenatal care and birthing care is provided
through inpatient and outpatient support from regional hospitals. Family physicians,
regional nurses and nurse practioners in primary health care centres also provide care for
pregnant and postnatal women. In addition community health nurses provide educational
support to women during pregnancy and in the postnatal period.
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178.
The province provides prenatal educational support to all women in the province though
a series of parent booklets, A New Life, available free of charge in print and on the Web
site of the Department of Health & Community Services.
179.
Education and Support Standards for Pregnancy, Birth and Early Parenting, introduced
in 2005, promotes provincial consistency in the goals, indicators, and targets for the
provision of education and support to all women in the province during pregnancy, birth,
and early parenting.
180.
Efforts are continuing to increase the rate and duration of breastfeeding in the province
with the acceptance of standardized definitions of breastfeeding and the
recommendations related to exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months.
181.
Healthy Baby Clubs, as part of the Family Resource Centre programming, provide
additional support to women and families at greater risk of pregnancy.
182.
Since 2003, the Cervical Screening Initiatives program has expanded to reach all health
regions. This program serves to educate the public and health professionals on the
importance of screening and risks related to cervical cancer.
183.
In 2006, the Government announced a new breast-screening centre in central
Newfoundland and expansions to the existing breast screening centre in St. John’s as well
as new funding for in vitro fertilization procedures, which, for the first time, allows
patients to receive treatment in the province.
184.
A new provincial strategy for HIV/AIDS is in the development stages.
Aboriginal women
185.
Since 2005, the Government has provided funding to address the issues surrounding Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorder in the province. This has been identified as a top health
priority in the province’s Aboriginal communities.
186.
To address the high rate of suicides in Aboriginal communities, the Government will cost
share a two-year suicide prevention initiative with the Government of Canada
commencing in 2006.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
187.
As part of the Government-wide poverty reduction strategy, the Government of
Newfoundland and Labrador has committed to strengthening the province’s social safety
net. This has included increases to the Newfoundland and Labrador Child Tax Benefit
and the Low-Income Seniors’ Benefit through indexation and a series of investments
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made in the 2006 Budget. Budget initiatives include a five percent increase in Income
Support rates for 2006-2007 as well as the indexation of Income Support rates
(commencing in July 2007), funding to address specific needs of Income Support clients
which result in higher rent allowance (e.g. disability, large family), changes in the way
rent is calculated for Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation tenants who have
employment earnings, expansion of prescription drug coverage to an additional
97,000 individuals, increase in supports for children and adults with disabilities and
enhanced civil legal aid and family justice services.
188.
Women’s vulnerability to poverty is often masked in standard statistics. Using any of the
standard measures, the overall poverty levels for men and women are very similar – that
is the percentage falling below any particular cut off (such as Statistics Canada’s Low
Income Cut-Offs) is about the same. To have a better understanding of gender differences
and the reality of women’s poverty, the depth and persistence of poverty must be
analyzed as well other factors such as family type. The Background Report and
Workbook, Reducing Poverty in Newfoundland and Labrador: Working Towards a
Solution, published in 2005, gives an overview of some of the results of such an analysis.
189.
Data available for 2004 shows 12.8 percent of women compared with 11.5 percent of
men falling below the after-tax Low-Income Cut Offs. While this is a slight reduction
from the last reporting period, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is
committed to ensuring poverty levels are reduced. Particularly alarming is the percentage
for single women between 18 and 64 (57.5 percent in 2004), female led single parent
families (46.3 percent of individuals – mothers and children – living in families led by
single mothers fall below LICO) and those aged 55 to 64 (sex breakdown not available,
but overall it is 20 percent for this age group). While LICO data are not available at the
provincial level for persons with disabilities, other information such as the 2001
Participation and Activity Limitation Survey confirm evidence of high poverty levels
among this group.
190.
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has a poverty reduction strategy, which
was developed with input from women’s groups, with a guiding principle the
consideration of gender. The 2006 Budget made a series of investments to reduce
poverty, increase self-reliance and strengthen the social safety net in the province. As part
of the integrated and comprehensive approach and focus on prevention, 20 initiatives
were funded representing an annual ongoing commitment of $64 million to reduce
poverty. In addition, in May 2006, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
announced an additional $5.5 million for regulated early learning and childcare. Initial
focus areas include:
•
•
•
•
•
supporting low wage workers and their families;
supporting the development of employment skills;
supporting Income Support clients to work both through removing financial barriers
and providing other needed supports;
supporting the education system to be more responsive;
strengthening the social safety net;
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•
•
supporting early learning and childcare;
improving access to post-secondary education.
191.
Key initiatives include an annual investment to provide prescription drug coverage to
more low-income residents, funding to eliminate most school fees charged to parents,
expansion of adult literacy and transition programs, increase in Income Support rates by
five percent and additional funds to index Income Support rates.
192.
Several 2006 Budget initiatives are focused on vulnerable groups. These include:
•
•
•
•
193.
These initiatives build on other investments made between 2003 and 2005 to reduce
poverty. These include:
•
•
•
•
•
194.
increased supports for children and adults with disabilities;
funding for a second annual Aboriginal Women’s Conference;
through the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Labour Market Development
Agreement funding was provided for the development of a provincial Immigration
Strategy, which includes a focus on the needs of immigrant women;
expansion of prescription drug coverage to a wider range of low-income individuals,
including women aged 55 to 64, a group identified as particularly vulnerable, and
single parents, single people and other families working for low wages.
The Low-Income Tax Reduction Program, which began in the 2005 taxation year and
eliminates provincial income tax for individuals with net income up to $12,000, and
for families with net income up to $19,000. Partial tax reductions are received by
individuals with net income up to $14,600 and for families with net income up to
$21,900.
The implementation of the Department of Education’s White Paper on PostSecondary Education, including initiatives to provide affordable and accessible postsecondary educational opportunities, such as a tuition freeze and increase in grants to
post-secondary institutions.
The 2005-2006 Home Heating Fuel Rebate Program, which is available to residents
of the province whose household income is $30,000 or less and whose primary heat
source is home heating fuel.
The Federal/Provincial Affordable Housing Agreements Phase 1 and 2 will provide
funding from 2006-2007 to 2009-2010 ($5.31 million provincial funds) to create new
affordable rental housing for low-to-moderate income households.
Between June 2005 and January 2006, the Government of Newfoundland and
Labrador raised the minimum wage from $6.00 to $6.50 per hour as part of scheduled
increases, which will bring the minimum wage to $7 per hour in January 2007.
Many of these initiatives are new or not fully implemented by May 2006 so quantitative
data is not yet available. A commitment has been made to monitor impacts, including a
breakdown by gender and to make adjustments as necessary.
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195.
Minimum wage increases have been important to women, who are more likely to work
for low wages than men.
Support programs and services
196.
The Labour Market Agreement for Persons with Disabilities, which provides federal costsharing for a range of employment supports and services, continues to support the
preparation, attainment and retention of employment for persons with disabilities,
including women with disabilities. This program supports access to post-secondary
training, supported employment and community-based employment support services.
197.
As part of the 2006 budget, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador increased
access to the Special Child Welfare Allowance, which offsets some of the costs of
additional services/supports incurred in the at-home maintenance of children with
development and/or physical disabilities. The intent of the program is to help minimize
additional financial costs, which may be present when a family cares for a child with a
disability at home.
Women’s access to housing
198.
It is the policy of the Newfoundland and Labrador Housing Corporation (NLHC) that
victims of family violence have priority within the non-profit housing program and are
therefore considered a priority for available housing above regular approved applicants.
NLHC has been successfully implementing the Victims of Family Violence Policy and
helps approximately 150 families each year regain control and rebuild their lives.
199.
In the development of new policy or analysis of existing programs, NLHC uses a gender
inclusive lens. However, a full gender-based analysis of social housing programs has not
been undertaken.
200.
The Women’s Policy Office participates in two community and government working
groups concerning housing: a Housing Policy Working Group; and a Supportive Housing
Working Group.
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Prince Edward Island
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
201.
In 2003, the Family Support Orders Program, which focussed on obtaining spousal and
child support orders to reduce dependence on welfare assistance, ended and the three
lawyers working for that program moved to the Legal Aid office to provide family legal
aid for low income clients. In 2006, the Law Foundation changed its funding for family
legal aid from funding individual family cases to an annual lump sum grant to the
Province for family legal aid. More than half the 2005-2006 legal aid budget of
$1.2 million is allocated to family legal aid. In 2005-2006, 416 women accessed Prince
Edward Island (PEI) legal aid, including 197 women who accessed family legal aid.
Women were 27 percent of total legal aid clients, but 76 percent of family legal aid
clients.
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
202.
The following complaints to the Human Rights Commission were related to gender
discrimination (including complaints related to harassment, pregnancy and general
discrimination):
1999
9
2000
15
2001
13
2002
10
2003
15
2004
20
2005
22
Some cases were dismissed because they lacked merit; others were settled, and some
were given awards after a formal hearing.
Aboriginal women in custody
203.
Aboriginal people represent two percent of the population of PEI, and never exceed two
percent of the offenders in custody. Aboriginal women are not over-represented in prison
on PEI. The PEI Female Reintegration Committee published a report in October 2005 to
determine the program/service needs, gaps, and barriers for female offenders, including
Aboriginal female offenders. This report is a first step towards developing more
consistent and cohesive programming for female offenders on PEI.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
204.
The evaluation of the PEI Victims of Family Violence Act, published in 2001, concluded
that Emergency Protection Orders (EPOs) are effective in helping victims of family
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violence by providing immediate relief, removing the respondent from the residence, and
providing additional benefits not available in other legislation. The majority of victims
surveyed expressed satisfaction with the process of obtaining EPOs. Victims who had
accessed Victim Services and Transition House Association were highly satisfied with
the support they received. Recommendations included additional training for police and
increased public information about the Act. A Steering Committee is actively promoting
increased utilization of the Act, enhanced training, and quality assurance mechanisms for
monitoring police response to family violence.
205.
Victims of crime surveyed for a Victim Satisfaction Survey, conducted in 2005, included
70 percent female victims, most of whom were victims of family violence and sexual
assault. Survey participants were generally very satisfied with the services provided by
Victim Services and other criminal justice officials. Satisfaction with the police response
had increased, compared to earlier victim surveys conducted in the 1980s. The survey
report is available online at www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/Victimsurvey.pdf.
206.
Policy development initiatives in 2004 included revisions to the provincial Alternative
Measures Policy and the provincial Spousal Abuse Charging Policy to enhance the focus
on victim safety, holding offenders accountable, and deterring spousal abuse.
207.
In 2005, the PEI Victim Services Advisory Committee and the PEI Rape and Sexual
Assault Crisis Centre published a report entitled “Survivors of Violence: Memory of
Trauma and its Implications for the Criminal Justice System”. The overall goal of the
research project was to use new knowledge about how the brain stores memory of trauma
to develop strategies to enable criminal justice system officials to better support survivors
of violence.
208.
In 2006, a status report was published on the Women Abuse Policies and Protocols
Project, which had taken place between 1999 and 2003. The status report confirmed the
value and success in up-take of the eight protocols (in the justice, hospital emergency,
and financial assistance service sectors) developed or updated during the project. The
report recommended: formalized horizontal linkages across service sectors; designated
responsibility for maintaining the protocols; and ongoing training.
209.
The Premier's Action Committee on Family Violence Prevention is in its second fiveyear term and is responsible for implementing the current Five Year Strategy on Family
Violence Prevention (2002-2007).
210.
The annual Purple Ribbon Campaign Against Violence includes a focus on vulnerable
groups. The Campaign distributes 30,000 information cards and ribbons, including
2,000 cards in French. The focus of the 2006 campaign is on youth: girl/girl violence, the
impact of witnessing violence during the teen years, “hooking up” (casual oral sex given
to boys), Internet safety, and violence in sport. In 2005, the theme was violence against
senior women; in 2004, the effects on children of witnessing violence; in 2003, why
women stay in abusive relationships.
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Shelters for victims of violence
211.
Since 2001-2002, the province has increased funding for women’s shelters and outreach
services by 66 percent, from $333,300 in 2001-2002 to $553,800 in 2005-2006; and to
the PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Crisis Centre by 124 percent from $92,800 in 20012002 to $207,300 in 2005-2006.
212.
PEI’s shelters, outreach services, and crisis centres are available to Aboriginal women,
whether living on or off reserve. In addition, the Native Council of PEI operates a shelter
for women in crisis, with priority given to Aboriginal women.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Trafficking in women and girls
213.
In 2006, PEI officials began meeting to develop a plan to respond to cases of human
trafficking. No cases of trafficking have been identified in the province, but services
available generally to victims of crime are available to victims of trafficking. These
services include the following: Victim Services, which provides information, assistance,
and support to victims of crime throughout the criminal justice process; Transition House
Association, which provides emergency shelter, second stage housing, a crisis line, and
outreach services to women and children who are victims of family violence; PEI Rape
and Sexual Assault Crisis Centre, which provides a crisis line and counselling for
survivors of sexual abuse and assault; and mental health counselling and family services
agencies.
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
214.
The Child Protection Act, which replaced the Family and Child Services Act in 2000,
added “sexual exploitation” to the definition of “abuse” and includes a child who “has
been harmed as a result of being sexually exploited for the purpose of prostitution” as a
child in need of protection.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
215.
In 2006, representation by women was 21 percent in the Legislature; 17 percent in
Executive Council; 15 percent as Provincial Deputy Ministers; 25 percent as Supreme
Court Justices; 33 percent as Provincial Court Judges; 0 percent as members of the House
of Commons; and 67 percent in the Senate (one vacant seat). There was a slight decrease
(from 23.5 percent to 20 percent) in women holding these positions, compared to 1998.
216.
The Advisory Council on the Status of Women, provincial officials, and women active in
the political parties participate in the PEI Coalition for Women in Government. Activities
have included consultants and workshops with women on barriers to women in
government, ongoing work with political parties to support women’s nominations, and a
multi-partisan Campaign School for Women held in May 2006.
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217.
The Council has identified the importance of electoral reform as a means of increasing
the numbers of women in politics and public life in PEI. The Council developed a Policy
Guide on Women and Electoral Reform and jointly sponsored a workshop on Women
and Electoral Reform with the Coalition for Women in Government in September 2005.
Aboriginal women
218.
In 2006-2007, the Province is providing $20,000 to the Aboriginal Women’s Association
to assist with its core operating expenses. The Aboriginal Women’s Association
represents all PEI Aboriginal Women, on and off reserve, and promotes their interests
and concerns at the social, economic, and political levels. The Chief of the larger of the
two Mi’kmaq Bands on PEI is a woman.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
219.
In 2005, the province collaborated with Aboriginal organizations to launch a Career
Entry Summer Job Program for post-secondary Aboriginal students, sponsor two youth
leadership and community development seminars, and offer a remedial and social skills
development summer program.
220.
In 2006, a full-time Aboriginal and Diversity Education Specialist position was
established to enhance supports for Aboriginal and immigrant students. Some measures
which have been implemented to ensure the successful completion of high school and
which benefit Aboriginal girls include: Alternative Education programs in the public high
schools, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the dropout rate of Aboriginal students living
on-reserve; and programs at the elementary and junior high levels to promote
appreciation of Mi’kmaq culture and traditions, participation of Aboriginal families in
school community initiatives, and transition from junior high to high school.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
221.
The provincial Diversity and Equity Policy, in effect since May 2002, guides departments
and agencies in removing barriers faced by designated groups (including Aboriginal
peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, women and men in nontraditional occupations), and ensures equality of treatment within the civil service.
222.
In 2003, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women released a Policy Guide on
Women and Unpaid Work with recommendations on the importance of valuing and
measuring non-paid work and its contribution to the economy, and a Policy Guide on
Early Childhood Care and Education, an area of acute interest to women in the PEI
workforce; and, in 2004, a Policy Guide on Maternity and Parental Benefits, with
Prince Edward Island
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recommendations to enhance employment and ensure equal and adequate social benefits
for new parents.
223.
Since January 2006, an appointed Review Panel has been holding public hearings on the
Employment Standards Act. The provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women
has submitted recommendations on measures for women’s economic and employment
equity, especially maternity and parental benefits. The Council has also collaborated with
community groups on recommendations for changes to support women in non-standard
work arrangements (seasonal, part-time, temporary, or contract jobs) and on supporting
workers to achieve a liveable income.
224.
Regulations to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, effective May 1, 2006, aim to
prevent violence in the workplace and to ensure the health and safety of employees
working alone.
Affordable childcare
225.
In 2005-2006, the Government invested $450,000 in the Child Care Subsidy Program to
increase support to parents of 630 pre-school age children. Federal funding for the Choice
in Child Care Allowance will be exempted from the income calculation for social
assistance recipients.
Article 12: Health
Specific health issues
226.
Measures to address women’s health issues include: the PEI Pap Screening Program,
implemented in 2001 to encourage regular Pap Screening for cervical cancer (PEI’s
overall screening rate for women aged 20 to 69 continues at 58 percent); the PEI
Reproductive Care Program, reviewed and redesigned in 1998-1989 to optimize fetal,
maternal, new born and family health through prenatal and post-natal periods; and the
PEI Breast Screening Clinic, established in 1998-1999 to make early detection of breast
cancer available to women aged 50-69 without a doctor’s referral.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
227.
PEI instituted the following increases to social services rates between April, 2003 and
April 2006: $6/month in travel allowance; $10/month in shelter (accommodation)
ceilings; $25/month in wage exemption; $2/month for eye examinations; $35/month in
healthy child allowance; $4/day in community care facility per diem. In addition,
although the Province counts the National Child Benefit (NCB) as income for welfare
assistance recipients, since 2001, increases in the NCB have flowed through to welfare
assistance recipients as a healthy child allowance ($95 per child per month).
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Support programs and services
228.
Since 2001, disability support has been separated from welfare assistance support. An
evaluation done in 2003 demonstrated an 80 percent client satisfaction rate with the
disability support program.
Women’s access to housing
229.
Phase II of a federal/provincial Affordable Housing Agreement was signed in
November 2005, with total funding of $4.16 million until 2009. This funding will
increase the number of low income housing units in the province.
Article 14: Rural Women
230.
PEI has an economic development program to help sustain rural communities, but it is
not targeted specifically to women. Challenges in ensuring economic equality for rural
women include the lack of employment opportunities in administrative and management
positions in rural areas. The proportion of women with university education living in
rural areas is high, but the available jobs are low skill and seasonal in nature.
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Nova Scotia
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
231.
The tables below provide data on the number of complaints to the Nova Scotia Human
Rights Commission related to gender and/or pregnancy in the areas of employment,
services and accommodation.
2004-2005
Mediation
Discontinued
Referred to BOI*
Ongoing
Gender
10
17
4
30
Pregnancy
2
6
2
9
Employment
Services
Gender
1
1
Accommodation
1
Gender
2003-2004
Referred to BOI*
Mediation
Discontinued
Ongoing
Gender
5
12
48
Pregnancy
3
7
17
Employment
Services
Gender
1
1
Accommodation
Gender
* Board of Inquiry
1
Aboriginal Women
232.
The Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association is an active member of the Mi’kmawNova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum and has community programs in many First
Nations communities in Nova Scotia. Funding is provided to the Nova Scotia Native
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Women’s Association to enable it to be an active contributor to the Tripartite Forum,
with representatives at all levels of the Forum and on all working committees.
233.
Through a national federal-provincial-territorial forum on “Building Healthy and Safe
Communities”, work is continuing with women from Aboriginal communities to create
the basis for more effective interventions against violence, including public awareness
and holistic treatment.
Aboriginal women in custody
234.
The 2001 census identified Nova Scotia’s Aboriginal population as 17,015, or about two
percent of the Nova Scotia population. The following provides data on admissions to the
Justice system in 2005-2006, with respect to custody, remand, and in 2004-2005, with
respect to probation and adult diversion:
•
•
•
•
Custody: three percent of all female admissions to sentenced custody were adult
Aboriginal women and 18 percent were Aboriginal female youth. Overall, both
women and female youth represented eight percent of admissions to sentenced
custody in Nova Scotia.
Remand: 10 percent of all female admissions to remand were adult Aboriginal
women and eight percent were Aboriginal female youth. Overall, women represented
10 percent of all admissions to remand in Nova Scotia and female youth represented
eight percent.
Probation: six percent of all female admissions to probation were adult Aboriginal
women and four percent were Aboriginal female youth. Overall, women represented
17 percent of all admissions to probation in Nova Scotia and female youth
represented 16 percent.
Adult Diversion: four percent of all female admissions to Adult Diversion were adult
Aboriginal women. Overall, women represented 40 percent of all admissions to Adult
Diversion in Nova Scotia.
235.
The Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network, through its Court Worker Program and
Customary Law Program, actively provides support to Aboriginal women in conflict with
the law. The Customary Law Program is an option under Section 718 of the Criminal
Code to hold offenders accountable for their actions. Only youth 12-17 can be referred on
a pre-charge basis to this program. All adult referrals are made on a post charge basis,
except where the Customary Law Program partners with the Restorative Justice Program
of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
236.
In 2004-2005, the Mi’kmaw Legal Support Network provided services in response to
82 referrals: three female adult, five male adult, 14 female youth referrals, and 60 male
youth referrals.
237.
The Mi'kmaq Legal Support Network holds bi-annual cultural awareness gatherings at
Nova Scotia correctional facilities. These events take place at the two larger provincial
facilities, the youth facility and the Nova Institute Women's facility. These workshops
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raise understanding amongst the correctional staff and create opportunities for esteem
building and community connection for the inmate population.
238.
Actions have been taken to improve the use of the Alternative Justice Program, including
local workshops and joint problem solving committees, regular articles in the Mi’kmaw
media, including a column on the rights of the accused, and a new partnership with
Correctional Services Canada and the National Parole Board for use of Aboriginal release
provisions under Section 84 of the Criminal Code.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
239.
According to a report released in December 2005, called Sexual Assault in Nova Scotia:
A Statistical Portrait, indicates that Nova Scotia’s rate of sexual assault in 2004 was
40 per 1,000 population aged 15 and over in 2004. The majority of victims are female
and more than half are under the age of 25. The vast majority of victims of sexual assault
do not report the crime to the police. The statistics indicated that, in the last decade, there
has been a declining police and court response to sexual offences in Nova Scotia. The
proportion of sexual assault cases resulting in the laying of charges against the accused
has declined as have the number of prison sentences given to those convicted of sexual
assault while acquittals have increased. This is not the case for other violent offences.
240.
In December 2003, a revised version of Making Changes: A book for women in abusive
relationships was issued. This booklet continues to be heavily used, with about
7,500 print copies and 18,000 copies downloaded from the Internet. The booklet is made
available to women in Aboriginal communities through the Healing Centres.
241.
These documents are available on line at http://gov.ns.ca/staw/pub.htm.
Aboriginal women
242.
The Government of Canada funds the Mi’kmaw Family Healing Centres, which provide
a range of support services for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse.
The Centres work closely with a network of nine mainstream women’s shelters in Nova
Scotia, which also provide support for victims of domestic abuse.
243.
Details concerning the Nova Scotia Domestic Violence Intervention Act (2003) may be
found in paragraphs 483-484 of Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
244.
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women produced a fact sheet on
Aboriginal Women, which is available at http://gov.ns.ca/staw/pub.htm.
245.
The Council sponsored a Nova Scotia delegation that included one female chief to attend
the March 2005 national policy forum on Aboriginal women’s issues that focussed on
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domestic violence. This resulted in the establishment of a Nova Scotia Working Group to
identify gaps in services and develop culturally appropriate programs and services.
Shelters for victims of violence
246.
There are nine transition houses across the province with stable funding from the
Province. Also, funding for sexual assault nurse examiners has been increased. Fifty
thousand dollars was provided to train workers in women’s centers and $3,000 was
provided for a needs assessment proposal across the province.
247.
The Mi’kmaw Family Healing Centres provide shelter services for women who are
victims of domestic violence as well as education and outreach programs.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
248.
Nine of Nova Scotia’s 52 provincial legislature seats (17 percent) are filled by women.
Of Nova Scotia’s 11 federal members of parliament, only one is a woman (nine percent).
In the 2004 municipal election, 92 women were elected as municipal councillors
(20.8 percent) and 48 percent of elected regional school board members were women.
Women have comprised 26.4 percent, 18.5 percent and 23.3 percent of candidates in the
1999, 2003 and 2006 Nova Scotia provincial elections respectively.
249.
In 2003-2004, five workshops were held across the province to encourage women’s
involvement in politics and to identify interest and need in a women’s campaign school.
As a result, the Nova Scotia Women’s Campaign School was held in 2004 and in 2005,
and a third is planned for Spring 2007. Some 60 women have taken part in the campaign
school, with five participants subsequently standing for office.
250.
Votes for Women, a book that provides practical information for women interested in
running for elected office, was updated in 2004 (http://www.gov.ns.ca/staw/pubs2004).
More than 9,000 copies have been requested since its release.
Aboriginal women
251.
There are 13 Band Councils in Nova Scotia with a total of 13 chiefs and 89 councillors.
Of these, three chiefs (23 percent) and 16 councillors (18 percent) are women.
252.
Kwikmug Maw Klusuag, the Mi’kmaw Rights Initiative, has been mandated by the
13 Mi’kmaw chiefs to undertake the negotiations process in Nova Scotia. Base funding to
ensure that it is able to play a dynamic role in the Made in Nova Scotia Process on behalf
of the Mi’kmaw is provided by the Government of Canada. Kwikmug Maw Klusuag, is
accountable to the chiefs, three of whom are female, and is guided by three senior
Mi’kmaw advisors, one of whom is female and is a leading Mi’kmaw legal expert. The
Executive Director of the Initiative is a female Mi’kmaw lawyer.
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Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
253.
Techsploration is a program to help female Grade 9 students from diverse backgrounds
learn about careers in science, trades and technology, meet female role models and
explore innovative workplaces. Each year, the program hosts about 100 young women
from 16 schools across the province, including three First Nations schools. Although
there are no statistics, anecdotal information suggests that the rate of Mi’kmaw girls
graduating from high school is good, but Mi’kmaw boys are not graduating from high
school at a rate similar to that of the girls.
254.
A publication in 2005, Learning for life II: brighter futures together
(http://brighterfuturestogether.ednet.ns.ca/), details six themes for student academic
success. Two three-year pilots (2005-2008) to promote success for Mi’kmaw students are
entering their second year, looking at best practices at demonstration sites and a homeschool liaison workers project.
255.
Negotiations are underway with Mi’kmaw Kina’matnewey (Mi’kmaw education
authority) to create a common service agreement for Mi’kmaw students who reside on
reserve and attend provincial schools, and enhancements for Mi’kmaw students attending
provincial schools.
256.
With respect to post-secondary education, there are seats at the Nova Scotia Community
College set aside in certain programs for Mi’kmaw students. St Francis Xavier University
is developing a two-year Bachelors of Education Program for Mi’kmaw students entering
the teaching profession. There are a range of scholarships and prizes developed by the
Tripartite Forum that are awarded to Mi’kmaw youth preparing for post-secondary
education. Dalhousie Law School has a strong indigenous Black and Mi’kmaw program,
and a similar program is under discussion for medical studies. Dalhousie University also
has a Transition Year Program designed to allow Mi’kmaw and African-Nova Scotian
students to prepare for university admission.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
257.
The Nova Scotia Round Table on Women’s Economic Security was established in 2002.
The Round Table has initiated work on an analysis of precarious work of women in Nova
Scotia, with a view to developing recommendations on ways to mitigate negative impacts
of such work.
258.
The Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women submitted a brief to the
federal Department of Labour in December 2005 in relation to its review of the labour
standards part of the Canada Labour Code concerning women and work. Additionally, in
2004, a brief was submitted by the Council to the Nova Scotia Department of
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Environment and Labour, making recommendations regarding the erosion of the value of
the minimum wage, a matter that affects mostly women. The Government of Nova Scotia
increased the minimum wage in 2005 and in 2006. The brief is available at
http://www.gov.ns.ca/staw.
Aboriginal women
259.
The First Nations Economic Development Fund, developed as a joint federal-provincial
fund through the efforts of the Tripartite Forum Economic Development Working
Committee, provides a means of developing projects that improve employment
opportunities, enhance business development, and build capacity. This fund has
sponsored youth entrepreneurship camps, child care and babysitting courses for young
women and business development networks and seminars for Mi’kmaw women crafters.
260.
Further information may be found in paragraphs 463 and 471 of Canada's Fifth Report
on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Affordable childcare
261.
Information on childcare initiatives may be found in paragraphs 478-480 of Canada's
Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
262.
In the Spring of 2006, Nova Scotia announced a plan to create 1,500 new childcare
spaces over the next 10 years and is holding consultations about the development of a
licensed Family Home Day Care Program in all parts of the province.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
263.
The Healthy Balance research program is outlined in paragraph 500 of Canada's Fifth
Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The
program specifically included Aboriginal women in its design and execution, and is in a
position to convey results back to those communities (http://healthyb.dal.ca).
264.
One outcome of the Diversity and Social Inclusion Initiative three year plan, which is
outlined in paragraph 495 of Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, is provincial guidelines for cultural competence
among primary health care providers, who are predominantly female.
265.
The Health Literacy Awareness Initiative raises awareness among primary health care
providers about literacy issues and how to help patients better understand health
information.
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Specific health issues
266.
Posters about the importance of breast cancer screening in English, French and a
Mi’kmaw language were distributed in 2005.
267.
Since 2001, the Government of Nova Scotia has directed $2.1 million to improve
substance abuse and gambling addiction outcomes for rural women and youth in Nova
Scotia. Efforts have been made to improve access to a continuum of community-based
services for women and youth. From 2001-2002 to 2003-2004, the number of youth
participating in treatment programs increased by 51 percent and the number of women
participating increased by 70 percent. Overall the number of full time employees of
health authorities increased by 12 percent.
268.
The 24/7 mental health crisis team at the IWK Children’s Health Center was expanded to
include a mobile component. It has also partnered with the adult mobile crisis team to
reach vulnerable populations, including young women who are not comfortable accessing
mental health services in a more formal setting.
269.
A new three-year autism program started in June 2005, to assist mothers and fathers to
parent their autistic children effectively.
270.
Workshops were provided for teams of consultants, teachers and students to improve the
involvement of girls in physical education and physical activity. The Girls Soar Program,
a municipal program with provincial funding to promote the physical activity of girls,
named March 25 to April 1, 2006, Halifax Regional Municipality’s Girls Physical
Activity Week with many events and activities (http://www.activehalifax.ca/girls/).
271.
A new guide was released called You Can Make A Difference aimed at preventing and
responding to abuse and harassment in Sport and Recreation
(http://www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/physicalActivity/publications.asp).
272.
In 2006, levonorgestrol (Plan B), the “morning-after pill”, was made available without a
prescription, enhancing reproductive health.
273.
A backgrounder was produced on gender and HIV/AIDS in the Fall of 2003, and since
that time, a comprehensive gender-based analysis of the provincial HIV/AIDS strategy
was carried out.
274.
A campaign to promote screening of HIV in pregnancy is underway, and HIV-AIDS
related training for staff working in transition homes is now being offered.
Aboriginal women
275.
The resulting report, “Providing Health Care, Achieving Health” outlines key health
concerns and will assist in the development of an Aboriginal Health Policy which will be
linked to the 10-year Plan to Strengthen Health Care (see Introduction to the present
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report). This policy will focus on strengthening families, supporting early childhood
development and promoting health through the schools.
276.
The details of the Tui’kn Initiative are provided in paragraph 498 of Canada's Fifth
Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
277.
Changes to the income assistance system and increases in rates up to 2005 are outlined in
paragraphs 474-475 of Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
278.
As of October 1, 2006, the personal allowance rates are being increased by $10 per
month and the shelter rates are increasing by $15 for single persons and $20 for
households per month. The 2006-2007 budget of the Department of Community Services
was increased by $32 million to $748 million.
279.
According to Statistics Canada, the percentage of females in low income in Nova Scotia
has decreased by just under two percent between 2000 and 2004.
280.
In order to address the high rates of poverty and low employment of women with
disabilities, community workshops with women with disabilities are being held, with the
result of recommendations to all orders of government on ways to break down the
“disability wall” for women.
Women’s access to housing
281.
Under the Government of Canada’s Supportive Community Partnerships Initiative
(SCPI), in 2005-2006, Nova Scotia spent about $6.5 million to support SCPI funded
facilities. Additional information on SCPI may be found in paragraph 488 of Canada’s
Fifth Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
282.
As of March 31, 2006, Nova Scotia had committed all funds under the Canada Nova
Scotia Affordable Housing Program Agreement ($36.3 million) to create or rehabilitate
928 dwelling units. Additional information may be found in paragraphs 489 and 490 of
Canada’s Fifth Report on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
283.
A new program was established in September 2005 under the Federal Provincial
Affordable Housing Agreement called the Lone Student Parent Pilot Program, which
provides housing subsidies for undergraduate university students who are parenting
children alone.
284.
A $10,000 grant for a part time youth worker at Supportive Housing for Young Mothers
was arranged through the Youth Secretariat in 2006.
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New Brunswick
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
285.
From April 1, 2003 to March 31, 2004, the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission
had 31 complaints (11 percent of all complaints) filed on the basis of sex discrimination.
Another 20 complaints (seven percent) were filed on the basis of sexual harassment.
286.
From April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005, the Commission had 26 complaints (seven
percent) filed on the basis of sex discrimination and 14 complaints (four percent) were
filed on the basis of sexual harassment.
287.
From April 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006, the Commission had 33 complaints (11 percent)
filed on the basis of sex discrimination and 22 complaints (seven percent) were filed on
the basis of sexual harassment.
Aboriginal women
288.
Memoranda of Understanding agreeing to facilitate, where possible, the development and
enhancement of community based, justice-related programs and services in respect of
Aboriginal people in New Brunswick were signed in 2000 and in 2003.
Aboriginal women in custody
289.
Offenders have access to designated Native Elders in relation to spiritual and other
counselling. In New Brunswick, Aboriginal women are not over-represented in prisons.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
290.
The Domestic Violence Court Project is part of the Government’s second action plan,
titled A Better World for Women: Moving Forward 2005-2010. The commitments in this
action plan are a continuation of initiatives from the first action plan. The initiatives were
chosen based on advice received through consultations and training provided throughout
New Brunswick, findings from close examinations of existing service delivery gaps, best
practices in other jurisdictions, and the ongoing input from the Minister’s Working Group
on Violence Against Women. A domestic violence court site for this initial pilot project
has been chosen.
291.
With the implementation of sexual assault services province-wide, it is expected that all
New Brunswick victims of sexual assault will be much better served.
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Aboriginal women
292.
As a result of the national Policy Forum on Aboriginal Women and Violence organized
by federal-provincial-territorial Status of Women Ministers, the New Brunswick Minister
responsible for the Status of Women has begun working with Aboriginal women in New
Brunswick to identify concrete steps to be taken to address violence against Aboriginal
women in the province.
Shelters for victims of violence
293.
For information on funding for women’s crisis centres and shelters, see paragraphs 456 to
459 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and
Cultural Rights. New Brunswick has one transition house for Aboriginal women, Gignoo
House, which serves both on- and off-reserve Aboriginal women.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
294.
In New Brunswick, victims of trafficking are eligible for all available victims of crime
support services.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
295.
In 2005, seven out of 26 Deputy Ministers in New Brunswick were women. In late 2005,
16 percent of provincially appointed judges were women (five of 32), up from 13 percent
the previous year and from eight percent in 1996. Eleven percent of New Brunswick’s
Members of the Legislative Assembly were women (six of 55), down from 18 percent
(10 of 55) in 1999. Four of the 15 First Nations Chiefs in New Brunswick were women.
296.
The Government of New Brunswick created a Commission on Legislative Democracy,
mandated to make recommendations on strengthening and modernizing the electoral
system. This includes consultations on more equitable and effective representation in the
Legislative Assembly.
297.
The Advisory Council on the Status of Women, in partnership with the Commission on
Legislative Democracy, launched a public awareness campaign to inform women of the
Commission’s work for women’s representation in public office. Eleven information
sessions were held around the province.
Article 10: Education
298.
The dropout rate of all female students in Grades 7-12 (public education) has declined
from 2.4 percent in 1994 to 1.9 percent in 2005. For the same year, the dropout rate for
boys is 2.8 percent. The Government is aware that the dropout rate for Aboriginal
children living in First Nations communities and attending public school is higher than
that of the general population, and is working to improve this situation. Children in New
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Brunswick are required by the Education Act to remain in school until they reach the age
of 18 or graduate. There are several programs and services in place to assist all children
to remain in school until they acquire a high school diploma.
299.
Alternative Education programs and services are one facet of a school districts continuum
on interventions to serve all students. Numerous models of alternative education
programs and services have been developed throughout the province to serve local needs.
Alternative learning centres and programs focus on behavioural, academic, and
vocational intervention strategies designed to meet the needs of the diverse students
served.
300.
Pursuant to the 2004-2008 Provincial Health Plan, the government of New Brunswick
has created a variety of initiatives to support individuals training to become physicians,
nurses, or other health professionals. Initiatives include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
301.
medical student bursaries (physicians);
supernumerary residency training (physicians);
summer rural Preceptorships (physicians);
Refresher Course Tuition Reimbursement (nurses);
Student Nurse Practitioner Education Subsidy (nurse practitioners);
Provincial Health Bursary programme (allied health professionals).
While none of these programs specifically targets women, women disproportionately
access the programs. For example, 23 females and 17 males have received bursaries for
physician education, while 33 females and eight males were offered bursaries in allied
health professions.
Aboriginal women and girls
302.
A particular focus is being placed on education for First Nations students. The
Government of New Brunswick is developing literacy strategies and targets to
specifically address the achievement of its First Nations student population, and works
collaboratively with First Nation communities to improve the learning outcomes of First
Nation students in the public education system, as well as those enrolled in schools in
their community. The Government continues to ensure that public school programming is
culturally sensitive and that specific curriculum and services are supported, such as
language courses and awareness events.
Article 11: Employment
303.
Please see paragraphs 437-439 of Canada’s Fifth Report on International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
New Brunswick
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Employment measures
304.
The Government has allocated $150,000 in scholarships to be awarded to students
enrolled in non-traditional training programs at the New Brunswick Community College
Network. The purpose of this scholarship is to encourage women to explore a wider
variety of career choices in non-traditional areas such as technical or trade, and to address
skills and labour shortages in New Brunswick. Fifty-seven scholarships for full tuition for
the first year of study have been awarded for 2006-2007.
305.
The Government continued the Summer Mentorship Program for Female Summer
Students. This ongoing program provides 14 weeks of summer employment for
44 female students each year. It provides them with an opportunity to be mentored by
civil servants in senior level positions or women working in non-traditional jobs.
Affordable childcare
306.
In 2006-2007, New Brunswick will invest over $31 million in childcare initiatives that
support wages for childcare workers that support affordability and that will help make
long-term investments in childcare.
307.
There are 2,933 more day care spaces then there were in 1999.
308.
The average wages of child day care staff have increased dramatically: from $7.04 in
2001 to the end of 2006, when trained staff working in child care facilities will earn the
equivalent of $11.15 per hour (untrained staff will earn the equivalent of $9.60 per hour).
309.
Since September 2004, the families of an additional 996 children have benefited from
significant financial assistance with their child care as a result of substantial changes New
Brunswick made to the Day Care Assistance Program, as outlined in paragraph 454 of
Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
310.
Improved access to care and services is one of the four priority areas of the New
Brunswick Provincial Health Plan. Significant initiatives are underway in 14 areas, from
the development of Community Health Centres to Ambulance Services enhancements.
311.
Health system responsiveness compares well with other parts of Canada – access to
family physicians is above the Canadian average, and outcome measures show
improvements, e.g., in access to immediate care, routine health services, and home care,
90 percent of New Brunswickers report satisfaction with health care services.
New Brunswick
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312.
For a full description of the Provincial Health Plan, and the 2005 Health Care Report
Card, see http://www.gnb.ca/0051/pdf/healthplan-2004-2008_e.pdf and
http://www.gnb.ca/0051/pub/pdf/3780e-final-compressed.pdf.
Specific health issues
313.
The New Brunswick Breast Cancer Screening Service operates 16 sites for
mammography screening, targeting women between 50 and 69 years of age. Based on
data released in 2005, the two-year participation rate of the target population is
55 percent. The long-term goal of the service is to increase two-year participation rates to
70 percent, which will be expected to reduce mortality from breast cancer by 30 percent.
314.
Early Childhood Initiatives are prevention-focused services to pregnant women, infants,
and young children. Services include prenatal education (including nutritional
counselling and nutritional supplements).
315.
New Brunswick promotes the World Health Organization’s Baby Friendly Initiative,
leading over 70 percent of new mothers to initiate breast feeding – a 15 percent increase
since 1994.
316.
The Government of New Brunswick is committed to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS,
working with a number of community groups. Regional Public Health staff provides HIV
Testing programs in the community and the provincial and federal correctional facilities.
The program provides pre- and post-test counselling for interested clients.
317.
In October 2004, New Brunswick implemented the Smoke-free Places Act, banning
smoking in all enclosed public spaces and indoor workplaces. The Act is enforced
through a coordinated approach including Public Health, Liquor License, and Health and
Safety inspectors. Three charges were laid under the Act in 2004-2005.
Aboriginal women
318.
In its effort to assist in reducing health disparities that exist between New Brunswick’s
First Nations people and other New Brunswickers, the Government of New Brunswick,
together with New Brunswick’s First Nation communities, Aboriginal organizations
(including representation from the New Brunswick Aboriginal Women’s organization)
and the Government of Canada, is committed to undertake and identify potential
opportunities for funding under an Aboriginal Health Transition Fund.
319.
Building on earlier work that occurred in 2005, both to understand the health disparities
problem and to consult with New Brunswick Aboriginal communities on specific priority
areas and actions that could be undertaken to tackle health inequalities amongst New
Brunswick’s Aboriginal people, the Government will collaborate to produce a provincialbased plan to modify health services to better meet the needs of its Aboriginal people
with a view to reducing the disparities that currently exist.
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320.
The Government and its Regional Health Authorities have and continue to take steps
together to address the health needs of its Aboriginal people. Initiatives include:
•
•
•
Aboriginal Cultural Awareness training to address service delivery, an area specified
as a priority in the Aboriginal Health Blueprint discussions;
the introduction in 2006 of tele-mental health and tele-diabetes, two specific health
and health service concerns facing Aboriginal people; and
additional tele-health services in the areas of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders and
mental health.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Support programs and services
321.
Please see paragraphs 437-439 and 446 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the International
Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
322.
The Government of New Brunswick offers an increased wage subsidy for employers
hiring a person with a disability.
323.
The Government also offers support services to clients and their employers as it relates to
supports required for a person with a disability to enter or re-enter the workforce. The
intent is to offer training and employment support options to persons with permanent or
long-term disabilities who need to develop marketable skills in order to assist them to
enter the labour force. These services are provided in full collaboration with the person
with a disability in accordance with his/her needs and capabilities. The purpose is to
lessen the barriers a person with disabilities faces so that he may be as competitive as the
non-disabled population when competing for employment.
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Québec
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
324.
Between 1998 and 2006, the Government of Québec passed or amended 15 pieces of
legislation affecting the rights and living conditions of women and designed to counter
discrimination against them. In addition to those described under the various headings in
this report are the following:
•
•
The Act to amend various legislative provisions concerning de facto spouses, which
entered into force in 1999, modified the definitions of de facto spouse in all of
Québec’s legislation, giving legal recognition to de facto unions, without regard to
sex.
Under the Act instituting civil unions and establishing new rules of filiation, since
2002, de facto spouses have been recognized without regard to sex as being the legal
spouse and can, in some cases, receive benefits that they would not otherwise have
received, such as surviving spouse’s pensions. Accordingly, the Québec Pension Plan
was amended to recognize the entitlement of same-sex spouses to surviving spouse’s
benefits for deaths having occurred since April 4, 1985.
Legal aid
325.
The levels of financial eligibility for legal aid in Québec were raised in January 2006 and
will continue to rise gradually until 2010, thus providing greater access to the justice
system for less affluent individuals. The increase represents 36.3 percent for single
people and will increase potential clients of the system to about 900,000 new recipients in
the coming years. Of the 213,302 people who accessed legal aid in 2004-2005,
43.4 percent were women.
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
326.
Between 2002 to 2006, 419 of the 3,370 files opened by the Commission des droits de la
personne et des droits de la jeunesse, or 12.4 percent of the total, concerned complaints
regarding discrimination or harassment based on gender or pregnancy. This represented a
decrease of 7.6 percent compared with the period of 1998 to 2001. With respect to
discrimination or harassment complaints brought before the courts, 38 legal actions were
brought by the Commission and 24 settlements were reached on grounds related to
gender, pregnancy or civil status during the same period.
Aboriginal women
327.
Québec
Since 2001, the Government of Québec has provided funding of $180,000 annually to the
overall mission of Aboriginal Women of Québec Inc., an organization devoted to
defending the rights of Aboriginal women and improving their living conditions by
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promoting non-violence, justice, equal rights and health, and supporting them in
community involvement. This represents an increase of $30,000 over the $150,000 in
annual support provided to the organization since 1998. Punctual funding may also be
provided for projects submitted by the organization.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
328.
The period covered by this report coincides with the implementation of the second and
third phases of Sharing a Future: Policy Statement on the Status of Women, namely the
Action Plan for Women Throughout Québec 1997-2000 and the Action Plan 2000-2003:
Equality for all Women of Québec.
Gender-based analysis
329.
Gender-based analysis (GBA) was introduced in the Government of Québec on an
experimental basis from 1997 to 2004, with the participation of 11 departments and
agencies, in order to determine best practices and suggest flexible solutions to ensure
effective, efficient introduction of GBA into Government activities.
330.
The experimental phase of GBA in the Government of Québec has had repercussions
extending far beyond the projects themselves. For example, a number of measures
adopted during this period, such as the Québec science and innovation policy (2001), the
Government policy on adult education and continuing education (2002) and the
Intervention strategy for workers aged 45 and over (2003) take into consideration the
different experiences of men and women. Moreover, the Ministère de la Santé et des
Services sociaux, which began phasing GBA into health and social services planning, has
been providing GBA training to managers and professional staff in its network since
2003.
331.
Further to the report entitled Experimentation with Gender-Based Analysis in the
Government of Québec: Its Lessons and Effect, published in 2005, the Government of
Québec undertook to have all departments and agencies include GBA in at least
15 government policies, measures, reforms and services by 2008.
Violence against women and girls
332.
In Québec, as elsewhere in Canada, certain forms of spousal abuse, as well as sexual
abuse, are considered criminal offences. Since 2004, the Minister responsible for the
Status of Women, along with the Minister of Justice, is responsible for coordinating
government intervention in the area of spousal and sexual abuse.
333.
The multisectoral intervention policy on spousal abuse entitled Prévenir, dépister,
contrer la violence conjugale [Prevent, detect and halt spousal abuse] (1995) was updated
by the implementation of the Government action plan 2004-2009 on Domestic Violence.
The action plan contains 72 commitments, many of which concern the groups most
vulnerable to spousal abuse, including immigrant women, women from cultural
Québec
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communities, elderly women and women with disabilities. Twenty commitments relate
specifically to preventing and eliminating spousal abuse among Aboriginal women. A
two-year spousal abuse awareness campaign, targeting vulnerable women in particular,
was launched in March 2006 with a budget of $1.4 million.
334.
With respect to legislation, the implementation of the Action Plan resulted in the
Government’s adoption in 2005 of the Act to Insert Article 1974.1 in the Civil Code,
making it possible for a victim to break her lease if, on account of violence on the part of
a spouse or former spouse, or abuse of a sexual nature, her safety or that of a child is
jeopardized.
335.
In 2001, the Government of Québec released the Government Directions concerning
Sexual Assault and the related 2001-2006 action plan. In these guidelines, the
Government recognizes the socially unacceptable and criminal nature of all forms of
sexual assault. The implementation of these guidelines is designed specifically to
encourage the reporting of these crimes, to provide assistance and protection services
better suited to the many needs of the victims, the vast majority of whom are women, in
all regions of Québec, and to promote better supervision of sexual abusers in order to
reduce the likelihood of repeat offences.
336.
The Government of Québec has provided new funding amounting to $21 million to
implement these guidelines. In 2005-2006, an additional $1.2 million was allocated to
38 Centres d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS) whose
mandate is to combat sexual abuse, bringing their total funding to $7.2 million. Some of
these centres are located close to Aboriginal communities and provide services to women
and teenaged girls from these communities. CALACS located in urban centres also offer
services to women and teenaged girls from cultural communities.
337.
The Government also supports the 13 ESPACE agencies mandated to prevent child
abuse, including sexual abuse. These agencies received funding of more than $1.7 million
in 2005-2006.
338.
The Centres d’aide aux victimes d’actes criminels (CAVACS) provide multiple services
for the victims of criminal acts and their families and for witnesses, including information
on the legal process on victims’ rights and recourses. Nearly 70 percent of CAVACS
clients are women.
339.
The Government of Québec subsidizes 16 CAVACS throughout the province. Funding to
these centres increased in 2005-2006 to $7 million, compared to $2.5 million in 20022003. Some of these centres are located close to Aboriginal communities (one is in
Québec’s far north), and provide services tailored to Aboriginal and Inuit female victims
of criminal acts.
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Shelters for victims of violence
340.
The Government of Québec has considerably increased its support in the fight against
spousal abuse: expenditures amounting to $90 million will have been allocated for the
2003-2009 period. Of this amount, $17 million was given to the 106 shelters for women
victims of spousal abuse and their children, bringing total funding to $47.4 million
annually, in 2005-2006. In addition, $3.5 million was provided to 122 women’s centres,
bringing the total funding to $14.8 million in 2005-2006. The Government also
contributed $1.5 million to 32 services for abusive spouses, bringing total funding to
$4.5 million in 2005-2006.
341.
The increased support for women’s shelters and crisis centres is evidence of the
recognition extended by the Government of Québec to this network of services for
victims of spousal abuse. Ten houses in the proximity of Aboriginal communities are
receiving amounts additional to their annual core funding. In addition, two urban shelters,
one of them established in 2005, are providing services specifically for Aboriginal
women and their children.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
342.
In 2005, the Government of Québec established an interdepartmental working committee
to examine protective measures offered to migrant women victims of trafficking and to
propose mechanisms to combat trafficking.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
343.
The percentage of women in Québec’s National Assembly rose from 21.8 in 1998 to 32.7
in 2005. During the same years, the percentage of women ministers rose from 22.7 to 37.
At the municipal level, women in mayoral positions rose from 10.1 percent in 1998 to
13.1 percent in 2005, and female city councillors, from 22.4 percent to 26.6 percent.
344.
The percentage of women among senior full-time positions in government departments
and agencies also increased between 1998 and 2006, from 26.8 to 35.8. The number of
women judges also increased significantly, from an average of 18.8 percent in 1998 in the
Québec Court to 30.4 percent in 2006.
345.
Among the incentives created by the Government of Québec to interest women in
positions of authority is the program Equal Access to Decision-making. Created in 1999,
this financial assistance program, with an annual budget of one million dollars, is
designed to support local and regional non-profit organizations in projects designed to
increase the number of women in local and regional decision-making positions
throughout Québec. In 2004, the program’s eligibility was extended to projects for
Aboriginal women.
346.
A consultative partnership group on women and municipal politics, Table des partenaires
– Femmes et politique municipale, was also created in 2004. It comprises a number of
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organizations including the Québec Union of Municipalities, the Québec Federation of
Municipalities, the Chief Electoral Officer, the Women, Politics and Democracy Group
and a network of regional women’s consultative groups. Its purpose is to share tools
aimed at encouraging involvement of women in municipal politics.
347.
The Regional Conferences of Elected Officers, instituted by the Act respecting the
Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation (2004), are
consultative forums composed of mayors of municipalities with a population over 5,000,
wardens and socio-economic groups, such as women’s groups. The conferences have
become the Government of Québec’s chief interlocutor in regional development.
Article 99 of the Act calls for each regional conference to establish a five-year regional
development plan giving priority to women’s participation in democratic life according to
the principles of equality and equity. Some have already taken initiatives in this direction,
in addition to applying gender-based analysis.
Article 10: Education
348.
In recent years, women have constituted a majority at the college and university graduate
and undergraduate levels. The percentage of degrees awarded to women has remained
relatively stable at all levels. In 2003-2004, the college success rate was 59.2 percent
among women, which was 22.3 points higher than among men. The rate of success in
obtaining an undergraduate university degree was 36.4 percent among women in 2004,
which was 14.2 points higher than among men. At the graduate level, both men and
women stood at around nine percent in terms of success in obtaining a degree.
349.
The Government of Québec has established measures and programs to accelerate the
advancement of Québec women in science, technological innovation and information and
communications technologies. For example, the Excelle Science competition, launched in
2000-2001, recognizes and encourages female role models in fields in which women
have typically shown little interest.
350.
This competition is additional to the Chapeau, les filles! initiative, which was in its tenth
edition in 2005. Excelle Science and Chapeau, les filles! appear to have had a positive
effect on the advancement of women in male-dominated fields (MDF). Since the
initiative was introduced, an increase of eight percent has been seen in registrations by
women for vocational training in an MDF, while in the technical training area, the
relative number of women in training for an MDF has also increased. The number of
women obtaining degrees in training in an MDF has more than doubled in the vocational
training area and has increased in nearly all sectors of technical training.
351.
In addition, a cyber mentoring bank was created in 2002-2003 between the winners of
these competitions and young women making career choices to facilitate information
exchanges and offer them female role models.
352.
The Government of Québec has undertaken a number of measures aimed at finding a
balance between education and maternity. Among these are the updating in 2003 of the
Québec
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training session Un nourrisson… et de l’ambition, designed to raise awareness among
school board personnel about the consequences of teenage pregnancy and motherhood,
and to prepare them to help girls in this situation to continue their schooling.
353.
The Government is also offering training for young parents wishing to continue or
resume secondary school. Since 2002, Ma place au soleil has provided training to assist
3,158 people, most of them women, obtain a diploma and enter the workforce.
354.
Changes have been made to the Government of Québec’s loans and scholarships program
since 2001 to more effectively meet the financial needs of young parents. Since 2002, for
example, students who are pregnant or who have given birth and their spouses are
eligible for this program even if they are studying part time.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
355.
Women made up 46.5 percent of the labour force in Québec in 2005. Their situation has
improved in a number of ways. Since 2000, for example, 63 percent of the 390,000 jobs
created in Québec have been obtained by women. Of this number, 70 percent are fulltime jobs, of which 65 percent, or 178,000, have gone to women.
356.
In 2001, the Government of Québec introduced its intervention strategy for women
workers, Stratégie d’intervention à l’égard de la main-d’œuvre feminine, to promote and
support the integration of women in the workforce and their continuous employment. It
comprises two central objectives: the recognition and consideration of the problems faced
by women workers, and the organization and supplying of services to respond to their
needs. In adopting this strategy, the Government of Québec recognizes the specific nature
of the problems faced by some women in the labour market, in particular Aboriginal
women, immigrant women, women members of visible minorities, heads of single-parent
families, pregnant teenagers or young mothers, and women with disabilities.
357.
Measures undertaken within this strategy include:
•
•
•
awareness raising and training sessions on women’s employment issues provided for
the principal stakeholders in the area of employment support;
short-term training giving women an opportunity to acquire additional qualifications;
information and awareness workshops, notably on non-traditional employment, aimed
at diversifying women’s professional choices.
358.
The Act to Facilitate the Establishment of a Pension Plan for Employees Working in
Child Care Services, which entered into force in 2002, has improved economic
conditions for child care employees, a majority of whom are women.
359.
The Act to Amend the Act respecting Labour Standards and Other Legislative Provisions,
adopted in 2002, improves the working conditions of domestic workers, agricultural
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workers and the caregivers of children, persons with disabilities, the sick, and the elderly.
This Act introduces the right to enjoy a workplace free of harassment, to take leave to
take care of an immediate family member or child, and to refuse to work more than a
certain number of hours. Other provisions concern minimum rest periods, sick leave,
accident leave, family obligation leave, group insurance and retirement plans and
reintegration of an employee into his or her customary position with the same benefits.
Modifications in calculating holiday pay are also included, primarily to benefit part-time
wage earners.
360.
Women are more likely to be involved in non-standard employment, such as part-time,
temporary or self-employment. In 2005, the Government created a working group to
examine the social protection needs of people working for temporary employment
agencies. The working group is mandated to take stock of the contractual practices of the
temporary placement industry and suggest social protection measures.
361.
The Québec Parental Insurance Plan has been in effect since January 1, 2006, and
provides better access to maternity and parental leave. It provides more generous
allowances for the beneficiaries of this leave over the first 12 months of the child’s life at
home, which represents a longer period than before. Eligibility for the plan has also
expanded to include self-employed workers, and paternity benefits are provided for
fathers. Close to $1.08 billion is devoted annually to the plan.
Affordable childcare
362.
Access to low cost care for children under five, set at $7 per day, represents a
fundamental means of support for parents who are working or who wish to pursue their
studies. Subsidized childcare was extended to a further 33,000 children since 2003,
bringing to about 200,000 the number of childcare openings subsidized by the
Government of Québec in 2006.
363.
Mindful of the need to serve all of Québec’s population, the Government is working
toward opening early childhood centres in each Aboriginal community, while giving
consideration to indigenous institutions and cultures. Funding provided for Aboriginal
childcare services in 2005-2006 totalled $18.5 million, compared to $16.8 million in
2004-2005.
364.
In all, in 2005-2006, the Government of Québec provided operating subsidies of close to
$1.6 billion to early childhood centres, for-profit day cares and family child care services,
an increase of 35 percent over the close to $1.2 billion provided in 2002-2003.
Pay equity
365.
Québec
The Government of Québec has deployed additional measures to enable companies that
have not yet completed their pay equity exercises to expedite their efforts. In the case of
companies whose labour force is primarily female, the Government has recognized that
the absence of predominantly male employment categories does not mean that no gender-
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based pay discrimination exists. Thus, regulations were applied in 2005 to provide two
predominantly male job categories for companies lacking them, for the purposes of
comparison. Moreover, since 2004, the Government has allowed an employer and a
number of accredited associations to enter into an agreement to establish a separate pay
equity program for the job categories that they represent.
366.
The application of the Pay Equity Act in Québec companies has yielded significant
results. Preliminary data indicates that one third of the completed pay equity exercises
will lead to salary adjustments representing on average increases of between 3.9 percent
and 8.1 percent. Other positive results include improved working climate and relations,
increased productivity, a more positive perception of fairness within companies, a better
knowledge of the jobs involved and updated or newly introduced wage policies.
Article 12: Health
367.
Further to the Action Plan 1997-2000: Women’s health, well-being and living conditions,
the Government of Québec set out new objectives for the health and well-being of
women in the document Au féminin… à l’écoute de nos besoins. Objectifs ministériels et
stratégie d’action en santé et bien-être des femmes (2002-2009). The objectives are to
(a) integrate the needs of women into provincial and regional care and services planning;
(b) adapt care and services to women’s needs; and (c) improve understanding of the
female population and its needs. In 2005, a monograph was produced which outlined the
health and social problems and other needs specific to women.
Specific health issues
368.
The National public health program – 2003-2012 provides for a wide range of measures
related to the monitoring, promotion, prevention and protection of women’s health. For
example, the Québec breast cancer screening program is a structured program offered to
women aged 50 to 69 throughout Québec.
369.
Between April 2002 and September 2004, 23 percent of the 1,294 people who underwent
HIV testing were women. Since 2001, the Government of Québec has provided
integrated, anonymous screening services for infections transmitted sexually and via
blood, such as HIV and other forms of viral hepatitis, to individuals at risk, including
young people and women earning income from sexual activities. The Stratégie
québécoise de lutte contre l'infection par le VIH et le sida, l'infection par le virus de
l’hépatite C et les infections transmissibles sexuellement (ITS) – Orientations 2003-2009,
also sets out a number of specific measures to assist women, in particular the systematic
offer of HIV screening for pregnant women.
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Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
370.
The Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion, adopted in 2002, impacts the living
conditions of women experiencing poverty or social exclusion. Statistics show an
improvement in the situation of women for the period covered by this report: the
percentage of low-income women stood at 17 percent in 2004, compared to 24.4 percent
in 1998.
371.
The Act to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion is innovative in that it takes into
account gender differences in poverty. Since 2004, the Act has been accompanied by the
Government action plan to combat poverty and social exclusion, which brings together
measures representing a total investment of $2.5 billion over the next five years.
372.
Since 2002, the Government of Québec has been using a new mechanism to annually
review the minimum wage, the main indicator for which is the ratio between the
minimum wage and the average hourly wage. This has a positive effect on women, who
outnumber men among minimum wage earners. Moreover, since 2004, in some sectors of
the garment industry, where most of the jobs are held by women, new regulations have
established working condition standards superior to the general standards set out in the
Act respecting Labour Standards (1979).
373.
The Government of Québec supports six regional agencies, known by the name of
ORSEF, whose mandate is to assist women entrepreneurs. Creased between 2002 and
2003, these regional agencies are non-profit bodies promoting funding access for women
through loans and assisting women entrepreneurs in business planning. The Government
of Québec provides $165,000 annually for each fund. By August 31, 2005, 142 loan
applications had been accepted, 361 jobs created and another 196 consolidated. Since the
establishment of the agencies, loans have accounted for more than $2.4 million, for
projects totalling close to $11.9 million.
Support programs and services
374.
Since 2005, employment assistance benefits have been indexed to January 1 of each year,
for a five-year period, on the basis of criteria related to temporary or severe employment
constraints.
375.
In the spirit of the Government action plan to combat poverty and social exclusion, in
2005, the Government of Québec passed the Individual and Family Assistance Act
allowing recipients of employment assistance who are able to work to receive additional
financial assistance of $130 per month to assist in employment integration or social
participation efforts. The Social aid and accompaniment program was established in
January 2006 to expand services to beneficiaries of the Employment assistance program.
Québec
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376.
Since January 1, 2006, the Government of Québec has been extending to families with a
dependent child that are receiving employment assistance a monthly exemption of $100
from child support income in the calculation of benefits. This expanded eligibility for
exemption, which was formerly allowed only for recipient families with dependent
children under five years old, will have a significant impact on many women, especially
the heads of single-parent families.
377.
The Québec support payment collection program is an effective tool enabling women,
who are support payment recipients in 95.6 percent of cases, to receive the amounts
owing to them. In 2004-2005, 79 percent of support payments were made in time and in
full.
378.
In force since 2005, the Refundable tax credit for child assistance (CIRSE) is a universal
measure providing financial support for families, especially low-income families. Close
to $2 billion is provided annually, an increase of $547 million over the funding of the
measures in place in previous years. An employment premium also exists to supplement
the income earned by low- and middle-income workers. These measures are especially
beneficial to women, who are more numerous than men to live with low incomes.
Women’s access to housing
379.
Québec
In its 2005-2006 budget, the Government of Québec announced supplementary
expenditures of $145 million for the construction of 2,600 new housing units under the
AccèsLogis program for low-income households, plus $15 million to renovate existing
social housing. These expenditures will be of particular benefit to women, a larger
proportion of whom, compared to men, have to spend 30 percent or more of their income
on housing.
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Ontario
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
380.
Legal Aid Ontario (LAO), an independent but publicly funded and publicly accountable
non-profit organization, is mandated to administer the province’s legal aid program.
About 70 percent of LAO’s family law clients are women. In 2005-2006, LAO spent
$58.8 million on direct legal services (excluding administration costs) on representing
family law clients. This represented 21 percent of LAO’s total direct legal services during
this period.
381.
In 2005-2006, LAO issued about 29,000 certificates to individuals involved in family
disputes. Duty counsel (i.e. lawyers in court who provide assistance and advice to
unrepresented people) assisted about 136,000 people with family law matters at a total
cost of nine million dollars. Advice lawyers provided two hours of legal advice, without
charge, to 2,583 women in shelters at a total cost of $425,000.
382.
During this period, Community legal clinics (funded by LAO in the amount of
$57.7 million) provided over 146,000 direct legal services to people in poverty law areas
such as social assistance and housing. One of the major initiatives that community legal
clinics undertook in 2004-2005 was to work with the Ontario government to reform the
social assistance system.
383.
In 2004-2005, LAO launched a three-year $350,000 Domestic Violence Response
Training Project to promote more co-ordinated and effective remedies for women facing
domestic abuse. This project, co-funded by LAO and the Ontario Women’s Directorate,
will provide training to LAO and community legal clinic staff on best practices for
identifying and providing effective services, including referrals, to victims of domestic
violence.
Complaints of gender-based discrimination
384.
Under the Human Rights Code, the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) has the
authority to enforce the right to freedom from discrimination on the ground of sex. This
includes sexual harassment and solicitation, and unfair treatment relating to pregnancy,
breastfeeding or gender identity. Although women form a majority of those who made
complaints, any person can make a complaint relating to sex. Complaints may also be
intersectional and may therefore cite multiple grounds. The figures provided include all
complaints listing the ground of sex, regardless of the sex or gender of the complainant,
or the presence of other grounds.
385.
Between January 2003 and May 2006, the OHRC received 2,800 complaints relating to
sex, representing 30.56 percent of all cases. During this period, the OHRC sent
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160 complaints citing the ground of sex to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT),
representing 27.77 percent of all cases referred. The table below includes a breakdown of
these figures.
Cases received by the Commission
Dates/Fiscal Year
Number of cases
% of all cases
received at OHRC
Cases sent to the Tribunal
Number of cases
% of all cases sent
to OHRT
Jan.1 - March 31,
2003
142
23.12%
16
57.14%
2003-2004
878
35.86%
50
17.54%
2004-2005
880
36.54%
48
32.21%
2005-2006
732
30.34%
46
31.94%
168
Total 2800
26.96%
Average 30.56%
0
Total 160
0.00%
Average 27.77%
April 1, 2006May 1, 2006
Aboriginal women
386.
The OHRC’s Aboriginal Human Rights Program has collaborated with the Union of
Ontario Indians on two initiatives to promote awareness and understanding of the Human
Rights Code among Aboriginal communities and enhance their access to the OHRC’s
services. The first involved the development and publication of a brochure about Code
protections in three Aboriginal languages (Cree, Ojibway and Mohawk) as well as in
English and French. This brochure was distributed to over 250 Ontario bands,
organizations, and service providers. The second project resulted in the June 2005
publication of an article in the Union’s Anishinabek News about how the OHRC can be of
assistance in the event of discrimination or harassment.
Aboriginal women in custody
387.
Aboriginal women are over-represented in adult correctional institutions (ages 18+). For
example, in 2005-2006, Aboriginal female offenders represented 10.7 percent of
Ontario's female sentenced admissions and 11.7 percent of Ontario female remand
admissions. However, Aboriginal women over the age of 15 represent only 1.5 percent of
the female population in Ontario.
388.
The Government of Ontario has developed two new programs to help with rehabilitation
of Aboriginal women offenders. The Orientation for Women Program, consisting of
10 sessions, is designed to encourage participants to take ownership of their lives in the
past, present and future. The Women’s Intensive Program, aimed at Aboriginal women
who require more counseling to reduce their risk of recidivism, is designed to engage,
encourage, motivate and support efforts of participants to rehabilitate by addressing
factors underlying criminal behaviour (e.g. criminal thinking, substance use/abuse, anger,
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violence, partner relationships, parenting deficits, loss of culture) from an Aboriginal
perspective. Aboriginal facilitators will deliver the programs both in institutional and
community settings.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
389.
Ontario expanded the Domestic Violence Court (DVC) program to 49 court jurisdictions
with a plan to have a specialized DVC in all 54 jurisdictions. In 2005-2006, 39 Domestic
Violence Community Coordination Committees received funding of $1.5 million to help
foster better service system linkages.
390.
A 2004-2005 study of reconviction rates found that offenders who appeared in a DVC
were less likely than offenders who appeared in other Ontario courts to be reconvicted of
a spousal or other violent offence and were more likely to be reconvicted of an
administrative offence. Offenders who appeared in a DVC were more likely to receive a
prison sentence for the original domestic violence conviction than offenders who
appeared in other Ontario courts and they were more likely to receive a prison sentence
for the reconviction. Also, a 2005-2006 evaluation of the Partner Assault Response
program found positive attitude changes among offenders who completed the program.
391.
The Government has evaluated the impact of the Model Police Response to Domestic
Violence, the guidelines issued to deal with domestic violence, on the work of
51 municipal police services. The evaluation showed that the guidelines have produced
positive results, such as strengthened working relationships with the police, crown
attorneys, officials of Victim and Witness Assistance Program and Victim Crisis
Assistance and Referral Services, and local shelters. The Ontario Provincial Police is
carrying out a similar exercise to be completed by July 2007.
392.
In 2003, a police policy was implemented requiring officers to complete a domestic
violence risk indication tool, known as the Domestic Violence Supplementary Report, in
all domestic violence occurrences, regardless of whether a charge is laid.
393.
In 2005, the Ontario Provincial Police developed and implemented a family dispute
reporting policy to help officers identify indicators for potential future abuses within
families. While domestic violence occurrences cover any partnership that involves or had
involved intimacy, family disputes include incidents of violence or threat of violence
involving any non-intimate family members, including any variation of extended family
members.
394.
The Government established the Hate Crimes Working Community Group in
December 2005 to advise on a broad-based strategy to address hate crimes and crime
victimization. The Government also provided $200,000 to support the Joint Forces Hate
Crimes/Extremism Investigative Team.
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395.
The Domestic Violence Action Plan focuses on targeted initiatives that address the
unique needs of people with disabilities, seniors, Aboriginal, ethno-cultural/racial and
rural/farm/northern communities. These groups are at increased risk of domestic violence
and their access to support is limited by language, disability, geography or culture.
396.
The Centre for Forensic Sciences operated by the Ministry of Community Safety and
Correctional Services has undertaken a project to re-examine “cold cases” by identifying
those cases in which DNA could be extracted from samples known to have been collected
at the time of the original crime, including homicides, serious assault and sexual assault
against women. While this is an ongoing project, a large portion of the work was
completed between 2002 and 2004. Between 2002 and 2005, the Centre partnered with
the Toronto Police Service-Sex Crimes Unit to re-open all unsolved sexual assault cases
going back about 20 years. As a result, a number of perpetrators have been brought to
justice and victims are assured that they have not been forgotten.
Aboriginal women
397.
Three First Nations Police Services attended the first annual Domestic Violence
Coordinators’ Conference, in April 2006. First Nations Police Services have had contact
with staff of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services on a variety of
issues dealing with domestic violence and the Model Police Response to Domestic
Violence.
Shelters for victims of violence
398.
Government funding for Violence against Women programs, which include crisis centres,
shelters and transitional housing support, has increased. The annual funding allocations
were as follows: 2006-2007: $118.2 million; 2005-2006: $112.5 million; 2004-2005:
$102.2 million; and 2003-2004: $91.9 million. The Government also announced in
December 2004 that it would invest approximately $58 million in new funding over four
years to improve community support for abused women and their children.
399.
Ontario expanded its network of sexual assault/rape crisis centres between 2003 and 2006
to 38 by creating three new centres and one satellite to specifically serve the francophone
population. Starting in 2004-2005, the government increased yearly funding to these
centres by eight percent. It also allocated to the French language centre parity of funding
with centres in the same localities. In addition, Ontario implemented a new data
collection system that would demonstrate increased usage of services to women victims
of violence.
400.
The expansion of these centres and increased funding to address service gaps to
francophone women resulted in a marked increase of francophone women (including
immigrant women) having access to quality services.
401.
In addition, $5.9 million has been earmarked for training initiatives that include:
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•
training for staff in settlement and counselling agencies, shelters, crisis lines, Partner
Assault Response programs, correctional programs, legal aid and Ontario Works
offices, prenatal care workers, paramedics and judges, as well as specialized training
in francophone and Aboriginal communities to increase their skills in identifying
women at risk of violence and providing effective support and referrals to community
resources;
•
convening an expert panel for training of emergency department personnel, Englishlanguage and French-language education expert panels and a Neighbours, Friends and
Families expert panel;
•
the first ever Ontario government-led conference on domestic violence, held in
November 2005, which featured more than 100 speakers and attended by
550 professionals who discussed best practices in preventing violence and supporting
victims.
402.
There are disparities between Aboriginal women living on- and off-reserve in accessing
shelters and crisis centres. Shelters receive funding to assist clients living in remote and
rural communities to access provincially funded, off-reserve emergency shelters.
403.
Some of the challenges to ensuring access to shelters and crisis centres for Aboriginal
women include housing shortages on reserves, lack of enough shelters in remote and
isolated communities, and lack of financial means and transportation to access services
outside their communities (often in distant locations).
404.
Many immigrant and refugee women are also reluctant to access services for fear of
immigration issues (e.g. loss of sponsorship).
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
405.
The Government of Ontario recognizes that all children need to be protected, particularly
those most vulnerable. Bill 210, the Child and Family Services Statute Law Amendment
Act, 2005, will improve the lives of vulnerable children by improving safeguards,
providing more options for permanent placements for children and youth referred to
children’s aid societies and by strengthening accountability in the child protection
system.
406.
As part of efforts to further curb child pornography, the Government established a task
force on Internet crimes against children in 2004 and approved a provincial strategy for
Internet crimes against children in June 2006. Materials were issued to crown attorneys to
assist them in the prosecution of Internet offences against children.
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Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
407.
As of July 26, 2006, women’s representation as members of Ontario’s Legislative
Assembly is 23.3 percent and women’s representation as Cabinet Ministers in Ontario is
30 percent. The leaders of the three major political parties in Ontario have made a
commitment to nominate more women for elected office to address women’s underrepresentation in politics (June 2006).
Aboriginal women
408.
The Ontario Women’s Directorate provided $5,000 in funding to the Women in
Leadership Foundation in March 2006 for a forum to promote Aboriginal women’s
leadership in Ontario.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
409.
There are many measures in place aimed at improving the overall success of Aboriginal
students. The Government’s Aboriginal Education Office is developing an Aboriginal
Education Policy Framework, which will be the foundation for improving the delivery of
quality education to First Nation, Métis and Inuit students in Ontario.
410.
The Government is also committed to improving Aboriginal student success through
funding Aboriginal Student-Focused Student Success Projects. In 2004-2005,
$2.3 million was provided to boards for seven projects on alternative pathways for
Aboriginal students to complete their secondary education. There is a Student Success
Teacher in every school to assist students at risk.
411.
To gauge the success of these policies and programs, an Aboriginal Student SelfIdentification Project has been initiated that allows for the tracking and analysis of
Aboriginal student success. Seven school boards in north-western Ontario have an
Aboriginal student self-identification policy. A pilot project on Aboriginal student selfidentification is also being funded with the Toronto District School Board.
412.
The Government has also shown a clear commitment to providing accessible, high
quality postsecondary education and training to the Aboriginal population including
women. In 2005-2006, the Government provided over $9 million for programs and
services to support about 7,600 Aboriginal postsecondary students enrolled at Ontario’s
publicly funded colleges and universities.
413.
As part of this investment, one million dollars in Access and Opportunity Strategy
funding was provided to support pilot projects at colleges and universities to improve
access and opportunities for Aboriginal postsecondary students. The focus of the pilot
projects was to improve outreach, transition and retention. The Access and Opportunity
Strategy was part of the Ontario government’s plan to invest $10.2 million in 2005-2006,
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to support increased postsecondary participation by underrepresented groups, including
Aboriginal peoples.
414.
Since 1991, the Government has been providing about $6 million under the Aboriginal
Education and Training Strategy (AETS) to help increase the participation and
completion rates of Aboriginal students at colleges and universities, the sensitivity and
awareness of postsecondary institutions to Aboriginal cultures, issues and realities and to
increase the extent of Aboriginal participation in decisions affecting Aboriginal
postsecondary education. In 1996, an evaluation of the AETS found that the AETS had
been successful in making progress toward its goals and that it should be continued. The
Government is planning another review of AETS.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
415.
The Job-protected Family Medical Leave scheme introduced by the Government in 2005
is having a positive effect on women entering standard employment. Over 61 percent of
all family caregivers are women providing care to an elderly family member with a health
problem.
416.
Employees experiencing high caregiver stress are less likely to enter the labour market or,
if employed, more likely to miss work because of caregiving responsibilities or because
they were emotionally, physically or mentally fatigued. Amendments to the Employment
Standards Act, 2000 allow employees covered by the Act to take up to eight weeks of
job-protected leave of absence to provide care or support to a specified family member.
In combination with changes to the federal Employment Insurance program, Ontario
employees on this leave are entitled to up to six weeks of benefits under the new federal
compassionate care program.
417.
Other initiatives that have a direct or indirect positive effect on women entering standard
employment are the following:
•
Ending Mandatory Retirement (2006): new legislation eliminates Ontario employers’
ability to require employees to retire at age 65.
•
Minimum Wage Increases (2003-2007): Ontario regulation was amended in
December 2003 to increase the minimum wage on an annual basis until it reaches
$8.00 per hour by February 1, 2007. In the year 2000, 64 percent of those earning
minimum wage were women.
•
Enforcement of Pay Equity Act (2003): proxy pay equity adjustments are benefiting
women workers in the lowest paid female sectors of the broader public sector. Since
2003, 1,002 cases have been resolved. Over $400 million has been paid to broader
public sector jobs over six years.
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418.
•
Increased Outreach to Vulnerable Women Workers: a partnership between the Pay
Equity Commission and the Ministry of Labour to cross deliver pay equity and
employment standards information.
•
Women’s Gateway (2004): an Internet gateway with links to information and services
of interest to women. Total number of hits on the Gateway from November 2004 to
October 2005 was 467,510.
As part of its Domestic Violence Action Plan, the Government is investing $2 million
annually in employment training initiatives for abused women and women at risk of
abuse. The Government provides a number of programs such as pre-apprenticeship and
information technology training to assist unemployed and underemployed women and
promote their economic independence.
Affordable childcare
419.
The government is delivering $122.5 million in federal funds in 2006-2007, to help
support an expansion in quality and affordable childcare. In 2004-2005, 4,000 new
subsidized childcare spaces were created.
420.
In November 2004, the Government introduced its Best Start Plan to strengthen healthy
development, early learning and care for children from the prenatal stage through to
grade one. Ontario also eliminated restrictions on childcare subsidies for parents with
Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Education Savings Plans.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
421.
In August 2005, the Government announced the creation of the Women’s Health
Institute, a provincial body mandated to promote women’s health by addressing the needs
of women through research, teaching, and patient services. The Institute, which is
expected to be operational in April 2007, would incorporate the work of the Ontario
Women’s Health Council (OWHC), an independent advisory body established in 1998.
422.
To promote accountability, the Government has been providing funding to integrate
women’s health indicators into annual Hospital Reports, allowing hospitals to measure
and compare their performance on women’s health through disaggregated, sex-specific
indicators with the goal of enhancing access and enlightening the decision-making
process. Work has also begun on the OWHC-funded POWER study (Project for an
Ontario Women’s Health Evidence-Based Report Card), which will include evidencebased indicators measuring burden of illness, access to health care services, risk factors
for chronic illness and disability, and quality and outcomes of care for leading causes of
morbidity and mortality among women.
423.
The issue of access is being addressed through projects with the OWHC and other
organizations. Examples include the development of recommendations for a preventive
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screening model for cervical cancer with Cancer Care Ontario, a pilot project to test the
effectiveness of human papilloma virus testing, and the establishment of the Ontario
Maternity Care Expert Panel for advice on the provision of maternity care in Ontario.
424.
Quality of care and quality of life are also important women’s health issues and have
been addressed through projects such as Improving Continence Care in Continuing
Complex Care, which included a large number of providers in the studying, testing and
implementation of evidence-based best practices in continence care for women. This
model is being used to improve quality of care in other areas.
Specific health issues
425.
The Government provides funding to over 80 organizations and programs for HIV/AIDS
prevention and treatment initiatives, and HIV/AIDS education and support programs for
men and women with HIV/AIDS and those affected by HIV/AIDS. These organizations
and initiatives are accessible to and accessed by women, and an increasing number of
these organizations are developing women-specific programming. According to data
collected by the AIDS Bureau, in the first six months of 2005-2006, approximately
2,900 women received service from Government-funded community-based AIDS service
organizations.
426.
Also, a provincial working group, which is composed of researchers, community-based
AIDS service organizations, and public health units, is exploring issues related to women
and HIV. The group completed a comprehensive literature review of research on
prevention initiatives targeted at women and has surveyed organizations that provide
services to women to ascertain their level of HIV/AIDS information and service
provision. These activities are a first step in the group’s development of an Ontario
strategy for women and HIV/AIDS.
427.
Ontario’s prenatal HIV testing program promotes the offer of an HIV test to pregnant
women and women considering pregnancy. In 2005, almost 90 percent of pregnant
women in Ontario were tested for HIV. Prenatal HIV testing reduces the risk of HIV
transmission from mother to infant and promotes HIV positive women’s access to
treatment and support services, as well as providing effective prevention information.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
428.
Any resident in Ontario may apply for social assistance. Eligibility is determined on the
basis of financial need and other criteria. Since 2003, the social assistance rates have been
raised by five percent. In addition, the province is flowing through the amounts of the
2004, 2005 and 2006 federal increases to the National Child Benefit Supplement to
families with children. The Government has also streamlined social assistance delivery
and removed punitive rules so that Ontario’s vulnerable citizens are treated with fairness
and dignity.
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Support programs and services
429.
The Government has taken steps to ensure that support services in Ontario are accessible
to women/girls with disabilities. In 2004-2005, $2 million was provided in minor capital
to shelters and second stage housing which, among other repairs and maintenance items,
helped make emergency shelters wheelchair accessible. In 2005-2006, $1.35 million was
provided for the same purpose. Some shelters also have beds specifically designated for
women with disabilities.
430.
If a woman with a disability is accessing an emergency shelter or in need of support
services, funded shelters and agencies are able to assist. For example, a shelter can
contact the Canadian National Institute for the Blind for assistance in providing necessary
services to a woman who is vision impaired.
431.
Some of the challenges to ensuring women and girls with disabilities have access to
support services include providing adequate funding to shelters to ensure they are fully
accessible and appropriate emergency transportation to reach shelters with accessible
beds.
432.
There are gaps in services and programs for First Nation women and girls. The
Aboriginal Healing and Wellness Strategy (AHWS), which is available to Aboriginal
people both on- and off-reserves in urban and rural communities, addresses some of these
gaps in Ontario. The Government funds AHWS, which is a partnership among four
ministries and 15 Aboriginal partners, to provide a culturally appropriate, holistic
approach to reducing Aboriginal family violence and improving the overall health status
of Aboriginal people in Ontario.
433.
Some of the challenges to eliminating the service gaps for First Nation women and girls
include accessibility issues for those in remote and isolated communities, lack of
culturally appropriate resources and training, and need for increased collaboration among
stakeholders including communities and band councils.
Women’s access to housing
434.
In 2005-2006, the Government announced 500 new capital units for victims of domestic
violence and provided $1 million for support services.
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Manitoba
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
435.
A Woman's Place, which opened in November 2004, addresses needs specific to women,
including free legal services to primarily low-income, immigrant and Aboriginal women.
It combines services with other agencies, including Legal Aid Manitoba. In 2005-2006,
legal services were provided to 125 women.
436.
In January 2003, Legal Aid Manitoba cut back domestic and civil services (separation,
divorce, support variations, uncontested guardianships) due to deficits. These cuts
primarily affected women. In April 2005, provincial funding increased, and these services
(except for uncontested divorces and uncontested guardianships) were reinstated.
Statistics for 2004 to 2006 show a 4.8 percent (351) increase in certificates issued to
women.
437.
Legal Aid issued 7,227 certificates to women in 2004-2005 and 7,737 in 2005-2006. In
addition, based on overall certificate statistics, it is estimated that 22,815 women were
assisted through duty counsel and drop-in services in 2005-2006 and 19,940 in 20042005.
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
Complaints to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission – 2003 to 2006
Year
2003
Complaints
Closed
336
Sex Discrimination
Complaints
77 registered complaints
(plus 10 complaints settled
prior to registration)
2004
427
94 registered complaints
(plus 25 complaints settled
prior to registration)
Manitoba
Disposition of Registered Complaints
17 settled prior to determination by the Board
9 withdrawn or abandoned
31 dismissed by the Board
3 settled by Board directed mediation
10 referred to adjudication
3 settled by the parties
1 terminated for other reasons
10 settled prior to determination by the Board
11 withdrawn or abandoned
23 dismissed by the Board
1 terminated by the Board*
3 settled by Board directed mediation
3 referred to adjudication
43 settled prior to adjudication
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2005
325
53 registered complaints
(plus 21 complaints settled
prior to registration)
Jan –
104
17 registered complaints
May
(plus 4 settled prior to
2006
registration)
* Offer of settlement reasonable
16 settled prior to determination by the Board
9 withdrawn or abandoned
17 dismissed by the Board
2 terminated by the Board*
1 settled by Board directed mediation
7 referred to adjudication
1 settled prior to adjudication
7 settled prior to determination by the Board
2 withdrawn or abandoned
8 dismissed by the Board
Aboriginal women
438.
Manitoba has progressively increased core funding and project funding provided to
Mothers of Red Nations, whose mandate and mission include “educating, promoting
awareness on Aboriginal women’s human rights, and advocating on behalf of Manitoba’s
Aboriginal women” (http://morn.cimnet.ca/cim/92C270_397T18351.dhtm).
Aboriginal women in custody
439.
There are approximately 120 women incarcerated in provincial correctional facilities in
Manitoba; of that number, about 70 percent are Aboriginal women. Complaints have
been filed with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission by women prisoners alleging
failure to accommodate the special needs of women prisoners; those complaints have
been referred for mediation. In April 2006, Manitoba announced that $25 million has
been set aside to begin constructing a new correctional facility for women.
440.
Measures to address the high percentage of Aboriginal women incarcerated include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Manitoba
The planning process for the new women’s correctional centre will include culturally
appropriate programming for Aboriginal women.
Manitoba Corrections has developed gender specific programming – the Circle of
Change program, which has a female elder and a female cultural support worker.
There is one Elder, one Chaplain and one Cultural Support Worker at Manitoba’s
correctional facility for women. The Elder and Cultural Worker provide service to
sentenced and remanded inmates such as cultural specific crafts, drumming, sharing
circles, traditional medicines, smudging, cultural awareness and community
resources. They also provide one to one counselling.
As of the date of this report, the trend in Manitoba is a large number of remand
inmates compared with the sentenced population – the percentage is approximately
70 percent remand. This has required changes to programming to allow short-term
remand inmates to participate.
Manitoba’s correctional centre for women also receives services from various
community agencies to assist with programs, for example, the Triple P parenting
program, which is delivered from an Aboriginal perspective.
New programs that are developed must be gender specific and include the Aboriginal
perspective as a common thread throughout the program.
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Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
441.
Manitoba's Domestic Violence Front End Project was expanded in November 2005 to
include all sexual assault cases (www.manitobacourts.mb.ca/domestic_violence.html).
This case management system has introduced many efficiencies to the Justice system,
particularly in the area of services to victims of domestic abuse, and has achieved
significant results. The Front End Project won the 2006 United Nations Public Service
Award for improving service delivery.
442.
Initiatives in the area of violence against women are described in paragraph 307 of
Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural
Rights. Additional initiatives include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
The "Domestic Violence Prevention: A Workplace Initiative" was launched in
January 2004.
The Winnipeg Family Violence Probation Unit has been expanded to increase its
ability to provide educational and long-term domestic violence programs for women,
multi-cultural, Aboriginal and learning disabled clients.
Standard and ongoing training for probation staff and Winnipeg Police Service recruit
classes was created, focusing on domestic violence theory and issues.
The Criminal Organization High Risk Offender Unit was established, which provides
intensive community interventions and monitoring for 30 very high-risk family
violence offenders.
The Domestic Violence Intervention Unit was created to assist families where
domestic violence-related incidents do not result in charges or arrests.
Funding for two Family Violence Prevention Conferences (in 2003 and 2005).
The Domestic Violence and Stalking Act was amended to expand the categories of
people the Act applies to and improve protections for children
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/2004/c01304e.php).
The Enforcement of Canadian Judgments Act was enacted, which allows out-ofprovince Canadian civil protection orders to be enforced in Manitoba and acted upon
by police, whether or not the order is registered in the Manitoba courts
(http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/e116e.php).
443.
Generally, evaluations of services provided by the family violence service sector have
been descriptive in nature. A proposal is being developed for a more broad-based
evaluation to assess the impact of and the gaps in family violence prevention and
intervention services.
444.
Measures aimed at violence against vulnerable and marginalized girls and women
include:
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•
The Government of Manitoba and the Association for Community Living provide
information and support to persons with intellectual disabilities in conflict with the
law as victims, witnesses or offenders (www.aclmb.ca/justice.htm). Specific attention
is paid to women with intellectual disabilities who are at risk of abuse in their
personal relationships.
•
The Immigrant Women's Counselling Services provides specialized counselling
services to immigrant and refugee women experiencing family violence.
•
A workshop on Immigrant Women, Family Violence and Homelessness was held in
Winnipeg on June 20, 2006.
•
Three neighbourhood immigrant outreach programs and the Newcomer Youth and
Family Recreation/Orientation Project are offered in Winnipeg.
•
The Entry Program for newcomers (October 2004) includes orientation to Manitoba
laws, child protection, processes, domestic violence and abuse remedies and police
services.
Aboriginal women
445.
Manitoba policies and programs that address violence against Aboriginal women include:
•
The Stolen Sisters Interdepartmental Working Group is examining and will make
recommendations respecting discrimination and violence against Aboriginal women.
•
Funding is provided for a community-based support program for enhanced services to
Aboriginal women and children caught in the cycle of domestic violence, and for
other culturally appropriate services such as the Native Women's Transition Centre.
•
Funding was provided in 2005-2006 towards Phase 2 of the United Against Racism
Project through Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. Aboriginal students are part of this project.
•
Mothers of Red Nations received funding for projects such as Developing Capacity
for Change, to support a Community Development Facilitator for Aboriginal Women
to assist with development for women in crisis; an Aboriginal Capacity and
Leadership Development Community Response to Aboriginal Girls and Women
Involved in Gangs; the national Our Healing in Our Hands conference in
March 2005.
Shelters for victims of violence
446.
Funding for 10 women’s shelters across Manitoba exceeds $6.3 million annually; funding
has increased by 74 percent since 1999. Funding is also provided to residential second
stage housing programs, women's resource centres, long-term counselling programs,
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access/exchange centres, couples counselling programs and programs for men. Total
funding to Family Violence Prevention Program agencies is nearly $11 million.
447.
A crisis accommodations and support program for persons with disabilities, launched in
June 2006 with a budget of $100,000 for 2006-2007, targets adults with disabilities who
are victims of violence from household members who are not intimate partners.
448.
In September 2006, approximately 70 percent of women accessing government
provincially funded shelter services in Manitoba were Aboriginal women. Of these
women, approximately 30 percent were living on a reserve prior to being admitted to the
shelter. Program standards for provincially funded agencies require that agency staff and
its governing board reflect the community it serves, and that the agency provide
culturally sensitive services. There is no residential second-stage housing program that is
specifically for Aboriginal women and children. They have access to the existing
programs.
449.
Challenges in ensuring access to shelters and crisis centres for vulnerable and
marginalized groups include cultural barriers, language barriers, physical barriers in older
residences for disabled women and children, distance for rural and northern women, and
issues relating to Federal/Provincial programs for Aboriginal communities. Shelters and
crisis centres do not exist on many reserves, and half of Manitoba's reserves are located
in remote northern parts of the province. Measures to address these challenges include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
450.
covering transportation costs to a shelter when necessary;
transfer to another facility if a shelter cannot accommodate persons with disabilities;
funding shelter workers for disability-related accommodations such as sign language;
public education in immigrant communities about domestic violence issues and
existing supporting services provided by the Immigrant Women’s Counselling
Services;
Aboriginal women have access to two crisis lines, at all times, for information;
off-reserve, the Ikwe Wijjitiwin shelter primarily serves Aboriginal women and many
Northern shelters and services have staff who speak various Aboriginal languages;
four residential second stage housing programs offer protective, affordable, long-term
housing and services for women leaving an abusive relationship. One of these serves
Manitoba's Aboriginal women and children.
For over two years, outcome-based data on the extent of service utilization within the
Aboriginal population has been collected. Analysis of this data will provide an evaluation
of the impact and effect of domestic violence policies and programming in the Aboriginal
community. As collection on Aboriginal status is voluntary, and in many cases a woman
may choose not to disclose this information, the date will under represent the number of
women using domestic violence services.
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Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
451.
The Manitoba Strategy on Child Sexual Exploitation, launched in 2002, is a multijurisdictional and coordinated governmental and community approach to preventing or
reducing the incidence of sexual exploitation of children and youth in Manitoba.
452.
New programs and initiatives to support victims of sexual exploitation include:
•
•
•
•
enhancing a residential childcare facility to deliver specialized services for young
women aged 13 to 17 who have been sexually exploited;
intensive specialized training for foster parents and other workers who deal with
children and youth who have been sexually exploited and specialized foster care
resources for children aged eight to 12 who have been sexually exploited;
a new Prosecutions Policy stating that children involved in prostitution are victims of
a serious form of sexual exploitation and need assistance;
increased penalties under The Child and Family Services Act for offences that include
sexual exploitation of children (http://web2.gov.mb.ca/laws/statutes/ccsm/c080e.php).
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
453.
As of May 2006:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
454.
13 of the 56 Members of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly were women
(23.21 percent);
five of the 17 government Cabinet ministers were women (29.41 percent);
seven of the 20 government deputy ministers were women (35 percent);
three of the 36 mayors of communities established under The Northern Affairs Act
were women (36.1 percent);
50 of the 139 members of the community councils for these Northern communities
were women (36 percent);
three of the eight contact persons appointed for small northern communities were
women (37.5 percent);
two of the eight Manitoba Court of Appeal judges were women (25 percent);
nine of the 24 Court of Queen's Bench (General Division) judges were women
(37.5 percent);
six of the 15 Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division) judges were women
(40 percent);
11 of the 37 Provincial Court judges (usually 40) were women (29.73 percent);
three of the five presidents of public degree-granting post-secondary institutions were
women (60 percent).
The Women's Leadership Program was introduced in January 2006 to help women in the
Manitoba civil service achieve their full leadership potential and to support the
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Government’s employment equity goal of increasing the number of qualified women
ready to assume leadership positions.
Aboriginal women
455.
Manitoba initiatives respecting the participation of Aboriginal women in governance
include funding northern Aboriginal women to attend the Aboriginal Women and SelfDetermination – an Exploration of Our Way of Being conference; funding to the Métis
Women of Manitoba; financial support to Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc. for the annual Keeping
the Fires Burning event that recognizes and honours the leadership and contribution of
Aboriginal women.
456.
Information on women participating in negotiations of land claims agreements is
included in the response to question 14 on the list of issues to be taken up in connection
with the consideration of the fourth periodic report of Canada concerning the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
457.
Manitoba’s Aboriginal Education Action Plan was announced in October 2004
(http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/abedu/action_plan/abed_action_plan.pdf). A key objective is
to increase high school graduation rates for all Aboriginal students, female and male, and
to promote successful transition to post-secondary education. Specific initiatives include:
•
The Making Education Work pilot research project will test a school and Aboriginal
community-based, collaborative model in career development programming.
•
Career Trek encourages economically and socially disadvantaged 10 and 11-year-old
students to remain in school. The program has been very effective in leading to high
school graduation. Approximately 40 percent of students are Aboriginal, of which
many are female.
•
The Council of Aboriginal Educators and Building Student Success with Aboriginal
Parents fund innovative approaches to parent and family involvement.
•
Funding is provided to implement Standing Tall, a three-year pilot project begun in
2005 by the Manitoba Métis Federation for Aboriginal public school students to
reduce absenteeism, increase school completion rates and enhance the classroom
environment with a culturally appropriate atmosphere.
•
Restoring the Sacred is a three-year pilot project begun in 2004 to develop and
deliver culturally relevant prevention and intervention programming to Aboriginal
youth between 15 and 21 who have relocated from northern or rural communities to
attend high school. About 24 youth are receiving programming, including Aboriginal
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girls. Two program evaluations have been completed, by an independent contractor,
as part of the pilot stage. Results of the Initial Formative Evaluation, completed in
March 2006, were positive, indicating that the program was on track with its
developmental objectives. The Phase 2 Evaluation, in August 2006, examined youth
progress through the program with an emphasis on the mentorship process. The
results of the second evaluation were also positive. Future evaluations will continue
to be carried out with consent of the youth involved, will be outcome-based, and will
use developed relationships with educational institutions (i.e. receiving schools) to
solicit progress reports on targeted youth.
458.
Measures to ensure access to post-secondary education include:
•
The ACCESS programs in Manitoba’s post-secondary institutions provide personal
and academic supports to participants. The majority of participants are in fields of
study in health care, education and social services, which generally attract a large
number of female students. Priority groups include Aboriginal people, immigrants
and refugees, single parents and inner city residents. Over the 1999 to 2004 period,
student intake into the ACCESS programs was 2,329, and the number of graduates
was 884.
•
Non-repayable bursaries are offered to selected students in the ACCESS programs.
In 2005-2006, Aboriginal women comprised 50 percent of the recipients.
•
Manitoba Student Aid has an Aboriginal Liaison Officer who works closely with the
Aboriginal community, including the ACCESS program directors, in developing
policies that meet the unique needs of Aboriginal students, including Aboriginal
women.
•
The Millennium Manitoba Opportunities Grant Program includes an Aboriginal
component. In 2006-2007, it is estimated that 300 students will be eligible for that
component of the grant.
•
Aboriginal women represent approximately 10 percent of all students assisted through
Manitoba Student Aid programs in 2005-2006.
•
Satellite Licensed Practical Nurse programs are offered jointly by the Assiniboine
Community College and several Métis organizations and First Nations. Forty-one
Licensed Practical Nurses graduated in 2002, 13 in 2003 and 25 in 2004.
•
The Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Foundation provides awards and assistance to
Aboriginal post-secondary students, many of whom are women.
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Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
459.
The following are examples of measures to remove barriers to standard employment.
460.
A gender-based analysis of The Employment Standards Code was included as part of the
review of the Code. Proposed changes that would help remove barriers to standard
employment for women include the introduction of family-responsibility leaves.
461.
The minimum wage has been increased each year from 1999, to bring it up to $8.00 an
hour in 2007, to assist and encourage more women to enter the paid workforce.
462.
YWCA of Thompson Women's Employment Resource Centre addresses the large
number of women unable to complete training courses or retain employment in the
service sector in Thompson, and provides the necessary supports to cope with
employment related issues (childcare, interpersonal skills, budgeting, etc).
463.
Some settlement programs address participation barriers specific to women, including
language training sessions where young children accompany their mothers, flexible hours
and other supportive measures.
464.
The following table indicates the percentage of women participating in various
employment programs in 2005-2006.
National Child Benefit Employment Program
Employment and Training Services
Skills Development Program
Self-Employment Program
Women
80%
45%
55%
40%
Aboriginal Women
20%
10%
11%
5%
Aboriginal women
465.
Programs benefiting Aboriginal women, in addition to those described above, include:
•
•
•
the Manitoba First Nations Health Human Resource Regional Strategic Framework
benefits include expanded opportunities for First Nation health care workers, many of
whom are women, and First Nation health care workers delivering care to First
Nations communities;
the Civil Service Renewal Strategy – Aboriginal Employment Strategy component;
Aboriginal Employment Partnership Agreements with major private sector
employers;
funding towards Mothers of Red Nations’ Journey to Success Workshop in 2004;
funding for Ka Ni Kanichihk Inc.'s Aboriginal Women's Self-Employment program.
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Affordable childcare
466.
New childcare initiatives in 2005-2006 included:
•
•
•
467.
a nine percent increase in wages for child care workers, increased college training
seats and a forgivable loan program (tuition support);
funding for 2,500 existing spaces, a commitment to create 750 new spaces and a
capital program of $2.7 million;
a new nursery school subsidy.
Additional information on childcare initiatives can be found in Canada's Fifth Report on
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (paragraph 304) and
at http://www.gov.mb.ca/childcare.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
468.
Some initiatives focussing on women and access to health care include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
469.
expansion of Health Links-Info Santé throughout the province;
expansion of the Manitoba Breast Screening Program;
10 major construction projects in acute care, long-term care and primary health care;
opening the first Health Access Centre, which provides one-stop access to a range of
health and social services, including primary health care;
opening the Manitoba Breast Cancer Research Centre in Winnipeg;
opening a Sexual Assault Unit at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg;
expanding educational and outreach efforts by the Manitoba Cervical Cancer
Screening Program throughout Manitoba, focussing on access for under-served
women (e.g., Aboriginal, low income, and immigrant and refugee women);
the Aboriginal Midwifery Program, a four-year university degree program designed
to train Aboriginal students, particularly those living in Northern Manitoba, and to
make maternal-child services accessible to Northern Aboriginal women and children.
The impact of these measures and other measures on the level of access to health care has
been positive. The (2003) Canadian Community Health Survey and the Health Services
Access Survey included a number of questions about the perceived quality of different
types of health care services, both community-based and in hospital, and patient
satisfaction with these different types of care. Overall, a large proportion of Manitobans
appear to be satisfied with the services they received and the quality of care provided. In
2003, an estimated 95 percent of Manitobans reported receiving some kind of health care
service in the preceding 12 months. About 83 percent said that they were very or
somewhat satisfied with the way health care services were provided. An estimated
85 percent of Manitobans rated the quality of care they received to be excellent or good.
See Manitoba’s Comparable Health Indicator Report, November 2004, pages 47 to 50
and pages 53 to 54 (http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/pirc2004.pdf).
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470.
In November 2005, the report Sex Difference in Health Status, Health Care Use, and
Quality of Care: A Population-based Analysis for Manitoba’s Regional Health
Authorities, funded by Manitoba, was released
(http://www.umanitoba.ca/centres/mchp/reports/reports_05/sexdiff.htm). The report
indicates that causes of death are much the same for both sexes; physician visits and
hospitalisations are comparable when rates are adjusted to exclude reproductive issues;
there doesn’t appear to be sex bias in treatment; overall, men and women in Manitoba
appear to be similarly healthy; and on the whole, the health care system is responding.
471.
Following the release of the Manitoba Women’s Health Strategy in 2000
(http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/women/), a gender-based analysis project was undertaken
which included funding for the document Including Gender in Health Planning: A Guide
for Regional Health Authorities (http://www.pwhce.ca/pdf/gba.pdf) and workshops
between 2003 and 2005, primarily with Regional Health Authorities. This contributed to
a stronger emphasis on women’s health issues in the 2nd Comprehensive Community
Health Assessments in September 2004 (http://health.internal/cha/index.htm). The
Women’s Health Strategy identified the need for a Women’s Health Profile to identify
useful health indicators for Manitoba girls and women. The Government of Manitoba and
the Government of Canada are funding a report featuring over 100 indicators of women’s
health.
Specific health issues
472.
Some new measures introduced to address particular women’s health issues include:
•
•
•
•
•
473.
monitoring the move of emergency contraception medication from prescription to
non-prescription status, including price and access issues;
the Reproductive Health Strategy;
initiatives to reduce wait times in key surgical and diagnostic areas (e.g., joint
replacement) and initiatives with a prevention focus (e.g. falls prevention,
particularly among seniors; vision screening; etc.);
the Mental Health and Addiction Strategy;
Healing Choices – a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder prevention resource for
professionals, aimed at hard-to-reach populations (e.g., women with low literacy
levels).
Efforts under the Provincial Sexually Transmitted Diseases Prevention and Control
Strategy focus on youth, corrections, the North, and those living in low-income areas of
the City of Winnipeg. Measures include:
•
•
•
Manitoba
the Aboriginal Strategy on HIV/AIDS;
education, testing, counselling and resources for offenders upon release;
funding a co-ordinator position in a northern regional health authority to engage in
primary prevention efforts;
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•
•
•
the Manitoba Harm Reduction Network – involving over 60 organizations with the
goal of reducing harm associated with problematic substance abuse and high risk
sexual behaviour, and aligned with mental health and addiction activities;
funding for the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transsexual, Two-Spirited Community
Coalition in 2005 to address the educational needs of at-risk populations regarding
syphilis and HIV outbreaks, and related sexual health issues;
funding for the Partners in Caring conference in 2004 and the Living Well with HIV
conference in 2005.
Aboriginal women
474.
New policies and programs adopted to improve the physical and psychological wellbeing of Aboriginal women include locating training sites for the Aboriginal Midwifery
Program in Northern Manitoba and the development of a provincial framework for
suicide prevention, with community partners.
475.
In early 2005, Manitoba released the report As Long as the Waters Flow: An Aboriginal
Strategy on HIV/AIDS (http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/aids/a224933.pdf). The Strategy is
being developed in collaboration with Aboriginal communities.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
476.
Improvements in income assistance and support services in Manitoba are outlined in
paragraphs 300 to 302 of Canada's Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. Programs are targeted to assist low-income
families in poverty to achieve self-sustainability. Additional examples include increases
in the board and room rates for individuals requiring care and supervision or living in
residential care facilities (in April 2006) and the Northern Energy Cost Benefit for
employment and income assistance participants living in northern and remote Manitoba.
Ongoing initiatives include the cross-sectoral government estimates process that, in 2005,
focused on addressing the needs of low-income children and families.
Support programs and services
477.
While not specifically targeted, women and girls benefit from programs and services for
persons with disabilities. Program direction and funding is provided by Manitoba for
services to children with disabilities, for supported living services for adults with a
mental disability and for vocational rehabilitation services, employment and income
support services to persons with disabilities.
478.
The Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Initiative provides funding for training, start-up loans
and mentorship opportunities. The Manitoba Civil Service Commission created an
internship program to raise the number of civil servants with disabilities; 65 percent of
the participants are women.
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479.
Some provincial programs may not be available on-reserve and First Nations women and
children who live off-reserve may not be eligible for federal benefits and services
available for to those living on-reserve. Manitoba’s Closing the Gap plan includes
working in partnership with the Government of Canada, Aboriginal peoples and
organizations to close these gaps, specifically in the areas of education, health, housing
and economic opportunities. An Aboriginal women’s perspective will be applied as
needed.
Article 14: Rural Women
480.
Flexible and affordable childcare in rural areas is a challenge in improving the economic
security of rural women. Seven hundred and fifty new spaces will be available and
priority will be given to communities with the greatest need. With the availability of
nursery school subsidies and reduced fees, spaces are more accessible to low-income
families.
481.
The Canadian Agriculture Skills Service program began in the fall of 2005 and provides
funding to farmers and their spouses, with a net family income of less than $45,000 per
year, towards learning opportunities, including formal training and informal learning, that
will bring more choices and sources of income. Of the 757 applicants as of July 31, 2006,
approximately 210 (28 percent) were female.
482.
In the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation’s lending portfolio of over
4,000 clients, 62 are female clients. Joint loan applications (from a male and a female) are
now in the majority, comprising 60 percent of loan applications.
483.
From October 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006, the Rural Entrepreneur Assistance Program,
which guarantees individual business loans between $10,000 and $100,000, issued a total
of 20 loan guarantees; nine involved women entrepreneurs owning at least a 50 percent
interest.
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Saskatchewan
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
484.
The Family Justice Services Branch and Dispute Resolution Office of Saskatchewan
Justice provide services to individuals who need help in dealing with the difficulties
arising from family breakdown, separation and divorce. Services include:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
voluntary and court-ordered Parenting After Separation information sessions which
include information on separation and divorce, options for resolving disputes, the
impact of separation and divorce on children, and options for parenting in a way that
keeps children out of parental conflict;
an information and resource centre in the area of family law;
mediation of all types of family law issues, including custody and access, and child
and spousal support;
monitoring and enforcement of support orders and agreements, including reciprocal
enforcement of support orders and agreements with other jurisdictions;
a service that provides help and resources to individuals wanting changes to their
support orders;
supervised access/exchange services;
a pilot project in Saskatoon that assists parents in developing or maintaining
appropriate access arrangements without going to court.
Legal aid
485.
In 2005-2006, approximately 36 percent of about 20,400 clients of the Saskatchewan
Legal Aid Commission were female. In criminal matters, 23 percent of clients were
female, and in family matters, 72 percent were female. From fiscal year 2001-2002
through to 2005-2006, the number of family law matters has averaged 4,892. In 20052006, the Commission approved 4,827 full service family law matters and closed
4,775 family law files. This represents about 24 percent of all matters handled by the
Commission. In addition, the Commission provided 2,698 pieces of summary advice for
family law matters.
486.
To improve services to family law clients, the Commission designates lawyer positions
for family law. It also surveys and consults with family law clients and service providers,
to identify and address barriers to service for clients, especially in rural and remote
communities. Results of a Client Satisfaction Survey completed in January 2006
indicated that almost 84 percent of clients were satisfied or strongly satisfied with the
services received. The Commission also implemented its Web site in 2005
(www.legalaid.sk.ca) to increase information available to clients and potential clients.
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Complaints of gender-related discrimination
487.
In 2005-2006, 17.6 percent of allegations of discrimination, made to the Saskatchewan
Human Rights Commission (SHRC), were based upon on the ground of sex (7.2 percent
based upon sexual harassment; 6.4 percent based upon pregnancy; and 4.0 percent based
upon other forms of sex discrimination).
488.
In May 2006, the SHRC, in partnership with Saskatchewan Labour and Service Canada,
released a handbook entitled Pregnancy, Parenting and the Workplace, to assist
employers and employees in understanding pregnancy and parental rights in the
workplace. A copy is available at http://www.shrc.gov.sk.ca.
Aboriginal women
489.
The SHRC has incorporated Aboriginal talking circles into its complaint resolution
process, to make it more culturally relevant. It also travels to communities in the far north
of the province, providing information about its services and learning about the unique
human rights issues facing northern residents, who are primarily of First Nations, Métis
or Dene ancestry. For more information on the SHRC’s activities in overcoming cultural
barriers and geographic distances to improve services to Aboriginal and northern
communities, see paragraph 265 of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Reports of Canada on
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
(ICERD Reports).
Aboriginal women in custody
490.
Aboriginal women are significantly over-represented in prisons. Although about
10 percent of Saskatchewan’s adult population is Aboriginal, about 80 percent of those in
custody are Aboriginal. For Aboriginal women, this figure is approximately 85 percent.
491.
Measures to address the situation are included in the overall approach to reducing the
proportion of Aboriginal people as a whole who are involved in the justice system, as
recommended by the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice
Reform, in its final report released in 2004. The Government of Saskatchewan’s Action
Plan was released in May 2005 in response to the Commission’s report. Specific actions
are being undertaken to address the underlying causes of crime, increase the involvement
of Aboriginal people in justice processes, use alternatives to court and incarceration, and
improve justice system responses. For further information, see paragraphs 261-263 of the
ICERD Reports. Two of the targeted outcomes of the Action Plan are reduced contact
with the Justice system for First Nations and Métis people, and reduced levels of
incarceration.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
492.
As indicated in paragraph 249 of the ICERD Reports, the Government of Saskatchewan
proclaimed 2005 as the Year of First Nations and Métis Women. The same year, the
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Government hosted a Symposium on First Nations and Métis women, aimed at assisting
government officials in developing effective policies and programs to meet the needs of
First Nations and Métis women. Key speakers and panel members were from First
Nations and Métis communities. About 130 Government staff attended the symposium,
interacting with Aboriginal women and hearing about their challenges and
accomplishments. Themes were drawn from the Action Plan for Saskatchewan Women:
economic equality and security, safety, health and well-being, and equitable participation
in leadership and decision-making.
Violence against women and girls
493.
See paragraphs 247 and 248 of the ICERD Reports for information on the Domestic
Violence Treatment Option Court that has been operating in North Battleford since
April 2003; the Domestic Violence Court that has been operating in Saskatoon since
September 2005; victims services programs, including the Aboriginal Family Violence
Initiative; and the development of a Provincial Community Plan (Protocol) on
Relationship Violence and Abuse.
494.
See also paragraphs 270-275, on Family Violence, in Canada’s Fifth Report on the
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR Report).
495.
The final report of the Commission on First Nations and Métis Peoples and Justice
Reform spoke to the issue of violence – particularly domestic violence. The
Saskatchewan Action Plan released in response contains initiatives to address issues of
violence, and to address the underlying causes of crime, including those that make
Aboriginal women vulnerable to violence (see paragraphs 261-263 of the ICERD
Reports). To be effective, the development of approaches targeted to reduce violence and
misconduct needs to incorporate the diverse cultural needs of the offenders.
496.
One of the initiatives identified in the Action Plan was the creation of the Domestic
Violence Court in Saskatoon. Another was the implementation, by Saskatchewan
Corrections and Public Safety, of a Violence Reduction Strategy. The strategy’s goals are
to reduce facility misconducts, decrease recidivism, increase employment, implement a
risk assessment tool for domestic assault offenders and increase functional literacy skills
to assist with employment opportunities.
497.
In 2005, the Government of Saskatchewan began implementing a three-year program to
enhance the response to missing persons cases. The Missing Persons Task Force involves
three elements: increased policing resources to investigate missing persons cases;
resources to support a review and redevelopment of police policies; and a strengthening
of partnerships among government, police and Aboriginal and community groups to
support families and communities in identifying and responding to missing persons cases.
The Provincial Partnership on Missing Persons Committee, established by the
Saskatchewan Government, with support from the police and Aboriginal and community
organizations, is reviewing the issues arising from all missing persons cases and
considering responses both to prevent people from going missing and to better respond
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when they do go missing. There is recognition that while the overall number of long-term
missing persons cases (male and female) involves an equal number of Aboriginal and
non-Aboriginal cases, Aboriginal women are disproportionately represented among
missing women.
498.
The SHRC has been active in raising awareness of the issue of violence against
Aboriginal women. It chose Violence against Aboriginal Women as its theme on two
anniversary dates: December 6, 2005 – National Day of Remembrance and Action on
Violence Against Women; and December 10, 2005 – International Human Rights Day.
The Commission also participates in a community group, Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik
(“Women Walking Together”), which aims to provide moral support to the families of
missing Aboriginal women and to put an end to violence against Aboriginal women. The
group hosted a public forum at White Buffalo Youth Lodge in Saskatoon on
December 10, 2005, to publicize the issue of missing Aboriginal women.
Shelters for victims of violence
499.
Funding for women’s crisis centres and shelters increased by 17 percent from 2002-2003
to 2006-2007, with $5.5 million being provided in 2006-2007. All women are eligible to
access ten shelters and 21 crisis services in Saskatchewan. The Government of Canada
provides additional funding for four First Nations shelters, one of which is co-funded by
the Government of Saskatchewan. Challenges are in providing services in a province
with a large and varied geographic area with a small but culturally diverse population.
Needs of women include financial resources, transportation, and accommodation. This
can be especially challenging for families with large numbers of children, for northern
and rural residents who have to leave the community to ensure safety, and for disabled
persons who need services tailored to meet their needs.
500.
The confidential toll-free Farm Stress Line for rural residents, referred to in
paragraph 943 of the Fifth Report of Canada under this Convention, continues to provide
counseling assistance, referrals and information specifically tailored to the needs of rural
callers. About one-half of the callers to the service are women. Approximately 22 percent
of Saskatchewan farm operators are women.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
501.
See paragraph 272 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the ICESCR for information on The
Emergency Protection for Victims of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Act.
502.
In 2006, the Government of Saskatchewan announced that it is expanding its strategy on
Child Sexual Exploitation by:
Saskatchewan
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•
•
•
funding five new municipal police positions (two in Saskatoon, two in Regina, and
one in Prince Albert) to work closely with community organizations and government
agencies, in dealing with street level sexual exploitation of children;
establishing a specialized unit staffed by two prosecutors and one assistant
coordinator to strengthen the Province’s ability to use the National Flagging System
to identify long-term offender or dangerous offender cases. One new Royal Canadian
Mounted Police investigator will work closely with the prosecutors.
developing a public education campaign aimed at prevention of child sexual
exploitation.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
503.
Nine out of 57 (16 percent) of members elected to the Saskatchewan Legislature are
women. There is one vacancy. Three out of 19 (16 percent) Cabinet Ministers are
women. Eight of 21 Deputy Ministers are women (38 percent). Women comprise about
one-quarter of Saskatchewan’s judiciary: 11 of 47 (23.4 percent) on the Provincial Court,
12 of 40 (30 percent) on the Court of Queen’s Bench and three of nine (33 percent) on the
Saskatchewan Court of Appeal.
504.
In 2003-2004, 34 percent of public servants in senior management in Executive
Government were women. In 2005-2006, that figure had increased to 37.8 percent. In
2003-2004, 32.1 percent of those in middle management and other management positions
were women. In 2005-2006, the percentage was 33.1 percent.
505.
One of the four goals of the Action Plan for Saskatchewan Women is the equitable
participation of women in leadership and decision-making in all sectors of society and the
economy (see paragraphs 508-510 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). Gender-based analysis has been offered to key
Government staff and Departments since 2003. Saskatchewan has appointed 32 Advisors
on Women’s Policy – one in each Government Department and Crown Corporation.
Decisions that go before Cabinet are scrutinized by senior advisors with a gender and
diversity lens. Other initiatives under this goal were reported in the Progress Report on
the Action Plan for Saskatchewan Women (http://www.swo.gov.sk.ca).
Aboriginal women
506.
Through the First Nations and Métis Women’s Initiative, funding support is provided to
First Nations and Métis women’s provincial organizations to assist them with
undertaking projects and policy development activities of benefit to their respective
members. Funding is currently provided to the Saskatchewan First Nations Women’s
Commission, an arm of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN), as well
as the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle Corporation, the provincial
representative for the Native Women’s Association of Canada, to address priority issues
identified by their members.
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507.
Women’s voices and participation in self-government negotiations are increasing. Both
the FSIN and the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan have women’s organizations that were
created to provide input into processes such as self-government negotiations, and
negotiations and agreements related to employment, health, education and child and
family services. The Meadow Lake Tribal Council has a Tribal Chief who is a woman
and a First Nation woman is leading negotiations on behalf of the First Nations at the
Federal/Provincial/Meadow Lake First Nations governance table. There are
approximately 15 women Chiefs out of approximately 75 Chiefs representing First
Nations – more than at any other time in the past. It is hoped the growing number of
women Chiefs will lead to more equitable representation at negotiating tables and
discussions on agreements for service delivery. This trend has been noted in local level
Métis political organizations as well.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
508.
Saskatchewan’s curriculum articulates meeting the needs and interests of each individual
student through the Adaptive Dimension to help each progress toward her potential. In
addition, curriculum and policy advocate for First Nations and Métis content,
perspectives and ways of knowledge.
509.
Although there are few data indicators specific to Aboriginal girls, available indicators
show Aboriginal girls achieving at least similar results as Aboriginal boys. For example,
in 2003, significantly more grade 12 females than males intended to attend postsecondary education following graduation. Also, unpublished secondary analysis of
provincial assessments show that Aboriginal girls perform about the same in mathematics
as Aboriginal boys, and perform much better than Aboriginal boys in reading. These
patterns are also seen in the overall population.
510.
Other Saskatchewan indicators that compare gender outcomes to the overall student
population indicate girls tend to have higher grade 12 marks than boys in virtually all
subject areas, have greater representation than boys in post-secondary education, have
greater representation than boys in scholarship awards and in professional faculties at
universities, and have lower secondary school dropout rates than boys. The extent to
which these comparisons exist between Aboriginal girls and boys is not known; however,
anecdotal evidence suggests a similar directional advantage in favour of Aboriginal girls.
511.
2001 Census data from Statistics Canada compares the overall educational achievement
of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal females in Saskatchewan. Looking at the age group of
15 to 24 year olds, 54 percent of Aboriginal women were in school full time or part time,
compared with 60 percent of non-Aboriginal women. With respect to achieving some
post-secondary education, the gap for this age group widens between Aboriginal and nonAboriginal women. In 2001, 14 percent of Aboriginal women had some post-secondary
education, compared to 23 percent of non-Aboriginal women.
Saskatchewan
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Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
512.
Barriers to employment include a lack of adequate daycare, costs involved in maintaining
employment, transportation costs and housing issues. The Government of Saskatchewan
is addressing these barriers through the Building Independence Strategy, through which
low income families can receive financial benefits to assist in addressing these costs.
Aboriginal women
513.
Aboriginal women off reserve are eligible to apply for the same programs and services as
non-Aboriginal people. Increases to provincial income support programs provide
additional income benefits. Basic children’s benefits are provided to all low-income
parents through the integrated federal-provincial child tax benefits. Residential School
Survivor Payments for Aboriginal people are exempt from inclusion in income for basic
social assistance programs.
Affordable childcare
514.
Saskatchewan has implemented the following childcare enhancements:
•
•
•
•
elimination of the childcare waiting list for children with a high level of disability;
child care worker wage lifts of an average of three percent effective April 1, 2005; six
percent effective November 1, 2005, and nine percent effective April 1, 2006;
childcare subsidy enhancements of an average of $20 per month, effective June 1,
2005 and additional subsidy enhancements to increase coverage to over 85 percent of
2005 fees, extending the income cut-off as well;
expansion of licensed child care spaces by 1,450 in the period from January 2003 to
May 2006.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
515.
Saskatchewan has established 38 primary health care teams that provide increased access
to health care services. A coordinated professional health care team approach, coupled
with the necessary technologies, support continuous improvements in the quality and
coordination of care.
516.
Saskatchewan’s TeleHealth Network has 26 sites throughout the province that provide
teleconference education sessions for health care workers and members of the public, and
specialist clinics that reduce the hardships and costs of travel to larger centres to receive
care. Saskatchewan also has a toll-free, 24-hour, seven-days-a-week health information
line, staffed by specially trained registered nurses. In 2005-2006, HealthLine managed
85,000 calls from every health region in the province, and became the access point for
Saskatchewan
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concerns related to crystal methamphetamine. It is expanding capacity to provide 24/7
mental health and addictions support, and to include an on-line component.
Specific health issues
517.
The Community Oncology Program of Saskatchewan, a partnership between the
Regional Health Authorities and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency, has 16 centres with
specially trained professionals to provide chemotherapy and supportive care to cancer
patients, reducing the need for patients to travel to major centers for therapy.
518.
The Saskatchewan Surgical Care Network includes a province-wide surgical registry that
tracks all patients needing surgery. Since March 2004, it has reduced the waiting list in
the seven largest regions by approximately 3,100 cases.
519.
Midwifery services are being introduced for the care of low-risk birthing women. The
model of care is based on principles of informed choice and informed consent, choice of
birthplace, respect for normal birth, continuity of care, judicious and appropriate use of
medical technology, and evidence-based practice (meaning that midwives are
professionally trained health care providers with university degrees, who incorporate the
latest scientific evidence and best practices into their work).
520.
Pregnant women who are HIV positive participate in a prenatal program to reduce the
risk of HIV perinatal transmission, and to facilitate post-delivery follow-up with the
infant and mother. All HIV positive women can access case management services in
Regina, Saskatoon and Prince Albert, to assist with life functioning and to improve
treatment compliance.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
521.
Saskatchewan has increased social benefits, particularly those outside of income
assistance that support employment. The impact is that women have more money to
support their families and are less dependent on government assistance. A single parent
with two children received $7,549 more from social assistance in 2006 than they did in
1997. A single parent with two children, working at minimum wage, received $8,620
more in 2006 than they did in 1997. Minimum wage has increased and may be
supplemented by income supports such as the Saskatchewan Employment Supplement
and the Family Rental Housing Supplement. In 1998, there were 28,696 women in
Saskatchewan who received social assistance. In 2005, this number had decreased to
24,234.
522.
In 1998, 12.1 percent of Saskatchewan women were considered low-income; in 2004,
this percentage was 10.1 percent. In 1998, 12.4 percent of females less than 18 years old
were considered low-income, as were 13.8 percent of females aged 18-64, 5.1 percent of
females aged 65 and older, 8.9 percent of females in married or common law families,
Saskatchewan
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and 31.4 percent of single females. In 2004, 12 percent of females less than 18 years of
age were considered low-income, as were 11.4 percent of females aged 18-64,
2.3 percent of females aged 65 and older, 7.7 percent of females in married or common
law families, and 24.2 percent of single females.
Support programs and services
523.
Saskatchewan has made increases to most of its income assistance programs, including
the Social Assistance Program, Saskatchewan Employment Supplement, Child Care
Subsidy Program and Child Nutritional Development Programs. Additional disability
supports are provided for health, employment income supports and taxation.
Saskatchewan has also introduced new income assistance programs to support people
moving to employment, housing and increased service responses for people with
cognitive disabilities.
524.
Fewer Saskatchewan women are in receipt of social assistance, indicating that programs
outside of social assistance are working to help people find employment and become selfsufficient. In 1997, a single parent with two children received $15,536 annually; in 2006,
this family received $23,085 annually.
525.
Saskatchewan has increased basic income assistance benefits and the earnings exemption
for persons with disabilities so they retain more of their earnings to help with the costs
related to their disabilities. The Disability Housing Supplement has also been introduced,
to ensure that persons with disabilities have access to quality, affordable housing.
Employment support programs help those with disabilities remain in the workforce and
access jobs in the public service.
Women’s access to housing
526.
Available social housing units are allocated to applicants on the basis of the greatest
need, taking into account existing shelter conditions, costs, and social and health factors
(e.g. victims of domestic violence). Social housing in Saskatchewan serves primarily
women – largely households headed by lone mothers or lone seniors. New policies have
been put into place, including a quality shelter supplement that is available to low-income
families and people with disabilities, contingent on quality housing choices. A series of
educational modules will support clients in addressing their housing needs.
Article 14: Rural Women
527.
Farm safety net programs (e.g. crop insurance) help provide an income safety net for
farmers and farm families. All farmers who meet eligibility criteria may participate in the
programs. Statistics are not collected on gender of participants. Approximately 22 percent
of Saskatchewan farm operators are women.
528.
The Canadian Agricultural Skills Service Program provides support to farm families for
training and education. The program is fully funded by the Government of Canada and
Saskatchewan
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delivered by provincial governments. The program was implemented in Saskatchewan in
June 2005. Once a farm unit (which includes a farmer and the farmer’s spouse) is
qualified, both spouses are eligible for training benefits. If their three-year average net
income is less than $35,000, both spouses qualify for separate benefits of $16,000 each; if
between $35,000 and $40,000, they qualify for $12,000 each; if between $40,000 and
$45,000, they qualify for $8,000 each. To date, approximately 39 percent of approved
applications have been for spouses, which primarily have been women.
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Alberta
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal Aid
529.
Legal Aid Alberta (LAA) collaborates with Alberta Justice to improve access to the
justice system. LAA initiatives include:
•
The Edmonton Protection Order Program, operated by the Family Law Office,
enables LAA to improve access to justice for women by providing information and
court assistance in obtaining protection orders. These services are provided to all
individuals requiring assistance without regard to financial need and are provided to
married, unmarried, and persons experiencing elder abuse. In 2005 and 2006,
95 percent of clients using this services were women; in 2003 and 2004, 99 percent of
clients were women.
•
The Alberta Law Line was created to fill gaps in legal services and help overcome
barriers to access such as delay, lack of awareness/understanding and affordability.
The following is a breakdown of calls to the Alberta Law Line by gender and case
type for January 1, 2003 to May 31, 2006.
Total
Female
Number 11,134
%
62%
Case type
Administration
Consumer Rights
Criminal law
Debt
Employment
Family
•
%
2
5
9
4
4
54
Total
Calls
17,973
100%
Case type
Health
Housing
Human Rights
Immigration
Income
Other
#
583
977
25
49
82
776
%
5
9
0
0
1
7
A certificate is a document that is issued by Legal Aid to a lawyer, authorizing
him/her to act on the behalf of a client.
Count
Percent
Alberta
#
180
554
989
433
493
5,993
Total
Male
6,839
38%
Total female certificates
46,029
30%
Total male certificates
109,705
70%
Total certificates
155,734
100%
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Count
Percent
Criminal
13,994
30%
Civil
28,217
61%
Youth
3,818
8%
Complaints of gender-based discrimination
Period
2003
2004
2005
2006 (to
Total
May 31) 2003-2006
Complaints accepted citing gender
213
243
188
93
737
Total complaints accepted in period
852
907
776
285
2,820
* Note that each complaint may cite multiple areas (Employment, Tenancy, etc.) and may also cite other
grounds (Race, Mental or Physical Disability, etc.)
Aboriginal women in custody
530.
Statistics show that since 2003, the percentage of Aboriginal female young offenders has
risen from 43.2 percent to 49.1 percent. The rate for adult female offenders has decreased
from 52.6 percent to 49.3 percent over the same time frame. Nevertheless, the Aboriginal
female population in both age groups comprises almost half the female offender
population in Alberta.
531.
In April 2004, a new program “I Can” was implemented at Fort Saskatchewan
Correctional Centre. This program is aimed at women who are involved in prostitution,
but targets related behaviour patterns and underlying factors that result in prostitution and
poor life choices. A formal evaluation has not been conducted to date.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
532.
In May 2004, family violence and bullying stakeholders convened for the Alberta
Roundtable on Family Violence and Bullying. Stakeholders agreed on five key areas of
action: social change, provincial leadership, a collaborative and coordinated community
response, services and supports, and accountability through improved outcomes. As a
result, the Government of Alberta approved a province-wide Strategy for the Prevention
of Family Violence and Bullying, which is being implemented. An Ethnocultural
Committee on Family Violence was established in 2005, to advise the implementation of
the Strategy.
533.
In 2005-2006, Alberta’s Community Incentive Fund provided grants to 130 projects in
62 communities to support local action on the prevention of family violence and bullying;
four of these grants went to projects in ethnocultural communities. It is expected that
communities will establish coordinated and collaborative responses to prevent and
intervene in violence, including violence against women.
Alberta
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534.
In October 2005, Alberta hosted the World Conference on Prevention of Family
Violence, which brought together international leaders, researchers and policy and
program experts to share best practices in family violence prevention, intervention and
follow up supports.
535.
Alberta has invested $1 million annually in developing services for individuals presenting
with sexual assault issues in the context of family violence.
536.
A primary focus of Alberta Health and Wellness is the implementation of a treatment
program aimed at perpetrators of family violence (predominantly male) who are
mandated for assessment and, where indicated, treatment through the criminal justice
system or the Protection Against Family Violence Act. In 2005-2006, $3.995 million was
allocated to the Alberta Mental Health Board to coordinate implementation of the
Provincial Family Violence Treatment Program. The goal of the program is to hold
perpetrators accountable for their actions and to provide assessment, treatment,
rehabilitation and follow-up services that assist perpetrators to change their behaviours
and reduce re-offence/recidivism rates with the same and/or subsequent partners.
537.
The funding provided in 2005-2006 allowed treatment services to be maintained
(Calgary) and implemented in cities with specialized family violence courts, including
Lethbridge, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Edmonton. Expansion of the treatment program
to other communities with specialized family violence courts is being explored.
538.
The Government provides Victims of Crime Fund grants to organizations that provide
direct assistance to victims throughout their involvement in the criminal justice process.
Several grants are provided to organizations that deliver specialized services to victims of
domestic violence and/or victims of sexual assault and to immigrant and refugee clients.
539.
Communities Against Sexual Abuse received $20,000 in 2005 to cover the costs of a
community development coordinator/trainer, outreach/education programming, and travel
to pilot the development of a comprehensive sexual assault response team model.
540.
The Government developed standardized training for advocates who provide direct
services to victims of all types of crime throughout the province, to equip victim
advocates with the skills to respond effectively to all victims of crime.
541.
A screening tool for front-line police responding to family violence is being researched
and incorporated, to provide risk assessment and emergency safety planning for victims.
542.
Ongoing family violence training is provided to police throughout Alberta, with continual
evaluation and revision of topics and presenters.
543.
The development and implementation of the new Alberta Relationship Threat
Assessment Initiative commenced in June 2006. This is a police based unit that will be
comprised of police, mental health experts, Crown and family law consultants to provide
Alberta
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threat assessments on cases of high-risk relationship violence and assist in safety
planning for victims.
544.
Alberta Works Income Support program provides benefits to all clients escaping abuse.
Telephone and transportation is provided to abuse victims to access supports and services
that will help them to secure safety. A benefit is provided to abuse victims to help pay for
incidental costs when they are residing in a recognized shelter, and the costs are not
covered by the shelter. In addition, damage deposits, and relocation allowances are
provided to all people leaving abusive situations, regardless of their relationship to the
client.
545.
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) provides a benefit related to
escaping abuse, for all clients, regardless of gender, who have $3,000 or less in assets.
This includes a $1,000 benefit to assist with re-establishing a home after fleeing an
abusive situation; up to $500 for moving costs, and any actual damage deposits required
to secure accommodation. To be eligible for AISH you must be an adult with a
permanent disability that severely impairs your ability to earn a living. This benefit was
part of the Personal Support Benefits introduced in October 2005.
546.
Persons with Development Disabilities (PDD) has safeguards against abuse, which are
outlined in the Abuse Prevention and Response Protocol. The purpose of the Protocol,
implemented on January 1, 2004, is to provide a policy framework that identifies
processes and accountability measures related to abuse prevention and response.
Adherence to the Protocol is mandatory for all parties who are paid to provide PDD
funded supports.
547.
The Government provides funding assistance to seniors’ safe shelters. The shelters
provide safe places to stay and supportive counseling for seniors who are experiencing
abuse or neglect.
548.
Under the Protection for Persons in Care Act, all adult Albertans, including women with
disabilities, immigrant and refugee women, and other marginalized groups, are protected
if they are in receipt of care services from agencies such as hospitals, nursing homes,
shelters, group homes, and other supportive living facilities. The Act requires that all
complaints be investigated and if the matter is criminal in nature, that it be referred to the
police. If a Protection for Persons in Care investigation determines that abuse has
occurred, recommendations are made to prevent such incidents in the future.
Aboriginal women
549.
Alberta
The Alberta Advisory Committee was established in 2005 to provide advice, support,
leadership and strategic direction to Alberta’s Strategy for the Prevention of Family
Violence and Bullying.
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550.
In 2005-2006, the Community Incentive Fund provided grants to 23 projects in the
Aboriginal community. Funds have been specifically accessed by grass roots
organizations to address sexual assault and violence in Aboriginal families.
551.
As of May 2006, strategies to support Northern, Aboriginal, immigrant and rural
communities to build local capacity for leadership, organizational development and
coordinated services were in development.
552.
The Government created and staffed a new position of Program Liaison for Aboriginal
and Isolated Communities. Although this position does not focus specifically on victims
of domestic violence, it does focus on expanding and enhancing services available to
Aboriginal victims of crime throughout the province.
553.
Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society received a $51,192 grant from Victim Services
in 2006 to hire a family outreach worker to prevent and reduce the impact of violence in
Aboriginal families living in two communities.
554.
The Government’s Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Fund helps
Aboriginal women develop human rights resources, increase community capacity and
assist others to understand barriers and issues facing Aboriginal women. For details
regarding funded projects and amounts of grants please see:
http://www.cd.gov.ab.ca/helping_albertans/human_rights/education_fund/financial_assist
ance/recipients/B1.asp.
Shelters for victims of violence
555.
Since 2003, the annual operating budget for women’s shelters in Alberta has increased
from $11 million to $20 million in 2006.
556.
New measures have been taken including prioritizing those most at risk, outreach
supports and funding three new shelters and additional shelter beds. This has resulted in
women accessing the most appropriate supports for their situations as well as increased
access to supports.
557.
On-reserve shelters are accessible in five First Nations communities. Women in Alberta
are free to access shelters in any community across the province (i.e. on-reserve or offreserve).
558.
Transportation in rural and remote areas remains an issue. Language barriers for
immigrant and low literacy individuals can also impact access.
559.
As of May 2006, a review of Alberta’s Women’s Shelter Program was in progress, to
ensure that shelter services are delivering the right services at the right time for families
impacted by family violence in Alberta.
Alberta
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Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
560.
Thirteen of the 83 members in the Alberta Legislative Assembly, or approximately
16 percent, are women. Out of a total of 28 cabinet ministers, five, or 18 percent, are
women. There are 25 deputy ministers in the Alberta government of whom five, or
20 percent, are women.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
561.
In early 2006, Alberta launched a province-wide consultation called “Your Future Starts
Here” as part of its High School Completion Initiative. The consultation will help
generate new, community-based solutions to increase Alberta's high school completion
rates. Some of these community-led solutions will target high-risk groups, including
Aboriginal girls.
562.
There are numerous measures in place to ensure access for Aboriginal women to
education. These measures apply to both Aboriginal men and women. By way of
example:
Alberta
•
The Niitsitapi Aboriginal Teacher Education program at the University of Lethbridge
(in collaboration with Red Crow Community College) began in the fall of 2003 with
12 students admitted to the regular on-campus degree program. A second cohort of
24 students was admitted in the fall of 2004 to a specialized, culturally sensitive
Blackfoot teacher education program. Before admission, students must have
completed 30 courses of University level study and demonstrate knowledge of
Blackfoot language and culture.
•
The Aboriginal Teacher Education Program program at the University of Alberta,
launched in 2002, is an off-campus elementary teacher education program designed to
improve the educational success of Aboriginal children by increasing the number of
Aboriginal teachers in communities in northern Alberta. Examples of progress
include: in the spring 2004, 33 students graduate from the first two cohorts offered at
Blue Quills First Nation College and Northern Lakes College; in September 2003,
one cohort of 22 students began studies in a full four-year community-based program
in collaboration with Northern Lakes College in Grouard, Slave Lake, Wabasca,
Peace River, and Fort Vermilion.
•
The Office of the Aboriginal Health Care Careers Program was instituted by the
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in 1988, to assist Aboriginal students gain
admission and graduate from the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, and the other
Professional Health Sciences Faculties at the University of Alberta. As of 2001, the
Faculty had graduated 23 Aboriginal physicians, five dentists, 11 dental hygienists
and three students with a BSc in Medical Laboratory Science. This program has
proven successful in adding graduates to the pool of Aboriginal physicians. The
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program uses incentives and support programs to recruit, retain and support
Aboriginal students. In 2003-2004, three students were supported in the program.
•
The Aboriginal Practical Nurse Certificate program (Bow Valley College) provides
an opportunity for students to acquire the knowledge, skills and values required as a
Practical Nurse in the context of Aboriginal culture, values, spirituality and traditional
methods of healing. The Aboriginal content of the program is fully integrated into the
core curriculum so that concepts of wellness, healing, spirituality, family and
community from Aboriginal perspectives are considered alongside non-Aboriginal
traditions.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
563.
In June 2006, the Employment, Training and Transitions Benefit ($300) was expanded to
ensure that it assists clients who are working with costs necessary to maintain or secure
better employment. This benefit is available to both men and women.
564.
Alberta’s 10-year labour force development strategy, Building and Educating Alberta’s
Workforce, outlines how government, business and industry, training providers and
communities must work together to meet labour and skill shortages and ensure the
province remains globally competitive.
565.
Alberta’s priority in addressing labour force pressures will be on maximizing the skills
and talents of Albertans first. This includes under-utilized groups such as First Nations
and Métis peoples, persons with disabilities, recent immigrants, women and youth.
566.
Additional measures aimed at removing barriers to standard employment include:
•
•
•
•
Alberta
Eligible Albertans, regardless of gender, in employment and training programs have
access to a full range of income support training and health benefits.
As a result of the Income and Employment Supports Act learners in training have
access to a wider range of income support and health benefits (social benefits).
Alberta Works Income Support recipients who leave Income Support due to
employment income receive coverage for health benefits for themselves and their
dependents through the Alberta Adult Health Benefit program (AAHB). The program
provides 100 percent of prescription drugs, dental, optical, ambulance and diabetic
supplies with no time limitation as long as their income is low.
Families who are not eligible for the AAHB, including working parents who were not
previously in receipt of Alberta Works Income Support and the children of learners,
are eligible for health benefits for their dependent children through the Alberta Child
Health Benefit (ACHB) program. The ACHB provides 100 percent coverage of
prescription drugs, dental, optical, ambulance and diabetic supplies with no time
limitations as long as the family income is low.
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567.
In regard to non-traditional employment for women, in some regions, training is provided
for women in the trades. For example, the Women Building Futures program has
achieved some positive results in this area. For individuals attending full-time training
programs, tuition, books, supplies, prescribed fees and monthly income support is
provided. The costs of tuition, books, transportation and childcare are also covered for
eligible Albertans who are attending part time training, through the Skills Investments
Bursary and the Part Time Bursary.
Affordable childcare
568.
In 2003, the Government implemented the Accreditation Funding Program to improve
standards and promote excellence in childcare. Licensed day care centres and contracted
day home agencies are able to access staff funding at enhanced rates to better promote
recruitment and retention of qualified staff.
569.
Also implemented in 2003 were the Kin Child Care Funding Program and the Child Care
Subsidy E-Business Initiative. The Kin Child Care Funding Program enables eligible
low-income families to pay non-custodial relatives for childcare. The Child Care Subsidy
E-Business Initiative is an online application that provides low-income families with
information and easier access to the childcare subsidy program through a Web-based
application.
570.
Developed in August 2004, standards for licensed Out of School Care Centres, developed
under the Child Care Regulation, ensure the development, safety and well being of school
age children and expand the range of available options for families with school age
children.
571.
Based on extensive stakeholder consultations, Alberta released its Five-Point Investment
Plan on October 14, 2005. The plan provides funding in the following five areas:
•
•
•
•
•
•
Alberta
affordable childcare for low and middle-income families: new income eligibility
thresholds and increased subsidy rates;
support for parents to stay at home with children: stay at home subsidy introduced in
January 2006;
better access to childcare for children with disabilities: increased funding to provide
more childcare spaces and more training opportunities for staff caring for children
with disabilities;
quality childcare services: increase to childcare accreditation funding program for
licensed day care centres and contracted day home agencies;
better supports in their role as primary caregiver and more access to early intervention
services;
in 2006, the Alberta Child Care Professional Awards of Excellence Program was
initiated to recognize childcare professionals whose work and contributions have
significantly impacted Alberta’s childcare community.
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Article 12: Health
Specific health issues
572.
Alberta is working toward improving access to breast cancer treatment. Wait time goals
have been identified and services redesigned to shorten wait times from as long as eight
months to a total of 12 weeks from initial discussion with the family physician related to
the discovery of a breast abnormality to initiation of oncology treatment.
573.
In November 2003, the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission issued a
framework for women’s services in response to an increased awareness of gender specific
issues related to addiction. A combination of services including priority access to
treatment for pregnant women with substance abuse problems has resulted in a more
responsive program for women with unique addiction issues. The Framework is available
at http://corp.aadac.com/content/corporate/for_women/FrameworkESW_Nov03.pdf.
574.
The Alberta Cervical Cancer Screening Program, a province-wide organized screening
program is being implemented in Alberta. The aim of the Program is to improve
prevention and early detection of cervical cancer by increasing the number of women
18 to 69 years who receive regular Pap tests. The Program will actively support women
to participate in screening, including many women who are typically underscreened and
will include education, community and outreach programs for “hard to reach” groups of
women.
575.
Alberta Health and Wellness implemented an “opt out” prenatal HIV testing program in
September 1998, which has a testing rate of over 95 percent. There has been no perinatal
transmission in women receiving optimal care. It also supports the cost of formula for
infants born to HIV positive mothers.
Aboriginal women
576.
With the transfer of responsibility for most mental health services from the Alberta
Mental Health Board (AMHB) to regional health authorities in April 2003, the AMHB
retained governance responsibility for Aboriginal Mental Health. In 2006, the AMHB
published Aboriginal Mental Health: A Framework for Alberta Healthy Aboriginal
People in Healthy Communities. The Framework provides strategic direction for service
providers to support the mental well-being of all Aboriginal Albertans, including women.
It is available at www.amhb.ab.ca/publications/pdfs/AB%20Framework.pdf.
577.
Through the Early Childhood Development Initiative, Chinook Health Region receives
funding to implement the Mental Health Services for Families program with Piikani
(Peigan) First Nation. This program provides services to high-risk expectant mothers and
parents dealing with stress and multiple issues related to substance abuse, family violence
and poverty that affect their mental health and wellness. The program provides early
childhood education and parenting skills, respite services, assessment of family
functioning and risk factors, home visitation services (a friendly trusting hand to parents
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identified as high risk or self referrals), weekly group meetings to encourage parent-child
interaction, and time-out sessions for young parents.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Support programs and services
578.
The Family Support for Children with Disabilities (FSCD) Act was proclaimed August 1,
2004. The Act was created based on input from Albertans during the Child Welfare Act
review. Parents and stakeholders indicated that the unique needs of children with
disabilities could not be sufficiently addressed within the provisions of the Child Welfare
Act, which led to the creation of separate legislation.
579.
The Act better serves children and families, because it recognizes families as partners in
planning, choosing and developing services that best meet their needs. The Act provides
family-centered services to help families in promoting their child’s healthy development.
In addition to disability-related needs, the FSCD Act recognizes and considers the needs
and circumstances of families.
580.
Please see paragraph 211 of Canada’s Fifth Report on the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights for information regarding changes to Alberta
seniors’ income support programs.
581.
Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) provides a living allowance and
personal income support benefits to adult Albertans with a permanent disability that
severely impairs their ability to earn a living. The AISH living allowance increased to a
maximum of $1,000 a month on April 1, 2006. On October 1, 2005, Personal Income
Support Benefits were introduced to help AISH clients meet extra needs like caring for a
guide animal, special diets or emergency travel. In addition, a separate employment
income exemption was introduced to allow AISH clients to earn more money without it
affecting their AISH living allowance.
582.
As of January 2006, clients of the Alberta Seniors Benefit and AISH who reside in
designated assisted living and long-term care facilities are provided with enhanced
financial support and are better able to afford the cost of a private room. Prior to the
change, operators were asked to charge lower-income residents the semi-private room
rate in situations where only a private room was available. In addition, clients resident in
designated assisted living are now funded at the same level as clients in long-term care,
thereby increasing lower-income clients’ access to this alternative to long-term care.
583.
New initiatives implemented under Alberta Works - Income and Employment Support
Program include:
•
Alberta
January 2006: Payments under the Alberta Resource Rebate were exempt as income.
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•
•
•
•
Alberta
The Child and Adult Support Regulation was amended and the persons receiving
Income Support benefits are no longer defined as having priority. This provides better
access to CSS to all Albertans with low-income, who meet program criteria.
April 2005: A new one-time, $100 benefit is available to help offset the costs of
setting up a Registered Education Savings Plan to participate in Alberta’s Centennial
Education Savings program.
In 2006: The National Child Benefit Supplement increase and the Universal Child
Care Benefit were exempt.
July 2006: the Alberta Adult Health Benefit program was extended to all Income
Support recipients who leave Income Support due to employment income (see
Article 11).
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British Columbia
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
584.
The Government of British Columbia (BC) funds a province-wide Human Rights Clinic
for eligible complainants and respondents that need assistance in taking a claim forward
to the BC Human Rights Tribunal. The Clinic provides specialized assistance and
representation from start to finish for human rights cases, ensuring access to justice.
Legal aid
585.
In February 2005, BC provided funding to expand family law services centered primarily
on assisting women and families. These new services are focused on summary advice and
assistance services such as family duty counsel services, and increased assistance for high
conflict families, as well as those that must pursue their disputes in the Supreme Court of
BC. Family duty counsel services are available in 46 Provincial Court locations and the
13 busiest Supreme Court locations.
586.
BC provides more than $25 million in programming to support family issues, such as
Family Justice Centres and legal education and information initiatives. The Government
is researching the feasibility of a number of family justice reforms, and is piloting an
access to justice hub that will provide legal information, summary legal advice and
dispute resolution services in one location.
587.
The table below shows the number of women accessing legal aid in BC.
BC Legal Representation Referrals
Period
January 1 to March 31, 2003
All
Female
Male
8,396
2,432
5,964
2003-2004
30,222
9,174
21,048
2004-2005
28,646
8,747
19,899
2005-2006
30,030
9,698
20,332
4,791
1,585
3,206
April 1 to May 31, 2006
Source: Legal Services Society
588.
The BC legal aid program also provides LawLINE, a toll-free telephone service for
people who cannot afford a lawyer, that provides general legal information and, in some
cases, advice about legal issues, including civil family and poverty law issues. The table
below shows access to LawLINE in BC.
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BC LawLINE Legal Advice and Information
Period
February 23 to Mar 31, 2004
Total
Female
Male
Unknown
1,619
1,003
583
33
2004-2005
14,636
9,191
5,364
81
2005-2006
16,589
10,241
6,203
145
2,302
1,501
773
28
April 1 to May 31, 2006
Source: Legal Services Society
Aboriginal Women
589.
The Government worked closely with Aboriginal leaders and increased the role and
opportunity for Aboriginal people to develop and provide services. There are
25 delegated agencies serving their Aboriginal communities, with others in negotiation.
BC also supports the advancement of Aboriginal women and young women as
community leaders through networking associations, leadership training and small
business development.
Aboriginal women in custody
590.
Aboriginal women are over-represented in BC’s provincial custody centres. While
persons of First Nations descent constitute four percent of the total BC population, in
2005, Aboriginal women accounted for 26.4 percent of the overall female custody
population, a five percent decrease since 2003. Government policy provides for culturally
sensitive programs and services within the community for Aboriginal women offenders.
For example, BC contracts with 20 Aboriginal communities and organizations to deliver
correctional programs, and provides within-custody programs to assist offenders
understand and resolve factors that lead to criminal behaviour, links to community
resources to enhance community support following release, and programs contracted to
Aboriginal service providers.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
591.
In 2005, an evaluation of the Stopping the Violence Counselling program (for women
dealing with current or historical violence) indicated that the program was meeting its
contractual objectives to provide services, regardless of race or religion, and in a manner
that is sensitive to culture. BC has support services for victims of racially motivated
violence against women and girls. In 2005, a significant majority of victim services
clients were women receiving services from 153 separate programs.
592.
BC’s Hate Crime Team ensures the effective identification, investigation and prosecution
of hate motivated crimes. It raises awareness in communities so local agencies can
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effectively respond to hate activity through prevention and appropriate support for
victims. BC sponsors awareness of hate motivated crimes through the Community Forum
on Hate Crime (2005), the Missing Women Task Force, and supports Justice for Girls,
specifically for Aboriginal and other teenage girls who live in poverty.
593.
In 2006, the Government delivered training and public forums on the use of testimonial
aids in court for vulnerable victims and witnesses. A range of educational resources,
training and court supports are being developed. As a result, victims of violence are more
informed of their legal rights.
594.
In 2003, government-sponsored research on factors in the justice system affecting women
victims of violence in relationships led to the development of a tool to empower women
by developing effective safety plans. In 2005-2006, the Community Action for Women’s
Safety program provided over one million dollars in grants to community agencies to
prevent violence against women, concentrated on Aboriginal women (50 percent),
immigrant and visible minority women (20 percent), women with disabilities (four
percent) and older women (3.9 percent). Other violence prevention activities focus on
school districts with high Aboriginal and immigrant/visible minority populations.
Aboriginal women
595.
In addition to initiatives funded under the Community Action for Women’s Safety
program, contributions of $75,000 are made to each of the three on-reserve transition
houses. Transition houses that are not on reserve receive varying amounts of funding
depending on bed size and other factors. All other violence intervention programs, such
as counselling, are available to Aboriginal women.
Funding for women’s crisis centres and shelters
596.
In 2005-2006, with the addition of $12.5 million in new annual funding, the total annual
budget for the Stopping the Violence program was increased to $46.7 million;
$28.6 million of that is provided annually to 63 transition houses, 27 safe homes and nine
second stage housing programs.
597.
All government-funded services are available to all women who need them, including
vulnerable and marginalized groups. All transition houses, safe homes and second stage
facilities funded by the Government must ensure that women in need are aware of, and
know how to access the facilities. Agencies that provide government-funded transition
houses and counselling programs strive to ensure that no systemic barriers exist.
598.
In 2003, the Government consolidated funding for crisis lines into one provincial line
called VictimLINK, a 24/7 crisis support, help and information line for victims of all
crimes including family and sexual violence. VictimLINK ensures women's access to
shelters by transferring calls directly to the shelter or phoning shelters on the victim’s
behalf and notifying the victim that someone is being released from protective custody.
The impacts of consolidation include: more consistent response accessible from
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anywhere in BC; increased referrals to local programs for assistance and support; and the
ability to provide other services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. VictimLINK has
responded to over 41,500 calls for support and referral since 2003.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Trafficking in women and girls
599.
In 2004, provincial and federal governments co-hosted a Roundtable Discussion on
Human Trafficking. In 2005, BC held the Pacific North West Conference on International
Human Trafficking that provided information on pressing issues and explored the
challenges faced by law enforcement in identifying and convicting human traffickers.
The Government is leading a Human Trafficking Response Initiative, in collaboration
with NGO partners, to ensure that networks of services are in place to respond to the
needs of trafficking victims. Numerous meetings have occurred since September 2005 to
gather information about existing services and identify gaps; and key BC ministries have
committed to review policies and regulations that may need to be modified to allow for
service provision to trafficked persons.
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
600.
Extensive community consultations resulted in a recommendation that voluntary
community services be strengthened, instead of amending legislation that would have
enabled involuntary intervention for some sexually exploited youth. As a result, the
following steps were taken:
•
•
•
•
•
•
An additional $2 million was allocated in April 2005 to fund individualized services
for sexually exploited youth.
Youth shelter and safe house bed capacity was enhanced in 2005-2006 by funding
15 additional beds in two communities.
Through the Premier’s Task Force on Homelessness, Mental Health and Addictions,
additional second stage transition housing for youth was implemented, including
funding for an additional 10 youth transition beds in one community and an increased
allocation of $1.5 million for transitional housing in 2007-2008.
An additional $43 million Child and Youth Mental Health funding was implemented
in 2005-2006.
Funding to enhance youth addiction services was increased by $6 million in 20052006, including providing concurrent disorder treatment programs.
In partnership with the Crime Prevention Action Fund of the National Crime
Prevention Centre, the BC Government is implementing a Community Capacity
Building Project fund to increase the capacity of local communities to address the
issue of sexual exploitation.
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Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
601.
Twenty-two percent of BC’s 79 elected Members of the Legislative Assembly are
women, 22 percent of BC’s Cabinet Ministers are women. British Columbia’s Lieutenant
Governor is a woman.
Aboriginal women
602.
In 2004, the BC Treaty Commission (BCTC) produced "Our Sacred Strength" Video and
Facilitation Guide, which highlights 11 Aboriginal women from different regions of BC
and is available from BCTC to assist Aboriginal women with starting their own talking
circles in their communities.
Article 10: Education
Aboriginal women and girls
603.
On July 5, 2006, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of Canada and
the First Nations Education Steering Committee signed an Agreement to enhance First
Nations education in BC. The framework agreement puts into place a process for the
recognition of First Nations’ jurisdiction over First Nations’ education.
604.
The Government provides $950 per self-identified Aboriginal student in supplementary
funding per school year, and facilitates a collaborative partnership through Aboriginal
Enhancements Agreements (EAs) among school districts and all local Aboriginal
communities to enhance Aboriginal students’ educational achievement. In 2004-2005, the
Aboriginal graduation rate rose to 48 percent from 42 percent in 2000.
605.
In 2004-2005, there were over 9,000 Aboriginal women enrolled in BC Colleges and
Institutes compared to approximately 6,000 Aboriginal men. Aboriginal and nonAboriginal women have similar completion and retention outcomes. In 2005, 78 percent
of Aboriginal women completed their program requirements compared to 75 percent of
non-Aboriginal women. The number of credentials earned by Aboriginal women has
increased by approximately nine percent over three years, while non-Aboriginal women
show a decreasing trend of -6.4 percent over the same period.
606.
The Government has initiatives targeted at increasing post-secondary education access,
participation, retention, and completion of Aboriginal learners. In BC, Aboriginal women
are significantly better educated than Aboriginal men.
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% of Population Age 25-64 with a High School Diploma plus a Post Secondary
Credential
Women
Men
North American Indians
32.4
26.7
Métis
41.5
33.6
Non-Aboriginal
55.0
53.8
Source : BC Stats, Earning and Employment Statistics, May 2006.
607.
Statistics indicate that access measures are particularly effective for Aboriginal women.
Government initiatives in this area include:
•
Targeted funding for public post-secondary institutions to establish First Nations
Coordinator positions to support First Nations and Aboriginal student success. In
2006-2007, 26 of the 27 public post-secondary institutions in BC employ Aboriginal
coordinators that serve over 16,000 Aboriginal students, over 50 percent of which are
women.
•
Funding through the Aboriginal Special Projects Fund supports initiatives aimed at
increasing participation and success for Aboriginal post-secondary learners. Since
2001, about $7.8 million has been provided to 150 Aboriginal special projects, from
which more than 3,400 Aboriginal learners have benefited.
•
The Community Adult Literacy Program (CALP) supports community-based
program delivery, regional literacy co-ordination, and province-wide services
provided by Literacy BC. Many of its projects specifically assist Aboriginal women
in the foundational skills necessary to proceed to post-secondary education programs.
•
One CALP project, the Aboriginal Literacy and Parenting Skills program, is an
innovative family literacy program for Aboriginal parents that uses “low-level”
literacy materials to strengthen the literacy and parenting skills of participants and
provides them with strategies to model exemplary literacy practices with their
children.
•
The First Citizens Fund Student Bursary Program provides financial assistance to
Aboriginal students enrolled in post-secondary education programs. It recognizes the
academic achievements of approximately 110 Aboriginal students each year, helping
them gain the education they need for their career choices.
•
The First Citizens Fund Friendship Centre Program supports 24 Friendship Centres to
offset the employment costs of program directors, who provide culturally responsive
programming for Aboriginal people living in urban areas. Between 2000 and 2003,
Program Directors managed 537 programs with 723,019 participants.
•
The BC Loan Reductions program forgave $67.1 million in student loans to about
28,000 students, including 2,600 students with dependants. Although this funding is
not earmarked for women or Aboriginal people, given that many Aboriginal post-
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secondary students are women with children, they would benefit from these
initiatives.
•
In 2005-2006, the adult basic education student assistance program provided
$4.3 million in grants to about 8,000 post-secondary students. As well,
26,846 students were enrolled in adult basic education at BC high schools, which is
tuition-free as part of government’s commitment to literacy. Forty percent of
Aboriginal students enrolled in post-secondary education are in developmental
programs.
•
The Draft Aboriginal Post-Secondary Education Plan/Strategy was developed
following a review of Aboriginal post-secondary education in 2003-2004. The
Strategy proposes a series of action items that will address access, participation,
retention, and completion for all Aboriginal post-secondary education learners.
•
Annual funding is provided to four Aboriginal post-secondary institutions (two public
and two private) that provide a receptive environment where culture is reflected in
curriculum, program delivery, and faculty. Many students are enrolled in upgrading
courses and transfer to larger Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal institutions after
completing access programs. In 2005-2006, approximately 1,050 Aboriginal students
were served through these institutions.
•
A memorandum of understanding among provincial post-secondary institutions, the
federal government and key Aboriginal organizations was signed on March 11, 2005,
to improve access to post-secondary education for Aboriginal learners, including
women, and streamlining the transition of Aboriginal learners from high school to
post-secondary institutions.
Article 11: Employment
608.
There are more women working in BC than ever before and nearly half of the new jobs
created in BC since 2001 have gone to women.
Employment measures
609.
In 2006, BC passed legislation to provide compassionate care leave protection to assist
women in retaining standard employment, since they are often called upon to provide
care for a dying family member.
610.
The BC Government invests more than $70 million a year on a variety of employment
programs to fight poverty and assist employable social assistance recipients to find and
keep good jobs.
611.
The Bridging Employment Program (BEP), introduced in September 2003, assists
survivors of violence and abuse to address employment barriers that prevent them from
leaving social assistance for sustainable employment. BEP has components that address
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the needs of women who receive social assistance and have experienced abuse, with
specific components to address additional barriers such as language, immigration,
culture, and former experience in the sex trade. BEP provides educational assistance,
employment programming, parenting and counselling support, referral to community
agencies and financial assistance; 27 percent of BEP outcomes are employment while six
percent of participants move on to post-secondary studies.
612.
The BC Employment Program, introduced in 2006, provides individualized employment
programs and services to employable social assistance recipients, with special attention to
recipients who have barriers to employment.
613.
The new Community Assistance Program (CAP), introduced in 2006, provides a range of
lifeskill services and supports to social assistance recipients facing multiple barriers.
These services and supports enhance quality of life and help clients participate more fully
in their communities with a combination of employment programming and life skills.
614.
A revised CAP has also been introduced to provide social assistance recipients with the
opportunity to enhance their quality of life and participation in their community by
focusing on community involvement, education and training, volunteer placements and
personal life skills.
615.
The BC Family Bonus program, which includes the basic Family Bonus and the BC
Earned Income Benefit, provides non-taxable monthly payments to help low and modest
income families with the cost of raising children under age 18. The Basic Family Bonus
provides a benefit of up to $111 per child per month when combined with the National
Child Benefit Supplement. Families whose earned income is more that $3,750 per year
may also be entitled to the BC Earned Income Benefit based on the number of children in
the family and the family’s net income. Benefits paid under the BC Family Bonus
program are exempt from consideration as income for social assistance recipients; no
deductions from social assistance result from receipt of these benefits. Availability of
these benefits, outside the welfare system, removes a major disincentive for women to
leave social assistance and enter the workforce.
616.
The province provides targeted employment programming and supports through the
Employment Program for Persons with Disabilities. An individual does not need to be a
recipient of social assistance to access this program .
617.
BC’s Healthy Kids Program provides basic dental treatment and optical care to children
in lower-income families. Children in families receiving any level of Medical Services
Plan premium assistance through BC’s health ministry are eligible for the Program.
Ensuring these benefits are available for social assistance recipients and parents
participating in the labour force eliminates a major disincentive for women to leave social
assistance and enter the workforce.
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618.
BC now has the highest proportion of women in the workforce and highest percentage of
women owning or operating a small business in Canada. The median weekly wage for
women in BC has grown at nearly twice the rate for men.
619.
Women with low earnings may receive a provincial social assistance top-up to bring their
total monthly income up to the legislated social assistance rate.
Aboriginal women
620.
The First Citizens Fund Business Loan Program provides Aboriginal women with the
opportunity to participate in the market economy as business owner/operators. Aboriginal
women's uptake of the program ranges from 30-50 percent in any one year.
621.
The Government encourages the recruitment and retention of Aboriginal citizens in the
provision of child and family services. The devolution of child and family services to
Aboriginal communities, especially with the planned creation of regional Aboriginal
child and family service authorities, is expected to create significant employment
opportunities for Aboriginal people.
Affordable childcare
622.
BC’s Child Care Subsidy Program provides income-tested childcare subsidies to parents.
These subsidies assist women to participate in employment. This program was enriched
in 2005 with an increase to the qualifying income threshold (from $21,000 to $38,000)
and increases to subsidy amounts. In all, 10,000 more children will be eligible for a
subsidy benefit, while an additional 6,000 will receive a substantial rise in their existing
subsidy. The province also provides an exemption for the new federal Childcare Benefit
Allowance for social assistance recipients.
623.
BC’s Supported Child Development program provides consultation and support for
children with special needs under age six, including Aboriginal children, and their
families to participate in regular community childcare settings. In 2005-2006, the
Government increased capacity for the program by funding $10 million to assist in
reducing wait times for services, providing for extra staff, training, support and
consultation to families and child care providers.
Article 12: Health
Access to health care
624.
The BC Women’s Hospital participates in three primary health care reform partnerships
with the Northern, Interior, and Vancouver Coastal Health Authorities to: strengthen
primary health care access for women living in rural communities; and develop
sustainable models of primary maternity care. BC will continue leveraging health
transition funding to help develop primary care capacity in communities across BC. The
three reforms are:
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•
The Teen Health Web site “Strong, Healthy, Empowered” (SHE) is at the planning
stage. It will provide information to help young women make informed, healthy
lifestyle choices, and help them access the health care system.
•
In July 2006, BC introduced a $2.5-million renovation project to increase the number
of single-room care units at BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre from six to
17 units;
•
BC’s share of the Primary Health Care Transition Provincial/Territorial funding,
$74 million over four years (2002-2006), is targeted to: strengthen family practice
and reduce pressure on the acute care system; improve health care delivery and
outcomes for women and children; and provide a wider range of options for patients.
Specific health issues
625.
BC invested $3 million to encourage women to have a screening mammogram every two
years.
626.
In 2005, BC established the Women’s Health Research Institute to promote womencentred research and coordinate efforts to develop women’s health provincial networks.
627.
In October 2004, BC offered Advancing the Health of Girls and Women in British
Columbia: A Provincial Women’s Health Strategy (PWHS), a 10-year collaborative
women-centred approach to address three priority areas: women’s health monitoring;
maternity care; and mental health and addiction. With implementation guided by the
Provincial Women’s Health Network, the strategy intends to advance women’s and girl’s
health, improve the evidence base on their health, and provide gender-sensitive care.
628.
Healthy Choices During Pregnancy (ActNow BC), for both the general population and
women at risk (e.g., of having children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder), focuses
on supporting women to make healthy choices during pregnancy, including encouraging
healthy eating and reducing or stopping smoking and or the use of alcohol.
629.
Government initiatives have shown results:
•
•
•
•
A Statistics Canada report showed that BC women aged 50 to 69 years, self-reported
the third highest rate in Canada of receiving screening mammograms.
Widespread use of Pap tests has decreased cervical cancer, leading to a 75 percent
decline in deaths from this disease.
In 1998-1999, about 84 percent of women aged 20 to 49 had consulted a general
practitioner at least once in the previous year, compared with 66 percent of men the
same age.
BC women are more likely than men to be in the healthy weight category (52 percent
versus 35.6 percent).
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630.
631.
Outside the full spectrum of services that are offered to support the clinical care needs
and vulnerabilities of all people living with HIV/AIDS (which includes women), the
following services are specifically designed to meet the needs of women:
•
Oak Tree Clinic (the Women and Family HIV Centre) provides specialized HIV care
for infected women, pregnant women, partners, children and youth, and support
services for affected families. The clinic offers assistance to women province-wide,
including Aboriginal and marginalized women who are living with HIV/AIDS.
•
The BC Health Services Authority funds the Positive Women's Network, a
community-based organization providing support, advocacy, resources and
connection to women with HIV all over BC. In response to increased demand, the
agency initiated “Women and AIDS Virtual Education (WAVE)”, to integrate HIV
prevention information into the spectrum of care, treatment and support within an
online educational resource for positive women living in isolation. WAVE provides
online information and resources to health care educators and professionals; support
and education to HIV+ women who may not have access to direct support services;
and access to Roundtable Treatment through video clips, treatment decision
information and strategies for living with HIV medications.
•
Research in BC has demonstrated that with appropriate pregnancy care and
antiretroviral therapy in pregnancy, during labour and delivery and post-partum,
perinatal transmission of HIV can be reduced from 25 percent to less than one
percent. Since 1996, when combination antiretroviral therapy was first offered to HIV
positive women in BC, there have been no mother-to-child transmissions among
women who have accessed care.
Between 2004 and 2005: the proportion of new HIV infections among women dropped
from 25 percent to 19 percent (this may indicate a better engagement of women in
prevention efforts); and the number of women enrolled in antiretroviral treatment rose by
6.5 percent.
Aboriginal women
632.
The Government works in partnership with Aboriginal communities, health authorities
and the BC Women’s Hospital and Health Centre to improve the health of BC Aboriginal
women. In partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing Society, the Aboriginal Health
Program has developed an Aboriginal Patients’ Lodge, which opened October 2004.
633.
Several key initiatives improve prevention of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD),
such as the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development programs and Building Blocks
programs. Researchers at the University of BC, University of Victoria, BC Children’s
and BC Women’s Hospitals are working to co-ordinate and expand collaboration on
FASD-related research, through the formation of the FAS Research Network of BC. The
BC Centre of Excellence for Women’s Health has an ongoing program of research
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designed to support policy and practice relating to health improvement on the part of
substance-using mothers.
634.
BC’s Sheway outreach/drop-in program for very high-risk pregnant women and women
with infants who live in or frequent the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver helps women
dealing with alcohol and drug use issues have healthy infants and positive parenting
experiences. The program is very successful: in 2004, 70 percent of the program clientele
were Aboriginal women; and of all participants, 70 percent had babies with healthy birth
weights; and 62 percent of babies were born at term.
635.
The BC Women’s Hospital – Fir Square Program assists substance-using pregnant and
early-postpartum women in achieving an optimum level of pre and postnatal health in
order to minimize the effects of alcohol, drugs, malnutrition and neglect, on women and
their infants. It is also designed to improve both health and social outcomes for infants
exposed to drugs.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Measures to fight poverty
636.
BC increased the Disability Social Assistance Rates for Persons with Disabilities (PWD)
by $70 per month in 2005 and earnings exemptions for PWD income assistance
recipients in 2003 and 2006. In May 2006, approximately 15 percent of PWD cases had
earnings. Clients with persistent multiple barriers to employment also received an
increase to their earnings exemption in 2006 and, in May 2006, approximately seven
percent had earnings. The increases to earnings exemptions mean that eligible clients can
earn more employment income without affecting their monthly social assistance.
637.
The BC School Start-Up Supplement, provided to families on social assistance with
school-age children, was doubled in 2006-2007. This increase is expected to assist over
18,000 families and 29,000 children between the ages of five and 18. In May 2005, the
Natal Allowance provided to social assistance recipients was increased.
638.
Government employment programs combat poverty by helping employable social
assistance recipients find and sustain employment. Since 2001, employment programs
have directly helped almost 48,000 employable clients find jobs at an average wage of
$11 per hour. As indicated in the table below, the number of social assistance cases
including an adult woman decreased 22 percent between January 2003 and May 2006,
and the number of social assistance recipients decreased 31.6 percent.
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BC Social Assistance
Recipients and
Caseload
Case Type
Single women
Couples
Two parent families
Single parent families
headed by a woman
Total cases with an
adult woman
Cases
Recipients
Persons
with
disabilities
(PWD)
Jan-03
May-06
Percentage
Change
Jan-03
May-06
Percentage
Change
PWD
17,299
22,228
28.5%
17,299
22,228
28.5%
non-PWD
16,081
9,500
-40.9%
16,081
9,500
-40.9%
PWD
2,639
2,923
10.8%
5,278
5,846
10.8%
non-PWD
2,667
1,175
-55.9%
5,334
2,350
-55.9%
PWD
1,169
1,288
10.2%
4,521
4,968
9.9%
non-PWD
3,797
1,110
-70.8%
15,653
4,617
-70.5%
PWD
2,542
3,461
36.2%
6,102
8,366
37.1%
non-PWD
20,567
10,376
-49.6%
55,282
27,973
-49.4%
66,761
52,061
-22.0%
125,550
85,848
-31.6%
639.
Overall, there are fewer BC women under the poverty threshold since 2002. The
incidence of women under the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) decreased by 1.4 percentage
points from 2002 to 2004. This trend is expected to continue based on strong economic
growth in BC and lower unemployment rates. This result varies depending on the family
unit or age category. The average unemployment rate for BC women from JanuaryJuly 2006 was 4.9 percent, compared to 7.1 percent in 2004.
640.
BC restored the Seniors’ Supplement in October 2005, a provincial top-up for lowincome senior residents of BC who are receiving federal Old Age Security
(OAS)/Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) payment. This ensures a conditionally
guaranteed minimum income level for low-income seniors in BC.
641.
In November 2005, the Government introduced and clarified exemptions to the threeweek work search requirement for social assistance applicants who: cannot legally work
in Canada; are fleeing an abusive spouse or relative; have a physical or mental condition
that precludes the applicant from completing a search for employment; or have an
immediate need for food, shelter or urgent medical attention. Women applying for social
assistance that have recently separated or fled from an abusive relationship are exempt
from the work search period and the two-year independence test. Applicants who are
pregnant or have dependent children, a foster child or a child in the home of a relative are
also exempted from the two-year independence test.
642.
Social assistance applicants must complete a Web Orientation that gives an overview of
the program and their rights and responsibilities. As of September 2004, it is available in
12 languages in both written and audio format, which provides immigrants with equitable
access.
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643.
The Government funds a variety of programs to address homelessness, mental health and
addictions. Examples from early 2006 include:
•
•
•
•
•
644.
$750,000 for an expanded outreach services project to assist individuals with mental
illness in accessing income, health and housing supports;
$450,000 to the Vivian Transitional Housing Program for women with mental health
and substance abuse disorders in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside;
$400,000 to the Sheway project to provide comprehensive health and social services
to women who are either pregnant or parenting infants and who have current or
previous substance use issues;
$100,000 to expand homeless outreach activities to assist homeless individuals with
mental health and alcohol and drug addiction issues to access income supports;
$150,000 to the Kamloops Integration Project to help individuals with mental health
and drug and alcohol abuse issues re-integrate into the community.
The BC government developed a Guide to Best Practices in Gender Analysis (see also
Appendix 3), which has been issued to all ministries in the government to ensure that
policy development takes into account a gender analysis to evaluate impacts to women.
Good policy development takes into account ‘gender’ at all levels of the process, and this
fact is stressed in the development of policies/programs government wide. Many of the
changes to social programs have evaluated the specific effects to women.
Support programs and services
645.
Through the Minister’s Council on Employment for Persons with Disabilities (Ministry
of Employment and Income Assistance), the Government works in partnership with
persons with disabilities and business, education and community-based organizations to
increase the employment, employability and independence of persons with disabilities.
Workable Solutions, co-sponsored by the Minister’s Council and the BC Human
Resources Management Association, connects BC employers to persons with disabilities
by providing valuable employment resources, including a Web site
(http://www.workablesolutionsbc.ca/), an employer’s toolkit, a corporate video and a
research report.
646.
The annual budget for the Community Volunteer Supplement (CVS) was increased by
$3 million as of April 1, 2006. The CVS is a monthly payment of up to $100 to assist
eligible social assistance recipients with expenses related to volunteering with a nonprofit organization in their community. The new money will allow 2,500 more social
assistance recipients to receive the CVS.
647.
The Disability Supports for Employment Fund increased to $25 million in 2006. The
Fund disburses grants to non-profit, registered charitable community and post-secondary
institutions to provide employment supports for people with disabilities in the workplace.
648.
In May 2006, the Government introduced a new business process to assist Persons with
Disabilities social assistance recipients to apply for Canada Pension Plan Disability
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(CPPD) benefits to which they may be entitled. The province will continue to top-up
CPPD benefits to ensure that an individual’s overall net income is at least equivalent to
the provincial social assistance rate. Receiving CPPD will result in an individual
receiving a higher Canada Pension Plan retirement pension at age 65 than a person who
only receives provincial social assistance.
Women’s access to housing
649.
New BC policies being developed for social housing will give priority to women and
their families who are fleeing domestic violence, as one of the groups in greatest need.
There is a high proportion of women in BC's social housing portfolio, including a
majority of single-parent households, and in senior households receiving rent subsidies.
Planning initiatives to address homelessness have included focused analyses on the
particular needs of women, and women-specific projects have been constructed.
Article 14: Rural Women
650.
Since 2003, BC has introduced and improved alternative service delivery models for
social assistance in rural areas (e.g., telephone service and on-line service) to provide
equal access to social assistance where offices may not be available. The BC
Employment Program for social assistance recipients is designed to support individual
client needs, whether in an urban or rural setting.
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Part IV
Measures Adopted by the
Governments of the
Territories
Canada’s Sixth and Seventh Reports on the United Nations’
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Nunavut
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
651.
The Legal Services Board of Nunavut began operating on July 1, 2000. Prior to that
date, a joint Board of Directors made up of members of both the Northwest Territories
and Nunavut administered the delivery of legal services.
652.
The Nunavut Legal Services Board receives 85 percent of its funding from the
Government of Nunavut and 15 percent from the Government of Canada. The Board
provides legal services, education and information for the people of Nunavut and
distributes funding to three legal aid regional centers throughout the Territory. These
centers provide assistance to all Nunavummuit within the legal system and work closely
with Inuit court workers who provide education and information on a regular basis.
653.
The majority of clients of the Family Law Clinics, established in 2000, are women. In
2005-2006, a poverty law clinic was established as a pilot project. Permanently staffed
since October 2006,the Poverty Law Clinic provides legal aid to individuals in nonfamily civil matters impacting their livelihood, physical or mental health, or ability to
provide food, clothing, and shelter for themselves or their families. The primary areas of
service:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Social Assistance
Canada Pension Plan – Old Age Security
Canada Pension Plan – Disability
Disability
Employment Insurance
Landlord/Tenant
Creditor/Debtor
Immigration and refugee services
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
654.
Nunavut’s Human Rights Act came into effect in November 2004. The Act prohibits
discrimination on numerous grounds, including sex, marital status, family status, and
pregnancy. Additional information on the Act can be found in Canada’s Fifth Report on
the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
(http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/pdp-hrp/docs/fifth_iccpr/tdm_e.cfm).
655.
The Human Rights Tribunal began operating shortly after the Human Rights Act came
into force and began receiving complaints in 2006. Since March 31, 2006, five
complaints related to gender were filed with the Tribunal.
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Aboriginal women
656.
Akitsiraq Law School is an accredited law school (L.L.B) program operated in
partnership between the Akitsiraq Law School Society, University of Victoria Faculty of
Law, and Nunavut Arctic College. The Government of Nunavut, Justice Canada, the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and three regional Inuit associations provide
sponsorship support to students during the course of their education. Akitsiraq Law
School, the first Canadian Aboriginal law school based outside a major university
focusing on the educational needs of Inuit in Nunavut, opened its doors in September
2001 with 15 Inuit students enrolled. At the end of 2004-2005, 11 students remained in
the program. These 11 students, 10 of whom were women, graduated in June 2005 and
are now completing their articling with various program sponsors and some have become
lawyers.
Aboriginal women in custody
657.
Although very few women are incarcerated in Nunavut, the Baffin Correctional Centre in
Iqaluit operates a female unit separate from the main institution but on the same grounds.
The unit is staffed by female officers although male officers assist with supervision as
required. Female offenders who do not match the criteria of the female unit at Baffin
Correction Centre are transferred to institutions in Ontario and the Northwest Territories
with whom there are agreements in place.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
658.
The Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council was established under the Status of
Women Council Act of April 1, 1999, to advance the goal of equal participation of
women in society and promote changes in social, legal and economic structures to that
end. The objectives of the Council are:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Nunavut
to develop public awareness of issues affecting the status of women;
to promote a change in attitudes within the community in order that women may
enjoy equality of opportunity;
to encourage discussion and expression of opinion by residents of Nunavut on issues
affecting the status of women;
to advice the Minister on issues that the Minister may refer to the Council for
consideration;
to review policies and legislation affecting women and to report its finding to the
relevant government departments or agencies;
to provide assistance to the Minister in promoting changes to ensure the attainment of
equality of women; and
to provide the appropriate assistance to organizations and groups whose objectives
promote the equality of women.
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Violence against women and girls
659.
According to Statistics Canada’s report Measuring Violence Against Women: Statistical
Trends 2006, women in Canada’s three northern territories, including Nunavut, report
higher rates of spousal violence than those living in the provinces. Police statistics also
indicate that women in the territories also experience higher levels of sexual assault and
homicide.
Selected Criminal Code offences, Canada and Nunavut, 2005
Canada
Nunavut
Rate per 100,000 population
Crimes of violence
942.9
7,041.9
Homicide
2.0
6.7
Attempted murder
2.4
16.7
1
Assaults (level 1 to 3)
727.4
5,974.9
Sexual Assault
72.2
796.9
Other sexual offences
8.5
26.7
Robbery
88.8
20.0
Other crimes of violence2
41.5
200.1
1. “Assault level 1” is the first level of assault. It constitutes the intentional application
of force without consent, the attempt or threat to apply force to another person, or
openly wearing a weapon (or an imitation) while accosting or impeding another person.
2. Includes unlawfully causing bodily harm, discharging firearms with intent,
abductions, assaults against police officers, assaults against other peace or public
officers and other assaults.
Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM, table 252-0013.
Aboriginal women
660.
The Family Abuse Intervention Act, S.Nu.5.2006, c.18, was introduced in 2005 and
subsequently passed by the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut. The Act provides for
emergency protection, community intervention, assistance and compensation orders,
which would be available to anyone in a spousal, intimate, family or care relationship, as
well as victims of stalking. The Government will provide training and educational
programs on the Act throughout the territory. This law will come into force in 2007.
661.
The Government adheres to the principle of Inuuqatigiitsiarniq by identifying the need
for healthy communities by closely involving community members in the administration
of justice, providing support to families who are going through difficult times, providing
conflict resolution opportunities and the development of culturally relevant programs for
offenders.
662.
Through inter-governmental working groups and agencies, the Government contributes to
fulfilling the Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit principles, partnering with communities, listening
to the people, and consulting with Tuttarviit, the Government’s Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit
working group.
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Shelters for victims of violence
663.
Qimaavik is the only transition house in Nunavut and employs three full-time and three
part-time workers. The Government of Nunavut provides funding for the Nunavut
Transition Home as follows: $632,000 in 2003-2004; $677,000 in 2005-2006; and
$770,000 in 2006-2007. There are safe homes designated in all 25 other communities of
Nunavut.
664.
According to Statistics Canada, shelter use in Nunavut rose 54 percent between 2001 and
2004, compared to 4.6 percent in the rest of Canada. This increase use was due to
increased awareness.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
665.
Of the 18 members of the Nunavut Legislative Assembly, two (11 percent) are women.
The Member of Parliament in Nunavut is a woman.
666.
Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women Council participated in the Federal of Canadian
Municipalies project Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Consultation
Processes. Multiple methods, including focus groups and key informant interviews, were
employed to learn from Inuit women in particular what barriers they face to participating
in the municipal process. Barriers identified included racism, sexism, self-esteem,
knowledge, language and childcare. The project report recommends that information
from local government be disseminated to women and that a local Inuk women or women
facilitate further action.
Aboriginal women
667.
There is no data available on the number of women participating in negotiations of land
claims agreements. However, it appears that very few women have taken an active role
over a sustained period of time for the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
668.
Women make up 73 percent of the Government of Nunavut workforce and 48 percent of
the Nunavut population. Forty-six percent of Government of Nunavut staff are Inuit.
669.
Since 2004, the Government has encouraged the promotion of flexible working
arrangements as one way to help its employees establish a good work-life balance.
Affordable childcare
670.
The Early Childhood Program encourages the development of early childhood programs
and licensed childcare facilities. It provides start-up and annual operating funding to
Nunavut
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eligible non-profit licensed childcare facilities and family day homes. There are
47 licensed programs in 23 communities. These licensed facilities include daycares,
preschools, Head Start Programs and after school programs.
671.
All licensed childcare facilities in Nunavut must follow the Child Day Care Act and
Regulations.
672.
As signatories to the September 2000 First Ministers’ Communiqué on Early Childhood
Development and the 2003 Early Learning and Child Care Agreement, the Government
of Nunavut is committed to the development of an early childhood system grounded in
the growing body of knowledge on the importance of the early years.
Pay equity
673.
In 2004, the Government of Nunavut came to a final settlement on employment equity
based on the decision Northwest Territories v. Public Service Alliance of Canada (T.D.),
[1996] 3 F.C. 182, 1996 CanLII 4055 (F.C.). Following partition of Nunavut in
April 1999, employees (resident of Nunavut) of the Government of the Northwest
Territories were transferred to the new Government of Nunavut. All collective
agreements were transferred also, including the dispute on pay equity.
674.
The equal pay settlement reached in 2002 outlined a three-year process to identify
eligible employees, verify service, process payments and review disputed services.
675.
As of December 31, 2004, the Government of the Northwest Territories had transacted in
excess of 10,000 regular, casual, and excluded payments totaling approximately
$49 million dollars. There are no figures for the exact amount the Government of
Nunavut employees received from this settlement. The Government of Nunavut is
drafting a new Public Services Act to support this decision that will include pay equity
provisions.
Article 12: Health
676.
Research shows that the overall health and life expectancy of Inuit is lower than the rest
of Canada. Changes in traditional diets and housing shortages have contributed to health
problems and mental health issues, including increased rates of depression, seasonal
affective disorder, anxiety and suicide.
677.
In 2004, the Government of Nunavut embarked on the Health Integration Initiative (HII)
which involved the Department of Health and Social Services, Nunavut Tunngavik
Incorporated and Health Canada’s Northern Secretariat working in partnership to develop
an action plan focusing on increased integration of federal and territorial health
promotion and illness prevention programs in the areas of maternal and child health,
mental health and addictions treatment and oral health.
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678.
In 2004, the Government of Nunavut adopted a Community-Wellness Strategy, designed
to increase integration, both at the community level and between federal and territorial
initiatives. Overall, community-wellness comes from a population health approach that
considers all facets of community life. As such, the Strategy is meant to bring
communities together by taking an inclusive, interrelated approach to health, education,
justice, recreation and employment. To effectively develop integrated community plans,
gaps have been identified that, if addressed, will support the Community-Centered
Strategy.
Aboriginal women
679.
In addition to the measures described above, the Government continues to work with
Inuit women in supporting and facilitating initiatives that enhance their health and wellbeing.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Women’s access to housing
680.
Situated in a remote, Arctic environment, Nunavut faces particular challenges with
regarding to housing. Absolute homelessness per force does not exist in the territory.
Instead, Nunavut’s “hidden homeless” sleep in shifts within already overcrowded homes,
homes that average less than 1,000 square feet in size and that offer living space cramped
by potable water tanks, washers/dryers, furnaces and hot water makers.
681.
Overcrowding – defined within the 2001 Aboriginal Peoples Survey as more than one
person per room – affects every community in Nunavut with very significant
consequences. A detailed Environmental Scan of the housing situation in Nunavut
illustrates how various elements combine to create the current housing shortage in the
territory: the level of overcrowding in Nunavut is twice the national average.
682.
According to Statistics Canada, 54 percent of Nunavut residents live in “crowded”
conditions. Over half of Nunavut’s Inuit - 14,225 – live in public housing, with
1,000 families on the waiting list. The shortage of housing greatly affects women in
Nunavut. Owing to the high cost of construction materials, housing is expensive
(construction costs per square foot are roughly three times the Canadian average) and in
short supply. Living quarters are cramped: while the average number of occupants in the
average Canadian dwelling is 2.39, in Nunavut it is 3.27, and in some communities much
higher still.
683.
The Government of Nunavut has developed a Ten-Year Inuit Housing Action Plan, that
proposes a partnership between federal, territorial and Inuit stakeholders to address the
housing need in Nunavut, through the construction of new social housing and additions
and/or renovations of existing units. In July 2006, the Government announced a
$200 million Northern Housing Trust, under which approximately 725 new housing units
will be built in communities across Nunavut over a three-year period.
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Northwest Territories
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
684.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is developing a plain language
Family Law Manual to assist individuals and community helpers in understanding a
person’s rights and responsibilities under Northwest Territories (NWT) Family Law.
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
685.
The NWT Human Rights Act came into effect on July 1, 2004. From that date to May 31,
2006, 17 percent (or 14/84) of the complaints received have been gender related.
Aboriginal women
686.
While Aboriginal women represent approximately 50 percent of the NWT female
population, on average, 90 percent of residents in the female facilities (adult and young
offender) are Aboriginal. Programs offered to female offenders address education,
traditional values, self esteem, cognitive thinking, parenting, addictions and community
reintegration.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
687.
Given the small population in the NWT, GNWT resources are available to all women's
groups and individuals regardless of race. Because many Aboriginal women are at high
risk for victimization, some of the programs and victim assistance projects mainly serve
Aboriginal women and girls. During this reporting period, the majority of clients
accessing community based victim services were Aboriginal women who were victims of
violence. 2005-2006 was the fourth consecutive year that showed an increase in the
number of these clients impacted by partner assault.
688.
A Coalition Against Family Violence, which includes the GNWT and non-government
agencies, developed the Northwest Territories Action Plan on Family Violence in 2003.
The GNWT developed a response to the Action Plan in 2004. This plan contains
72 actions in the following eight categories: policy and legislation, working together,
capacity building, training, prevention, education and awareness, services and
monitoring, evaluation and accountability. Each action was intended to build partnerships
and improve the Government’s response to families affected by family violence in the
NWT. A Phase II Action Plan is being developed to build on the successes of the first
action plan.
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689.
On April 1, 2005, the NWT Protection Against Family Violence Act came into force.
This legislation provides emergency protection to victims of family violence. Use of the
legislation has been higher per capita than other Canadian jurisdictions with similar
legislation. A significant majority of applicants are Aboriginal women.
690.
In 2006, the Department of Justice, in collaboration with the Coalition Against Family
Violence, traveled to 13 northern communities to facilitate one-day workshops on
community response to family violence.
691.
The Yellowknife Response to Family Violence Protocol is in the final stages of
development. Interested NWT communities will begin piloting similar protocol
development processes.
692.
In 2005-2006, the Government of the Northwest Territories produced a series of victims
of crime brochures as well as multi-media public education materials that explain the new
choices available under the Protection Against Family Violence Act. These materials are
available in all 11 NWT official languages (English, French and nine Aboriginal
languages).
693.
The Yellowknife-based YWCA Children Who Witness Abuse Program has expanded by
providing outreach to other small NWT communities, as requested and as funds permit.
694.
The GNWT supports prevention activities during Family Violence Awareness Week and
the Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Shelters for victims of violence
695.
In October 2005, the GNWT committed an additional $100,000 a year to the five family
violence shelters (collectively) for five years. These shelters serve 33 communities that
are isolated and spread over a large geographic area. Transportation to the shelters can be
delayed and difficult to obtain. Although there are 11 official languages recognized in the
NWT, services in shelters tend to be available in one to two languages, including English
(typically) and the Aboriginal language most spoken in the community.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
Sexual exploitation of children and youth
696.
On December 15, 2004, the Sex Offender Information Registration Act came into force in
Canada. The purpose of this Act is to help police services investigate crimes of a sexual
nature by requiring the registration of information relating to sex offenders. The GNWT
worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to implement the registry in the NWT.
The registration of sex offenders will help to protect NWT women and children by
providing information on the location of sex-offenders.
Northwest Territories
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Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
697.
Eleven percent of the members in the territorial Legislative Assembly are women. Of
this total, none hold Ministerial portfolios.
698.
Over this reporting period, the number of women in senior management in the NWT
public service increased slightly from 31 percent to 32 percent. The Affirmative Action
Policy has been in place in the NWT since 1989. Through the policy, the GNWT gives
preference in hiring and developing eligible members of designated target groups.
Northern women are a target group for positions in non-traditional and senior
management occupations.
699.
The GNWT has a Management Assignment Program to develop leadership and
management skills within the public service. Many employees who take advantage of the
program are women. For example, over the reporting period, 50 percent of the
participants were women. Twenty-seven (27) percent of these women have gone on to
accept senior management positions within the government.
700.
The GNWT supported the Status of Women Council in the development and delivery of
Women’s Voices in Leadership workshops. From 2003 to 2005, 121 women from across
the NWT participated in these workshops. A resource binder is also available.
701.
There are a total of 47 women participating in the negotiation of land claims agreements.
Article 10: Education
702.
The Government is committed to providing equitable educational opportunities for all
students. Under the NWT Education Act, every student is entitled to have access to the
education program in a regular instructional setting. The Ministerial Inclusive Schooling
Directive outlining this requirement is founded on the guiding principle of equal access to
education. This requirement for educational equity is also reflected in how we fund
schools.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
703.
The Status of Women Council of the NWT and its partners have received funding under
the Government of Canada’s Pan Canadian Innovations Initiative for a three year
research project in supporting women in trades training for the mining and oil and gas
sectors. The project will look at career counseling, supports, training and aftercare,
explore the success factors for women in non-traditional occupations. The GNWT is a
contributing partner.
704.
In 2006-2007, the GNWT provided funding to the NWT Federation of Labour to host
presentations in Yellowknife and Fort Smith by the leader and founder of Women in
Northwest Territories
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Trades and Technology. These sessions raised awareness and facilitated discussion
among stakeholders.
705.
The GNWT continues to promote the participation of women in various occupations:
•
•
•
•
In 2006-2007, funding was provided to the Status of Women Council for marketing
and promotion activities targeting women in trades.
A Deal Yourself In public awareness campaign was developed to actively promote
women in the trades.
Skills Canada-NWT promotes careers in the skilled trades to youth through
sponsoring of skills clubs, skills competitions and young women/young men
conferences.
The Apprenticeship and Occupational Certification Program is being reviewed
through a program audit, literature/best practice review and stakeholder consultation
to determine key success factors and areas for improvement.
706.
The GNWT negotiates with industry proponents of major resource development projects
for commitments in socio-economic agreements to recruit, train, employ and advance
women in all occupations on the projects.
707.
A government-wide initiative is underway to review and reform income security
programs to better meet the needs of all NWT citizens.
Article 12: Health
708.
The Midwifery Profession Act came into force January 2005 and licenses midwives.
Future plans may expand access to midwives’ services.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Women’s access to housing
709.
The Point Rating System used by the NWT Housing Corporation prioritizes applicants
for social housing and now recognizes 25 extra points for victims of family violence.
Though the policy does not specifically target women, the majority of victims of family
violence are women.
710.
The NWT Housing Corporation has approved a change in policy that allows the Local
Housing Organization to consider applications for social housing to be in good standing
even if the applicant has previous tenant arrears with the organization. This flexibility
allows the Local Housing Organization to work in the best interest of the applicant,
allowing greater access to public housing.
Northwest Territories
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Yukon
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Legal aid
711.
To address unmet needs in areas of poverty law, Yukon Legal Services Society (Legal
Aid) introduced the Neighbourhood Law Centre in July 2004 as an Investment in Legal
Aid Renewal Fund innovation. The Centre is a community clinic, providing legal aid to
individuals in non-family civil matters impacting their livelihood, physical or mental
health, or ability to provide food, clothing, and shelter for themselves or their families.
712.
Since its inception, the following matters have remained the Centre’s primary areas of
service:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
713.
Social Assistance
Canada Pension Plan – Old Age Security
Canada Pension Plan – Disability
Disability
Employment Insurance
Landlord/Tenant
Creditor/Debtor
Immigration and refugee services
The Centre is not specifically geared towards women but the majority of its clients are
women. In the two years of operation of the Centre, a total of 155 women accessed its
services. Data is not available on the number of women accessing legal aid in criminal
matters
Complaints of gender-related discrimination
714.
Since 2003, there have been 24 complaints related to sex discrimination. The annual
breakdown is as follows: three in 2002-2003; five in 2003-2004; seven in 2004-2005; and
eight in 2005-2006.
Aboriginal Women
715.
The Yukon Human Rights Commission presented a session on harassment to the Yukon
Aboriginal Women’s Circle conference. The commission works with women’s
organizations within the Yukon including the Aboriginal Women’s Circle and the Yukon
Status of Women.
716.
Due to limited resources, the Commission has not been able to develop specific programs
for Aboriginal women. It relies on direct requests from community groups and assists as
Yukon
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it is best able. The Commission notes that its general public awareness campaigns on
human rights seem to be successful as they are resulting in more requests for information
from rural communities and Aboriginal people.
717.
The Government sponsored a two-day workshop hosted by the Whitehorse Aboriginal
Women’s Circle, which brought together First Nation women from across the territory to
empower Aboriginal women in becoming advocates against violence in their community;
to develop and practice facilitation and group leadership; to develop capacity and support
networks in their respective community; to foster an understanding of national issues
surrounding violence and to advocate towards “no tolerance.”
718.
The Government also increased the budget of the Women’s Directorate by $47,000 in its
2003-2004 Budget to increase “women’s programming”. The Government dedicated the
majority of this money in 2004-2005 to the development of a self-advocacy training
course (the rest was dedicated to women and the trades). The Government provided a
Contribution Agreement for $40,000 to Yukon Learn and the Yukon Public Legal
Education Association to administer the program. Facilitators (lawyers and women’s
advocates) have combined experiences and backgrounds in women’s equality issues,
advocacy, human rights and legal education.
Aboriginal women in custody
719.
Aboriginal women in the Yukon are over-represented in the Whitehorse Correctional
Centre. In 2005-2006, there were 67 admissions of females to the Whitehorse
Correctional Centre. Of these, 53 were Aboriginal (79 percent). Twenty-three percent of
Yukon women are Aboriginal.
720.
Measures being taken to address the situation include: in general, the Courts try to avoid
the use of incarceration if at all possible; hiring a special First Nations Counsellor to
work with the women at the Whitehorse Correctional Centre; a Spousal Abuse
Counsellor from the Victim Services, Family Violence Prevention Unit that visits the
Whitehorse Correctional Centre regularly to provide individual counselling to inmates.
Additional measures are planned in the Corrections Implementation Plan 2006, such as a
special unit and special services designed for and likely delivered by women.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women and girls
721.
Accurate data, broken down by sex, is crucial to the ongoing monitoring of the
prevalence and severity of violence against women. There are high rates of violence
against women in the Yukon, yet due to their small population, it is often difficult to get
an accurate statistical picture.
722.
The Government is facilitating discussion between the Yukon Bureau of Statistics,
transition homes, women’s organizations, and victim services to determine the most
Yukon
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accurate and accessible statistics on violence against women in the Yukon. Concerns
about availability, consistency, use when analyzing key success factors and accuracy of
statistics will be addressed.
723.
At the Yukon’s request, a specific section addressing the situation of women in the North
was included in the statistical update entitled Measuring Violence Against Women:
Statistical Trends 2006 (see Introduction to the present report). This section is an
important addition to the understanding of the impacts of programming and policy
development.
724.
The Violence Against Women Statistics Committee, facilitated by the Government’s
Women’s Directorate, is continuing to discuss statistics that are available, as well as data
gaps.
725.
A Client Satisfaction Survey on the Yukon’s Victim Services was completed in 2006 and
indicated that there was an overall satisfaction with the services offered to victims of
violence (8-9 on a scale of 1-10). There was, however, concern that victims in the smaller
Yukon communities did not have sufficient access to counselors.
726.
The Yukon’s Domestic Violence Treatment Option court was evaluated in 2005 and
concluded that the court system and the Spousal Abuse Program together were very
effective in preventing re-assaults.
727.
The Equality Bulletin of the A Cappella North II project highlighted the need to address
discrimination among youth, particularly racism and homophobia. The Government is
addressing the issue of discrimination through the development of a bullying policy and
safe schools initiative.
728.
The Yukon Government has in place, for its employees, a Corporate Health and Safety
policy and a Workplace Harrassment policy.
729.
The Women’s Directorate and the Department of Justice are co-facilitating a working
group to develop a long-term public education campaign on the prevention of violence
against women and children. This three-year campaign began with a poster campaign in
November 2005 and was followed by training and workshops in years two and three. As
part of the campaign, the Government worked with youth to develop a photojournalism
exhibit focused on prevention of sexualized violence and promotion of healthy
relationships.
Aboriginal women
730.
Yukon
An Aboriginal Women’ Forum on Violence was hosted on February 20, 2004, in
collaboration with the Yukon Aboriginal Women’s Council’s Annual General Meeting.
Approximately 36 Aboriginal women attended the forum. The purpose was to seek
advice on what women need to address violence in their communities. At the forum,
women discussed the need for several things including education materials on violence,
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long, term support and resources to address violence, and treatment for addictions in the
Yukon
731.
The Yukon Government Women’s Directorate sent a five-person delegation to attend a
national Policy Forum on Aboriginal Women and Violence. The objectives of the Policy
Forum include:
•
•
•
•
•
analysis on policy or legislative issues that are creating barriers to Aboriginal
Women’s equality;
raising awareness;
providing recommendations as to how legislation, policies and programs could be
improved;
sharing best practices on policy and programs that show measurable results;
fulfilling Canada’s commitments under the Convention of the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women.
732.
In May 2005, the Government appointed a First Nation woman as the First Nation
Liaison Coordinator. Among other things, this position is responsible for co-facilitating
the development of a long-term public education campaign on the prevention of violence
against women and children, as well as working with First Nation women on relevant
government policies and programs.
733.
In 2004, the Government initiated an annual fund dedicated to prevention of violence
against Aboriginal women in the amount of $100,000 per year. The Women’s Directorate
sought advice from Aboriginal women on how to use these funds through a Violence
Prevention Forum. Projects funded under this program are initiated by Aboriginal women
to address violence in their communities.
Shelters for victims of violence
734.
Funding for the Yukon Women’s Transition Home is as follows: $632,000 in 2003-2004;
$677,000 in 2005-2006; and $770,000 in 2006-2007.
735.
Yukon shelters are open to both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women. Remaining
challenges in ensuring access to shelters include access and/or transportation to shelters
from remote communities, as well as safety, confidentiality and stigma in small
communities.
Article 7: Women in Politics and Public Life
736.
Of the 18 members of the Yukon Legislative Assembly, three (17 percent) are women.
737.
The Government is sponsoring an initiative to encourage women to run in territorial and
municipal elections.
Yukon
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738.
Nominations — the entry point to politics — are the biggest barrier to women’s
participation in politics. Once nominated in winnable ridings, female candidates are just
as likely to succeed as male candidates.
Aboriginal women
739.
There is no data available on the number of women participating in negotiations of land
claims agreements. However, it appears that very few women have taken an active role
over a sustained period of time. Many First Nations had women – either beneficiaries or
women from other Yukon First Nations – working on their behalf, but in most cases those
women were not there for long. In some communities women were very active on selfgovernment, in negotiations and in caucus although they were not the primary
negotiators.
740.
In response to community women, the Government contracted Legend Seekers to
develop and offer a course focusing on women’s roles (historically and currently) in the
land claims negotiation process and self-governance implementation. The Government
will continue to pursue ways to provide continued support to these programs to
encourage Aboriginal women to participate in First Nations governance processes.
741.
The Government also worked with Aboriginal women’s organizations to host the
Aboriginal Women and Self-Governance Policy Forum (December 17, 2004), a forum on
women, leadership and self-governance. Thirty-five Aboriginal women met to dialogue
on social priorities within their communities. The objective of the forum was to provide
an opportunity for education and awareness about Aboriginal women in leadership and
provide an opportunity for Aboriginal women to come together to develop a “shared
vision” on how best to proceed in the areas of leadership and self-governance. This
“shared vision” will help to form a framework that clearly outlines the social and
economic policy issues that impact women’s lives and strategies and processes for
meaningful participation in governance legislation and/or programming.
Article 11: Employment
Employment measures
742.
Women make up 63 percent of the Government of Yukon workforce and 49.8 percent of
the Yukon population.
743.
The Government of Yukon has not identified any specific barriers to women entering
standard employment within its workforce. Both men and women are employed in casual,
temporary, on-call, seasonal and part-time positions. Men make up a greater percentage
of the seasonal workforce, women make up a greater percentage of part-time, on-call and
temporary positions.
744.
Since 2004, the Government has encouraged the promotion of flexible working
arrangements as one way to help its employees establish a good work-life balance.
Yukon
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Aboriginal women
745.
Eleven out of 14 Yukon First Nations now have self-government agreements that provide
First Nations with the authority and responsibility for their citizens, economic
development, etc.
Affordable childcare
746.
A Four-Year Plan for Yukon Early Childhood Education and Care was developed in
2003.
747.
The Government of Yukon increased funding to child care initiatives (e.g. over
30 percent increase – an additional $675,000 - to the Direct Operating Grant, funding for
a public education campaign, and additional funding for the Supported Child Care
budget)
Article 12: Health
Specific health issues
748.
The Yukon Women’s Directorate hosted a women’s health forum in 2006. Topics
discussed included emotional and mental well-being, sexuality and sexual health, women
and addictions, and women and aging. The objectives were to:
•
•
•
•
promote self-care so individuals and communities can reduce the need for medical
dependency and increase the awareness and understanding of how women’s bodies
are often medicalized;
provide practical material and health information for women to take back and share
with their communities;
influence pivotal players by increasing their understanding of women’s needs and
encourage a woman-centered approach that revitalizes the health environment for
women;
ensure participants leave the forum feeling better than when they arrived by
incorporating a daily “self-care” component.
749.
A medical panel invited delegates to dialogue through a moderated question and answer
session and a World Café was designed to address emerging health policy issues and the
concept of a “women-centered approach to health”.
750.
The Government of Yukon organized a drug summit in June 2005, to seek input into the
development of an action plan. The action plan was completed in 2006 and
implementation continues.
751.
A targeted review of the draft action plan was undertaken with stakeholders, including
service providers, youth and women’s organizations, community groups and the
Yukon
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substance abuse advisory committee, on the proposed initiatives within the plan. One of
the key issues identified was the need to enhance services rather than develop new
programs. The Government has highlighted the relationship between women’s
experiences of violence and trauma and substance abuse. Another issue is pregnancy and
the use of alcohol, which contributes to an increased risk of a child being born with Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.
Aboriginal women
752.
In addition to the measures described above, the Government continues to work with
Aboriginal women in supporting and facilitating initiatives that enhance the well being of
First Nations women.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
Support programs and services
753.
Allowance for social assistance recipients with disabilities was increased from $125 per
month to $250 per month in 2005.
754.
In 2005, the Government enacted the Decision-Making, Support and Protection to Adults
Act, which provides more legal tools to assist adults with decision-making and provides a
mechanism for responding to allegations of abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults.
755.
The Workforce Diversity Employment Office was created in 2004 in part to help people
with disabilities get and keep jobs within the Yukon public service. A total of 22 people,
including 12 women, have been hired since the Office opened.
Women’s access to housing
756.
Yukon
In 2004, the evaluation of the Yukon Housing Corporation’s Social Housing Program
was completed and the consultants recommended that, due to an aging population and
housing stock, the Corporation should better target the allocation of units. The issue of
priority assessment based on sex was not identified. However, as an outcome of the
evaluation, the Board of Directors made changes to eligibility criteria so that victims of
violence/abuse receive priority consideration for social housing. In addition, in 2004, the
Corporation eliminated the practice of considering child support payments as part of the
rent assessment determination.
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Appendix 1 – Public Consultations
Federal, provincial and territorial governments routinely consult members of the public on
policies and initiatives that relate to the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women. The following are examples of consultations
conducted during the period of the present report. This list is not exhaustive.
Policy/initiative/issue
Government of Canada
Review of the Live-in
Caregiver Program
(LCP)
Immigration issues
Date
Refugee – Resettlement
May 2004 –
May 2006
Safe Third Country
Agreement
2004-2006
Peacebuilding and
human security
Since 1997
International
engagement in human
rights
Annually
January 2005
March 2006
Appendix 1 – Public Consultations
Nature of consultations
A two-day National Roundtable gave stakeholders
and NGOs a forum to express opinions, share
concerns and discuss options to improve the LCP.
A two-day national roundtable on the humanitarian
and compassionate policy was organized, as part of
a wider policy review. Participants included NGOs,
counsel groups, academia and provincial
government representatives. Gender-based analysis
considerations were included within the
consultative process.
Consultations/meetings with various NGOs and
stakeholders on:
- a review and gender-based analysis of
group processing of refugees from
Myanmar, including consultations with
UNHCR and Service Provider
Organizations;
- refugee protection issues, including
violence against women with the Canadian
Council for Refugees (CCR)
- discussions on Assistance to Women at
Risk with CCR
Numerous consultations with NGOs prior to and
post implementation of the Agreement, including
Amnesty International and the Canadian Council
for Refugees
Annual consultations with NGOs and academics to
discuss current and emerging issues. All sessions
have either included a specific session on gender
equality or ensured that gender was mainstreamed
throughout the presentations and discussions, for
example, discussions of “Gender, Peace and
Security” in May 2006.
Designed to inform Canadian policy for UN
Commission on Human Rights/Human Rights
Council, NGOs have opportunity to provide views
on key issues, including the elimination of violence
against women.
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Gender equality in
Canadian development
assistance
October 2005
Roundtable on Gender Equality convened experts
to discuss how the Canadian International
Development Agency could best move forward in
achieving gender-equality results. Participants
included domestic and international NGOs,
representatives from international fora.
Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
Poverty Reduction
June-October
Twenty-two workshops sessions with organizations
Strategy
2005
that focus on poverty, community-based groups,
business and labour were held. Six focus groups
were held with individuals living in poverty,
including youth at risk, women who have used
transition house services, women’s center clients,
Income Support clients and persons with
disabilities. Consultations also included a toll-free
phone line and Email address. Groups also
provided written submissions.
Immigration strategy
October 2005
Stakeholder consultations were held on the
proposed immigration strategy, including one
session on women’s issues.
Social assistance
2003
Fifty focus groups and consultations were held with
key stakeholders and persons in receipt of Income
Support. Consultation resulted in the proclamation
of a new Income and Employment Support Act in
November 2004.
Aboriginal Women’s
March 2006
Conference gave Aboriginal women an opportunity
Conference
to meet, discuss issues of importance to them and
provide the Government with feedback.
Violence Prevention
2004 and 2006 A Provincial Forum was held in 2004 and included
Initiative
government representatives, Aboriginal community
representatives, advocacy groups, women’s
organization and other community stakeholders. A
series of focus groups and consultations were held
in 2006 with key stakeholders of the Initiative.
Government of Prince Edward Island
Status of women issues
November
Meeting to discuss various issues
2004
Electoral reform
2003-2005
Consultations through correspondence and public
hearings, included a workshop on Women and
Electoral Reform.
Employment Standards
March 2006
Consultations through correspondence and public
Review
hearings
Maternity and Parental
December 2004 Meeting to discuss issues related to maternity and
Benefits
parental benefits
Government of Nova Scotia
Immigration
2004-2006
Two Immigrant Women Roundtables brought
women together to discuss issues for immigrants
Economic security
October 2005
Roundtable on Women’s Economic Security
Appendix 1 – Public Consultations
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Disabilities
2006
Government of New Brunswick
Wage gap
2002-present
Violence against women 2000-present
Government of Québec
January to
Opinion by the Conseil
September
du statut de la femme
Vers un nouveau contrat 2005
social pour l’égalité
entre les femmes et les
hommes (2004)
Sharing a future…
Policy Statement on the
Status of Women
March 2003
Government of Manitoba
Amendments to the
2003-2004
Domestic Violence and
Stalking Act
Gender in health
2003-2004 and
planning issues
2004-2005
Violence against women
March 2005
Amendments to the
Employment Standards
Code
December
2005-February
2006
Health Human
Resources
January 31February 1,
2006
HIV/AIDS Strategy
Ongoing
Appendix 1 – Public Consultations
Roundtable for women with disabilities (Status of
Women and the Cumberland African Nova Scotian
Society)
Ongoing meetings with stakeholders
Ongoing meetings with stakeholders
As a follow-up to the Opinion, which gives a
portrait of subsisting inequalities faced by women,
consultations were held in Parliamentary
Commission. Seventy-five organizations were
heard and 107 reports analyzed. One of the major
recommendations that can be found in the
consultation report pertains to the development of a
new governmental policy on the status of women,
and of an action plan to ensure its implementation.
After 10 years of the policy’s implementation, a
survey of the evolution of the socio-economic
situation of women and men was conducted.
Eighty-six non-governmental organizations were
consulted. The resulting document, L’avenir des
Québécoises : Les suites des consultations de mars
2003, gives a portrait of those inequalities which
persist, and of gender-based differences in the way
women and men face socio-economic realities
Input was saught from a multi-disciplinary working
group
Consultation with Regional Health Authorities on
gender in health planning issues. Four events were
held in 2003-2004 and five events in 2004-2005.
Mother of Red Nations national conference Our
Healing in Our Hands. Panel of government
officials to hear participants’ concerns and issues
Public consultations on proposed changes to the
Code (a gender-based analysis was also part of the
review). Over 100 submissions received, both in
writing and presented at public meetings held
around the province.
As part of the Manitoba First Nations Human
Resource Regional Framework, two forums on
health human resources were held. Aboriginal
women make up a large part of the health care
field.
Proposed Aboriginal HIV/AIDS Strategy being
developed in collaboration with Aboriginal
communities
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Government of Saskatchewan
Gaps and improvement
October 2005
in employment and
and June 2006
income support
programs
Early learning and child
care
January 2003 –
May 2006
Income assistance policy Bi-annual
and practice issue
resolution
Government of British Columbia
Victim services
2006
Government of the Northwest Territories
NWT Family Violence
June 2005
Action Plan
June 2006
September
2006
Violence against
Aboriginal women
Government of Yukon
Decision-Making
Support and Protection
to Adults Act
Social assistance
Education reform
March 2006
Two sets of consultations were held in six
communities across Saskatchewan, with key
community stakeholders including anti-poverty
groups, shelters for women, and agencies serving
Aboriginal people.
Targeted consultation and dialogue were held with
provincial partners in early learning and child care,
particularly as it relates to child care subsidy
redesign. Over 40 meetings with provincial and
community stakeholders resulted in the
establishment of a Minister’s Advisory Board on
Early Learning and Child Care.
Face-to-face meetings are held with provincial
advocacy agencies.
A series of roundtable discussions were held with
victim service organizations on issues related to
program delivery and emerging issues in
victimization and recovery.
Three consultations were held with the Coalition
Against Family Violence, which includes
representatives from non-governmental
organizations and community members with an
interest in ending family violence, on the
development and implementation of a NWT Family
Violence Action Plan.
The Department of the Executive co-chaired the
policy forum on Aboriginal Women and Violence
with the Government of Canada. Aboriginal
women from across Canada were supported to
attend this two-day consultation, and to provide
their input into how government legislation, policy
and programs could be more supportive to
Aboriginal women dealing with violence in their
lives.
2003-2005
Consultations were undertaken through various
methods: correspondence, survey and meetings
2005-2006
Consultations, through correspondence, meetings
and teleconference, with Yukon First Nations on
changes to social assistance
Examination of all aspects of life-long learning
which will bring forward changes to the Yukon’s
education system.
2006
Appendix 1 – Public Consultations
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Appendix 2 – Review of Jurisprudence
Article 1: Definition of Discrimination
In Gosselin v. Quebec, [2002] S.C.J. No. 85, the Supreme Court of Canada (S.C.C.) reasserted
that an infringement of human dignity is the fundamental reference point for any evaluation of a
discrimination claim. As previously stated in Law v. Canada (Minister of Employment and
Immigration), [1999] 1 S.C.R. 497 [Law], the question before the Court in a constitutional
equality rights claim is whether human dignity is denied in purpose or effect. In Gosselin, the
Court set out two broad principles to guide this analysis: (1) differential treatment based on
stereotype or prejudice is a determining factor in the finding of an infringement of human dignity
in the course of a contextual inquiry regarding discrimination, and (2) the reasonable claimant is
the perspective from which to evaluate an equality rights claim (section 15 of the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter)).
In Vancouver Rape Relief Society v. Nixon, [2005] B.C.J. No. 2647, the British Colombia Court
of Appeal affirmed that, under s. 41 of that province’s Human Rights Code, non-profit
organizations aimed at promoting the interests or welfare of an identifiable group may give
preference to certain members of that group for employment purposes, at the exclusion of other
members of that group, despite it being a discriminatory practice. The preference must be both
rationally connected to the organization’s purpose and in good faith. In this case, Ms. Nixon, a
post-operative male-to-female transsexual woman was excluded from volunteering for the
Society on the basis that she had not been a woman all her life and so had not experienced
oppression since birth. The Court found the distinction acceptable. The Society was not required
to show that it only served women who had been women all their lives in order to legitimately
exclude Ms. Nixon, as it was entitled to exercise internal preference for employment purposes
within the group it served.
In Nova Scotia (Human Rights Commission) v. Play it Again Sports, [2004] N.S.J. No. 403, leave
to appeal to S.C.C. refused, [2004] S.C.C.A. No. 567, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal upheld a
Human Rights Commission decision that the fact that a young Mi'kmaq woman’s supervisor
repeatedly referred to her as “kemosabe” was not necessarily indicative of racial discrimination,
nor of discrimination based on sex. There was conflicting evidence as to whether the word
“kemosabe” was offensive to Aboriginal women. The Court found that where the offensiveness
of the utterance lay in the eye of the beholder, it was not unreasonable to require that the
beholder make known that the conduct was offensive to her. An application for leave to appeal to
the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed.
In Sagkeeng Child and Family Services v. A.R.W. [2006] M.J. No. 415 (Manitoba Court of
Queen’s Bench (Family Division)), a mentally ill mother claimed that the provisions of ss. 41(1)
[limits on the period of temporary guardianship] and 45(1) [effect of an order of permanent
guardianship] of The Child and Family Services Act “discriminate against mentally ill parents
whose children are subject to applications for permanent guardianship, and therefore, adoption
proceedings when compared with mentally ill parents who are subject to custody proceedings
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under the Divorce Act”. During her argument, the mother raised the question of whether
s. 45(1) of the Child and Family Services Act is discriminatory in its effect because of its
disproportionate impact on Aboriginal people, particularly Aboriginal women, and therefore was
a breach of s. 15 of the Charter. The court agreed with the Attorney General’s response that there
was no evidence to prove the disproportionate impact. If there were evidence of the impact, the
separate First Nations child welfare system was specifically created in Manitoba to respect the
disadvantaged position of Aboriginals. Furthermore, the special needs and considerations of the
Aboriginal mother were respected in this case as the agency involved was an Aboriginal agency.
In Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) et Giguère c.
Montréal (Ville), 2003 QCTDP 88, the Québec Human Rights Tribunal concluded that a
distinction based on breastfeeding is a distinction based on sex.
The longstanding legal principal that a distinction in treatment need not be intentional to
constitute discrimination was affirmed by the Nova Scotia Board of Inquiry in Daniels v.
Annapolis Valley Regional School Board [2002], 45 C.H.R.R. D/162 (N.S. Bd.Inq.), and by the
Canadian Human Rights Tribunal in Montreuil v. National Bank of Canada, 2004 CHRT 7.
Article 2: Anti-Discrimination Measures
Harassment
In Mowat v. Canada (Armed Forces) (No. 2), 2005 CHRT 31, the Canadian Human Rights
Tribunal ordered the Canadian Armed Forces to pay $4,000 in damages for “suffering in respect
of feelings or self respect” to a female former Master Corporal for sexual harassment endured at
the hands of another member of the Forces. This sexual harassment violated s. 14 of the
Canadian Human Rights Act. The complainant had reported the behaviour to her superiors, who
failed to take adequate steps to stop the harassment.
In Yee (c.o.b. Market Place Restaurant) v. McLean, [2005] ABQB 470, the Alberta Court of
Queen’s Bench upheld a Human Rights and Citizenship Commission's decision that Mr. Yee, the
employer of Ms. McLean, discriminated against her based on her sex by making advances and
touching her, and by dismissing her from her job when she complained of his behaviour.
Mr. Yee admitted to touching Ms. McLean, but insisted that she had instigated the behaviour. He
objected that the Commission had not allowed him to present character evidence about himself
and Ms. McLean which he claimed would demonstrate an ulterior motive for her accusation.
Erb J. found the exclusion of character evidence was appropriate and that “whatever his
[Mr. Yee’s] motivations, his conduct was inappropriate in the work place, was of a sexual nature
and, in my opinion on a review of the evidence, was unwelcome.” Because of the inappropriate
nature of his actions, character evidence would not affect Mr. Yee’s case.
In Québec (Commission des droits de la personne et des droits de la jeunesse) c. Caisse
Populaire Desjardins d’Amqui, 2003 QCTDP 105, the Québec Human Rights Tribunal found
that numerous subtle and difficult to define, but unwanted, acts (some of which may have had
sexual innuendo) of a male employer towards a female employee amounted to sexual
harassment. In addition, the harassment interfered with the employee’s right to conditions of
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employment free of discrimination based on sex. In this case, the Tribunal examined the
standards related to sexual harassment and equality in employment and referred to the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), and
also to paragraphs 17 and 19 of the CEDAW Committee’s General Recommendation 19, which
notes that “sexual harassment in the work environment can be considered discriminatory when a
woman is justified in believing that her refusal of such conduct may disadvantage her in her
employment.
In Budge v. Thorvaldson Care Homes Ltd., [2002] M.H.R.B.A.D. No. 1, a woman who worked
in a personal care home was subjected to sexual harassment over a period of nine months by the
maintenance man employed by the home. Her employer was found liable under The Human
Rights Code of Manitoba for failing to take reasonable steps to stop the harassment once it
became aware it was going on and for terminating her employment due to her complaint about
the harassment. She was awarded lost income and general damages and the employer was
ordered to adopt and post a harassment policy. A subsequent judicial review application and
appeal to the Manitoba Court of Appeal by the employer challenging the decision of the
independent adjudicator appointed under the Code were both dismissed.
In D’Heilly v. Neufeld, [2005] M.H.R.B.A.D. No. 2, a woman who worked in a store that sold
communications equipment such as cell phones was subjected to sexual harassment and reprisals
by the sales manager. Her employer was found liable under The Human Rights Code of
Manitoba for failing to take reasonable steps to stop the harassment once it became aware it was
going on and for terminating her employment due to her complaint about the harassment. She
was awarded lost income and general damages.
Protection of legal rights
In Québec (Attorney General) v. Québec (Human Rights Tribunal), [2004] S.C.R. 223, the
Supreme Court of Canada held (four in favour and three dissenting) that complaints of
discrimination, such as gender discrimination, could not be brought before the province’s Human
Rights Tribunal where the legislator intended another body equally empowered to apply the
Québec Charter to have exclusive jurisdiction. This case concerned a woman who had been
receiving social assistance benefits to complement her salary through a provincial program for
low-income families where at least one adult was receiving employment income. In accordance
with the legislation, she was subsequently denied social assistance benefits through the program
during her maternity leave because the employment insurance benefits that she received as
maternity benefits were not considered “income” for the purpose of the program. The majority of
the Court believed that there was clear legislative intent that the Commission des affaires
sociales (CAS, henceforth the Tribunal administratif du Québec (TAQ)) should have exclusive
jurisdiction to apply and interpret the benefits scheme, and that this tribunal did not lose its
jurisdiction just because a human rights issue arose. In fact, the CAS was empowered to decide
upon questions of rights in accordance with sections 78 and 81 of the Act respecting income
security; this power included the consideration of discrimination. As a result, the woman
therefore had to bring her sex discrimination complaint to the competent tribunal for
adjudication. The dissenting judges considered that because the dispute was essentially about
discrimination on the ground of pregnancy, rather than over a ministerial ruling on security
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benefits, the CAS could not have exclusive jurisdiction; they found the Human Rights Tribunal
to be the “best fit” for hearing the complaint.
Article 3: Measures to Ensure the Advancement of Women
Violence against women
In R. v. Humaid, [2006] O.J. No. 1507, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, the Ontario Court of
Appeal upheld a conviction of first degree murder for a man accused of stabbing his wife to
death upon learning of her infidelity. Both the husband and wife were originally from Dubai and
of Islamic faith. The accused contested the conviction on the basis that the trial judge had
instructed the jury not to consider evidence of an expert on Islamic religion and culture.
Provided in support of a provocation defence, the evidence was about the significant effect of
infidelity in Islamic culture, how it is not tolerated and is worthy of punishment by male
members of the family. The Court of Appeal held that expert's evidence could not lend any air of
reality to the provocation defence, because an accused who acts out of a sense of retribution
fuelled by a belief system that entitles a husband to punish his wife's perceived infidelity has not
lost self-control.
In R. v. Ashlee, [2006] A.J. No. 1040, the Alberta Court of Appeal restored a conviction for
sexual assault on an unconscious woman. The Court of Appeal clarified that neither implied nor
possible prior consent to sexual activity are available legal defences to sexual activity. The Court
indicated that even if the compliant had consented to sexual activity prior to loosing
consciousness, which was not established in this case, once unconscious, the complainant was no
longer capable of providing consent.
In R. v. Dick [2006], 203 C.C.C. (3d) 365, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice held that the
provincial Sex Offender Registry, which requires persons convicted of sex offences to register
with the police, did not violate the constitutional right not to be deprived of liberty save in
accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. The obligation to register placed only
modest restrictions on the offender's liberty, while the harm sought to be prevented was a
reasonable apprehension of serious harm. The measures were not disproportionate to the possible
harm.
In R. v. J.(J.) [2004], 192 C.C.C. (3d) 30, the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal
considered the applicability of sentencing circles for Aboriginal persons accused of sexual
assaults. While the Court agreed with the decision in R. v. Taylor (1998), 122 C.C.C. (3d) 376,
that a serious sexual assault does not automatically rule out a sentencing circle, it asserted that
such an assault should at least require the Trial Judge to address whether or not a sentencing
circle should be used. Amongst other factors to consider, the victim must consent to the
sentencing circle, and this consent must be given free of pressure.
Under s. 718.2 of the Criminal Code of Canada, evidence that the offender, in committing the
offence, abused the offender’s spouse or common-law partner is an aggravating factor that
increases a sentence. In R. v. Chénier [2004], 191 C.C.C. (3d) 512, the Québec Court of Appeal
held that a conditional sentence was insufficient for a man convicted of violent assault and death
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threats against his ex-common law partner, as it prioritized the sentencing goal of rehabilitation
over the goal of deterring the serious problem of domestic violence, and failed to give adequate
consideration to the aggravating factors as defined in section 718.2 of the Code.
In R. v. Morris [2004], 186 C.C.C. (3d) 549, the British Columbia Court of Appeal determined
that a suspended sentence was inadequate for an Aboriginal chief convicted of confining and
brutally beating his wife. While Courts must take account of the Aboriginal background of the
offender, this is not to the exclusion of all other sentencing objectives. The more serious the
offence, the more likely it is that Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders should be sentenced
similarly. Furthermore, s. 718.2 of the Criminal Code must also be considered in sentencing
Aboriginal domestic violence offenders.
In R. v. B. (K.G.) [2005], 202 C.C.C. (3d) 521, a young offender was convicted of sexually
assaulting a 15-year old girl who had passed out because of alcohol intoxication. The New
Brunswick Court of Appeal held that a trial judge had erred by failing to characterize the assault
as a “serious violent offence.” The Court recalled that “bodily harm” is defined in the Criminal
Code as “any hurt or injury to a person that interferes with the health or comfort of the person
and that is more than merely transient or trifling in nature,” and that this hurt or injury may be
physical or psychological in nature. A non-custodial sentence was replaced with a custodial
sentence.
In R. v. G.P.J. [2001] M.J. No. 53 (CA), a sexual assault case, the trial judge found that the
production of the complainant’s counseling records were necessary to allow the accused to make
full answer and defence. The records were used to assess the complainant’s evidence, which was
ultimately rejected. The decision was appealed by the Crown. The Manitoba Court of Appeal
upheld this decision.
Article 5: Stereotyping
In R. v. Hamilton, [2004] O.J. No. 3252, the Ontario Court of Appeal declared that a trial judge
had erred in imposing conditional sentences (non-custodial) on two single young black women
with young children, who were convicted of importing cocaine into Canada. The trial judge had
concluded, based on his own materials and experience, that Hamilton and Mason were the
victims of systemic racial and gender bias which led to their impoverished circumstances and
made them vulnerable to those seeking cocaine couriers. He found that this was a mitigating
factor in sentencing. The Court of Appeal said that that the trial judge overstepped his power by
introducing his own evidence and relying on it so strongly without expert evidence. Furthermore,
the fact that an offender is a member of a group that has historically been subject to systemic
racial and gender bias does not in itself justify any mitigation of sentence. The Court believed
that imposition of conditional sentences for these offences encouraged the recruitment of young
black poor women with no criminal records to carry cocaine into Canada from Jamaica and
increased the vulnerability of persons like the accused.
In College of Chiropractors of Ontario v. Kovacs, [2004] O.J. No. 4353, the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice found that the College’s Discipline Committee erred in dismissing a case of
alleged sexual assault. The Committee’s decision rested on stereotypes about both possible
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victims of sexual assault and possible perpetrators. It assumed that a woman, especially a trained
nurse, would have responded in a particular way to sexual assault. The Court said that other
factors in the situation had to be considered, such as the woman’s age, and the fact that she was
alone with the respondent. The Committee had also assumed that a person in the respondent's
position would be unlikely to commit the alleged acts. The Court emphasized that “egregious as
the alleged acts are, there are many examples of individuals in a position of power who have
sexually abused others, whether patients, students or other vulnerable individuals.” The
Committee should not have treated this as a factor tending to disprove the case.
Article 6: Trafficking of Women and Exploitation
While prostitution itself is not a criminal offence, living wholly or in part off the avails of
prostitution is criminalized under s.212(1)(j) of the Criminal Code. The Government of Canada
continues to prosecute, and the courts continue to impose sentences on persons living off the
avails of prostitution (See for example R. v. Lukacko, [2002] O.J. No. 1293, Ontario Court of
Appeal; R. v. Thomas, [2003] O.J. No. 6137, Ontario Superior Court of Justice; R. v. M.S.,
[2006] O.J. No. 1347, Ontario Superior Court of Justice). Harsher sentences will be imposed on
the individual if the women being forced to prostitute themselves are under the age of 18 (R. v.
Bennett (2004), 184 C.C.C. (3d) 290, Ontario Court of Appeal).
Article 11: Employment
Pregnancy
In Woo v. Alberta (Human Rights and Citizenship Commission), [2003] ABQB 632, aff’d [2005]
A.J. No. 232, the Alberta Queen’s Bench considered the issue of discrimination in employment
because of pregnancy. The Employment Standards Code of Alberta provides that women who
have worked consecutively for 52 weeks for an employer are entitled to maternity leave without
pay. Ms. Woo had been employed as vice-principal for less than this period, but the Court
determined that her dismissal upon requesting maternity leave violated her right not be
discriminated against because of her sex, and that the school board had a responsibility to
accommodate her. The Court further found the school board had discriminated against both
Ms. Woo and Ms. Jahelka, a pregnant woman, by failing to consider them for other viceprincipal positions and instead giving the position to a less qualified candidate. The employer
had a duty to accommodate Ms. Jahelka unless it would cause “undue hardship.”
In Parry Sound (District) Social Services Administration Board v. Ontario Public Service
Employees Union, Local 324, [2003] 2 S.C.R. 157, the Supreme Court of Canada averred that
the substantive rights and obligations of the Ontario Human Rights Code and Employment
Standards Act are incorporated into all collective agreements of employment. Under a collective
agreement, the broad rights of an employer are subject not only to the express provisions of the
collective agreement, but also to statutory provisions of the Human Rights Code and other
employment-related statutes. Human rights and other employment-related statutes establish a
floor beneath which an employer and union cannot contract. Consequently, the province’s
Labour Relations Arbitration Board has the power to enforce the rights and obligations of the
Human Rights Code. In this case, a female employee subject to a collective agreement left on
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maternity leave while still in her probationary period and was subsequently dismissed. Her terms
of employment were governed by a collective agreement, which stated that "a probationary
employee may be discharged at the sole discretion of and for any reason satisfactory to the
Employer and such action by the Employer is not subject to the grievance and arbitration
procedures and does not constitute a difference between the parties". The Supreme Court
confirmed the Board’s holding that the employee’s right under the Human Rights Code and
Employment Standards Act not to be discriminated against on the basis of pregnancy had been
violated, despite the collective agreement’s probationary provision.
In Crockett v. Goodman, 2005 BCHRT 471, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal
awarded damages to a hairdresser whose employer had failed to reasonably accommodate her by
allowing her to take more frequent breaks while she was pregnant with twins. Her employer
expected her to carry on as always or go on maternity leave, which ultimately resulted in her
taking maternity leave one month earlier than planned, thereby losing income. The employer’s
anger towards her also made it impossible for her to return to that work environment after her
maternity leave, which amounted to sex discrimination. Consequently, the Tribunal awarded her
damages to cover revenue lost while she reestablished herself and built a new clientele.
In Sidhu v. Broadway Gallery (c.o.b. Takamatsu Bonsai Design), [2002] B.C.H.R.T.D. No. 9, the
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found that a pregnant woman established a prima facie
case of discrimination when she showed that her employer substantially reduced her work hours
at a bonsai tree nursery immediately after she produced a medical note saying that she should not
lift heavy weight or be spraying pesticides. She was entitled to compensation for lost wages and
for injury to her dignity.
In Serben v. Kicks Cantina Inc. [2005], CHRR Doc. 05-159 (Alta. H.R.P.), a female employee
had been dismissed from her work as a bartender just a couple months before she was to go on
maternity leave, when the manager found that she could no longer fulfill all her duties. No effort
was made to accommodate her. The Alberta Human Rights Panel found the employer had
discriminated against Ms. Serben based on her sex, and ordered that damages be paid.
In Patterson v. Seggie, 2004 BCHRT 2, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal awarded
damages to a pregnant woman who was let go from her job at a fish and chips stand after she had
to leave work one morning because of nausea. Because her pregnancy was a factor in the
decision to fire her, there was prima facie discrimination on account of sex, contrary to s. 13 of
the provincial Human Rights Code.
Sex discrimination in the workplace
In Mottu v. MacLeod, 2004 BCHRT 76, the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal found that
nightclub owners had discriminated against Ms. Mottu, an employee, by requiring her to wear an
outfit that was gender-specific and sexual in nature, and by retaliating against her by limiting her
shifts and humiliating her when she refused to wear it. The Tribunal ordered the respondents to
pay Ms. Mottu compensation for lost wages and tips, and $3,000 as compensation for injury to
dignity, feelings and self-respect.
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In Montreuil v. National Bank of Canada, 2004 CHRT 7, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal
determined that the Bank had discriminated against Ms. Montreuil, who was physically and
legally a man, but who identified herself as a woman, on the basis of sex when it failed to hire
her for a call centre position.
In Repas-Barrett v. Canadian Special Service Ltd [2003], CHRR Doc. 03-114 (Alta. H.R.P.), the
Alberta Human Rights Panel awarded damages for loss of earnings and for indignity and loss of
self-respect to a complainant who was discriminated against because of her sex. The Panel found
gender discrimination on two counts: first, when her employer made remarks to her on the basis
of her gender, and second, when her pregnancy was a direct causative factor in her dismissal.
In Prince Edward Island Human Rights Panel DeWare v. Kensington (2003), 45 C.H.R.R. D/244
(P.E.I.H.R.P.), the Prince Edward Island Human Rights Panel ruled that the Town of Kensington
discriminated against Lorna DeWare by refusing to employ her as a Summer Constable because
of her sex, and by paying her less than a male employee for performing the same work. The
Panel ordered the Town to apologize to Ms. DeWare, to compensate her for the financial loss
caused by the discrimination, and to pay her $4,000 as general damages for the injury to her
dignity.
In Dubeck v. Friesen (c.o.b. Vy-con Construction), [2002] M.H.R.B.A.D. No. 2, a woman
working at a construction firm was awarded general damages and lost income by an independent
adjudicator appointed under The Human Rights Code of Manitoba on the basis that she was
denied work assignments and laid off because she was female.
Pay equity
In Canada (Human Rights Commission) v. Canadian Airlines International Ltd., [2006] SCC 1,
the Supreme Court of Canada upheld a Federal Court of Appeal ruling establishing that
employees in different occupations governed by separate collective agreements with the same
employer may nonetheless be deemed to work in the same "establishment" for the purpose of
making pay equity comparisons under the Canadian Human Rights Act. The Canadian Human
Rights Commission must compare the salaries and working conditions of Air Canada’s
predominantly female attendants to those of the airline's pilots and mechanics, who are mostly
male, despite the fact that these groups of employees are governed by different collective
agreements with the airline. The Court ruled that they are part of the same "establishment" for
purposes of equal pay for work of equal value because they are subject to a "common personnel
and wage policy."
In P.S.A.C. v. Canada Post Corporation (No. 6), 2005 CHRT 39, the Canadian Human Rights
Tribunal held that the respondent Canada Post was in violation of s. 11 of the Canadian Human
Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Canada Post had been paying
employees in the female-dominated Clerical and Regulatory Group less than employees in the
male-dominated Postal Operations Group for work of equal value. It ordered the respondent to
equalize pay, and to compensate the complainants with lost wages dating back to one year before
the initial claim was made (1982).
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In Syndicat de la fonction publique c. Procureur général du Québec, [2004] J.Q. No. 21, a judge
of the Québec Superior Court struck down Chapter IX of the province's Pay Equity Act, holding
that it violated women’s equality rights guaranteed by section 15 of the Canadian Charter of
Rights and Freedoms. The impugned section exempted employers who had established a pay
equity plan prior to the Act's introduction in 1996 from complying with provisions of the general
regime applicable to other employers. However, they had to demonstrate to the Commission de
l’équité salariale that their plan satisfied certain important requirements of the Act, including the
requirement that no element of the plan discriminate on the basis of gender. The Government of
Québec, as well as numerous municipalities and educational institutions had reported on their
pay equity plans, which had generally received the endorsement of the Commission. However,
the exempted employers’ pay equity plans had not necessarily been elaborated on the basis of
applicable requirements of the general regime of the Act. The Court held that the standards for
elaborating the plans prescribed by section IX were lower, the effect of which was to create or
maintain inequality with respect to the female workers affected, contrary to the Canadian
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Neither the Government nor the other employers targeted by
the Act, appealed the decision. The employers concerned, including the Government, are subject
to the general regime of the Act.
In Newfoundland (Treasury Board) v. N.A.P.E, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 381, the Supreme Court of
Canada considered whether the Newfoundland government’s deferral of a Pay Equity Agreement
in favour of female employees in the health care sector and the extinguishment of three years of
arrears owed to the employees violated the women’s equality rights under s. 15(1) of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The Government took these measures in a period of
unprecedented financial crisis. Simultaneously, it took other severe measures to reduce the
provincial deficit, including budgetary cuts to hospitals and school; however, no similar cuts
were imposed on people working in male-dominated jobs performing work of equal value. The
Court found the measures to be discriminatory. However, the Court decided that the
discrimination was justifiable under s. 1 of the Charter because the financial crisis was
exceptionally severe and addressing it was a “pressing and substantial legislative objective.”
Deferring pay equity was “proportional to its objective” and tailored to minimally impair rights
in the context of the problem (a pay equity program continued to be implemented albeit at a
much slower pace). Importantly in this case, the Court found that the financial health of the
Government as a whole was at risk, and that the harm caused by the Charter violation was lesser
than the harm averted, as the measures helped allow the province to continue to provide essential
programs. Despite the fact that the Supreme Court’s decision meant that the employees had no
legal right to payments of arrears, in March 2006, the Government of Newfoundland agreed to
the request of the unions to be granted a $24 million ex gratia payment.
In Reid v. Vancouver Police Board, [2005] B.C.J. No. 1832, leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused,
[2005] S.C.C.A. No. 463, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reinstated a Human Rights
Tribunal decision that a 40 percent wage discrepancy between dispatchers for the fire
department, who are mostly male, and police dispatchers, who are mostly female, did not
discriminate against the women because while fire department dispatchers were City of
Vancouver employees, police dispatchers were Police Board Employees. This overturned the
B.C. Supreme Court’s 2003 ruling that both sets of dispatchers were effectively employed by the
City because the City ultimately paid the Police Board’s bills. The Court of Appeal found that
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because the Police Board set the pay scale for the police dispatchers, the City was not
empowered to provide a remedy to the Police Board employees and so the salaries of fire
department dispatchers and police department dispatchers could not be compared. An application
for leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada was dismissed.
Article 12: Health
In Jane Doe 1 v. Manitoba, [2004] M.J. No. 456, rev’d. [2005] M.J. No. 335, leave to appeal to
S.C.C. refused, [2005] S.C.C.A. No. 513, the Manitoba Court of Queen’s Bench declared that
provisions of the province’s Health Services Insurance Act (HSIA), which limited insured
therapeutic abortions to hospitals, were in violation of security of the person and equality rights
under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The two litigants were required to pay for
their own abortions at the Morgentaler Clinic in Winnipeg after learning of a lengthy wait for a
hospital abortion. The Court found that “depriving a woman of her right to decide when and
where she will undergo the procedure of a therapeutic abortion threatens the woman in a physical
sense and that the agony caused by not knowing whether an abortion will be performed in time is
bound to inflict emotional distress and serious psychological harm upon her.” The Court declared
the HSIA provisions invalid for violating women’s rights under sections 7 and 15 of the Charter.
This case, which was decided on summary judgment, was appealed by the Crown, and the
appellate court ordered that a full trial be held due to the complexity of the issues. An appeal to
the Supreme Court was refused. The full trial is still pending.
In Canada (Attorney General) v. Canada (Human Rights Commission) and Kavanagh, [2003]
FCT 89, the Federal Court Trial Division upheld a ruling by the Canadian Human Rights
Tribunal establishing that discrimination on the basis of transsexualism constituted
discrimination on the basis of sex as well as on the basis of disability. The Court determined that
Corrections Canada’s blanket policy prohibiting sex reassignment surgery discriminated against
inmates diagnosed with gender identity disorder. Corrections Canada is required to provide
essential health care to inmates. Therefore, if sex-reassignment surgery is determined to be
essential it would be discriminatory not to provide it. However, male-to-female transsexuals did
not have a right to be held in female penitentiary institutions prior to surgery, due to potential
risk to female inmates.
In Hogan v. Ontario (Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care) (No. 3) [2005], CHRR Doc. 05702, 2005 HRTO 49, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal issued an interim decision about
whether the provincial government’s cutting of public funding for sex reassignment surgery
discriminated against transsexual persons because of disability and sex. The Tribunal found that
the new policy was discriminatory on the ground of disability. Whether it is also discriminatory
on the ground of sex will be addressed in the final decision, which has yet to be issued. The
British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal reached a similar conclusion in Waters v. British
Columbia (Ministry of Health Services) 2003 BCHRT 13.
Article 13: Economic and Social Life
The Supreme Court of Canada considered the constitutionality of the Government of Canada’s
parental benefits scheme under the Canadian Employment Insurance Act in Reference re
Appendix 2 – Review of Jurisprudence
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Employment Insurance Act (Can), ss. 22 and 23, [2005] S.C.J. No. 57. The Government of
Québec argued that this federal benefits program was essentially a social program designed to
allow women to prepare for childbirth and to recuperate afterwards. The Supreme Court
disagreed, finding that the benefits’ primary effect was "to replace, in part ... [the] employment
income of women while they are absent from work." Consequently, it fell under the Government
of Canada’s power to legislate in the area of unemployment benefits. The scheme was deemed
constitutional, and so the Government of Canada continues to provide parental leave benefits.
In Hodge v. Canada (Minister of Human Resources Development), [2004] 3 S.C.R. 357, the
Supreme Court of Canada considered whether the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was
discriminatory against common law spouses that are no longer cohabiting at the time of the
contributor’s death, by excluding them from eligibility for a survivor’s pension. Ms. Hodge had
cohabited with her common law partner, a CPP contributor for over 20 years, when she left
because of alleged abuse. Five months later, the contributor died, and the CPP denied Ms. Hodge
a pension. She was no longer considered a spouse because, unlike married spouses, common law
spouses cease to be “spouses” upon the date of their final separation. However, the Court found
that there was no discrimination, because former common law spouses had to be compared to
former married spouses rather than to separated married spouses. Former married spouses
(divorced) were not entitled to a CPP survivor’s pension either.
In The Métis National Council of Women, Sheila D. Genaille v. Attorney General of Canada,
2006 FCA , leave to appeal to S.C.C. refused, [2006] S.C.C.A. No. 170, the Federal Court of
Appeal dismissed the Métis National Council of Women’s (MNCW) challenge to the decision of
the Government of Canada not to permit them to become a party to the Framework Agreements
of a program created for labour market development for Aboriginal people. Three other
Aboriginal organizations were signatories to the Agreements and MNCW brought an application
for judicial review and claimed that the Agreements breached the equality rights of Métis women
under s.15 and s.28 of the Charter. The Court found that there was insufficient evidence that
Métis women were not properly represented by the other Aboriginal organizations party to the
Agreements or that Métis women had encountered difficulties in accessing programming or
funding under the current arrangements.
Article 16: Marriage and Family Life
Following Court of Appeal judgments in both Ontario and British Columbia which held that the
definition of marriage as only being between one man and one woman violated equality rights of
same-sex couples, the Governor in Council put forward a reference on proposed same-sex
marriage legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada (Reference re Same-Sex Marriage, [2004] 3
S.C.R. 698). The Court determined that expanding the definition of marriage to include same-sex
couples did not violate the Constitution, and was consistent with the Charter. The Court further
found that the Charter's freedom of religion protected religious officials from having to perform
same-sex marriages that were contrary to their religious beliefs. After the reference, the
Government tabled legislation expanding the definition of civil marriage to same-sex couples
(Marriage Act 2005 c. 33).
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In M.D.R. v. Ontario (Deputy Registrar General), [2006] O.J. No. 2268, the Ontario Superior
Court held that birth registry provisions of the Vital Statistics Act, which restricted the particulars
of lesbian co-mothers from being included on a child’s Statement of Live Birth, infringed their
right under s. 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to be protected against
discrimination based on both sex and sexual orientation. The situation of lesbian co-mothers was
compared to the situation of heterosexual non-biological fathers who planned a pregnancy with a
spouse using assistive reproductive technology. The Act allowed these fathers’ particulars to be
recorded on the Statement of Live Birth. The distinction was discriminatory due to pre-existing
disadvantage and stereotype, the lack of correspondence between the benefit and the needs of
lesbian co-mothers who used reproductive technology and their children, and the engagement of
core dignity interests. The provisions were not saved by s. 1 of the Charter and were declared
invalid.
In Trociuk v. British Columbia (Attorney General), [2003] 1 S.C.R. 835, the Supreme Court of
Canada held that provisions of the provincial Vital Statistics Act which allowed a mother to
register her child’s live birth alone, and which precluded a father from having the registration
altered, violated the father’s right to equality. The impugned provisions discriminated against the
father by exposing him to the possible arbitrary exclusion of his particulars from his children's
birth registration and, consequently, of his participation in choosing their surname, on the
enumerated ground of sex.
In Morriseau v. Wall (c.o.b. Paisley Park), [2000] M.H.R.B.A.D. No. 1, a woman who was
asked to move from a seat within an antique shop to one on an outside patio in order to nurse her
baby brought a complaint under The Human Rights Code of Manitoba. The independent
adjudicator appointed under the Code recognized that women who need to breastfeed have a
right to be accommodated under The Human Rights Code. However, this particular complaint
was dismissed because the accommodation offered was reasonable in the circumstances.
In Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the Law v. Canada, [2004] S.C.J. No. 6, the
Supreme Court of Canada cites CEDAW, articles 5(b) and 16(1)(d), for treating "the best
interests of the child" as a legal principle. However, the "best interests of the child" failed to
meet the second criterion for a principle of fundamental justice: consensus that the principle is
vital or fundamental to our societal notion of justice. It was not a “foundational requirement for
the dispensation of justice.”
In Hiemstra v. Hiemstra, [2005] A.J. No. 287, the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench refers to the
section of the Supreme Court’s decision in Canadian Foundation for Children, Youth and the
Law v. Canada that cites CEDAW to stress the fundamental importance of determining child
support in “the best interests of the child.
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Appendix 3 – Gender-based Analysis
The following is an overview of federal, provincial and territorial approaches to gender-based
analysis.
Government
Government of Canada
Status of Women Canada (SWC) has responsibility for gender-based
analysis from a capacity-building mandate. SWC has created multiple
templates and tools for applications, for guidance, for measurement, for
evaluating, and for training. The focus has moved from individual
capacity to organizational capacity in order to ensure organizations are in
a position to make gender-based analysis sustainable. As part of this
work, SWC has developed a Gender-Based Analysis Information Kit.
Since 1995, various departments have implemented mechanisms and
approaches to integrating GBA. By 2005-2006, the approaches
departments used covered the full spectrum of activities, from the
integration of GBA into departmental strategic frameworks and business
lines, to establishing networks of GBA specialists, offering training, and
developing tools and resources.
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
In their roles as the federal government’s central agencies, Treasury
Board Secretariat, Privy Council Office and Finance Canada each plays a
critical “challenge” role in ensuring departments take into account all
relevant factors, including gender considerations, in the development of
policies and programs. It is, however, the responsibility of individual
departments and agencies to ensure the completion of an exhaustive
analysis of proposed policies and programs, including the application of
GBA and the inclusion of gender considerations.
The application of gender-based analysis is not mandated in legislation
but is strongly encouraged in the policy development process. The
Women’s Policy Office (WPO) receives copies of all Cabinet and
Cabinet Committee agendas. This provides the Office the opportunity to
review submissions. Further, Cabinet Secretariat ensures that the WPO is
consulted and have an opportunity to provide input into analysis of
relevant submissions to Cabinet.
The Public Service Secretariat and the WPO is piloting new training
directed to policy analysts in the application of gender-based analysis
developed by Status of Women Canada.
In PEI, all materials requiring decisions from the executive level are
reviewed in a manner that includes the application of guidelines for
gender and diversity considerations. These guidelines were endorsed in
March 2005 and are to be utilized in policy development and
implementation.
Appendix 3 – Gender-based Analysis
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Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
Québec
Ontario
Manitoba
Nova Scotia’s Advisory Council on the Status of Women is consulted on
an informal basis by departments on the development of policy. The
Council is working with the School of Public Administration to
strengthen and further explore international experience in various gender
mainstreaming approaches.
As an example of the use of GBA, Nova Scotia conducted a
comprehensive gender-based analysis of its HIV/AIDS strategy.
Gender-based analysis in New Brunswick is mandated by Cabinet, not
legislated. It applies to all departments, policies and programs. The
Women’s Issues Branch reviews all Executive level submissions for
gender impact.
Gender-based analysis was introduced in the Québec government on an
experimental basis from 1997 to 2004, with the participation of
11 departments and agencies, to determine best practices and suggest
flexible solutions to ensure effective, efficient implementation of GBA in
all government action.
In follow-up to the Report on experimentation with gender-based
analysis in the Government of Québec: lessons learned and benefits
gained, published in 2005, the Government of Québec committed to have
all departments and agencies integrate GBA in at least 15 government
policies, measures, reforms or services by 2008.
The Ontario Women’s Directorate reviews relevant proposals brought
forward to Cabinet and Cabinet Committees with a view to identify
gender issues and implications. In addition, the Directorate leads or
supports inter-ministerial committees that work horizontally across
ministries on specific policy issues that affect women (e.g. Ministers’
Advisory Committee on Domestic Violence and Assistant Deputy
Ministers’ Committee on Women’s Issues, representing approximately
13 ministries addressing gender issues).
Gender-based analysis is not mandatory for ministries. However,
ministries have taken steps to address gender-based issues (e.g. Ministry
of Health and Long-Term Care has a longstanding Women’s Health
Council to monitor, research and advise on health issues from a gender
lens; and the Ministry of Labour has produced materials on gender-based
analysis for use by government departments).
Manitoba has taken steps to develop a better understanding of both theory
and practical application of gender-based analysis. The Women’s
Directorate is assisting all programs and services, and those developing
legislation to incorporate a gender lens to the process. It has established
general and group-specific training workshops. It has also conducted a
gender-based review of the latest budget; this will be an ongoing process.
A booklet, “Gender and Diversity Analysis”, was distributed to all deputy
ministers, for circulation to policy managers, which sets out the steps
involved in conducting both a gender-based and a diversity analysis.
In early 2005, Manitoba provided a grant of $10,000 to the United
Nations Platform for Action Committee (UNPAC) and Manitoba
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government officials have met with UNPAC to discuss options for
furthering gender and diversity based budget analysis within government.
Saskatchewan
Alberta
British Columbia
Nunavut
Northwest Territories
Yukon
During the reporting period, the Department of Health sponsored a
gender analysis project with regional health authorities. The Department
of Labour and Immigration instituted a gender-based analysis as part of
the review of The Employment Standards Code. Community budget
consultations by the government have involved 200 participants in
21 sessions to date.
Decisions that go to Saskatchewan’s executive level are scrutinized with
both gender-based and diversity lenses. Virtually all senior policy
advisors and analysts receive training in gender-based and diversity
analysis.
Education and training tools and seminars are developed and offered by
the Status of Women Office to government employees and external
stakeholders. From 2002-2003 to 2006, about 563 people have attended
presentations or training sessions on gender-based and diversity analysis.
Work on gender-based analysis is being conducted in Alberta on a
limited basis. Alberta’s status of women officials are part of the Human
Rights and Citizenship Branch, Alberta Community Development. Status
of women officials integrate GBA into their collaborative and advisory
work within their ministry and with other government departments. This
is done through internal briefings and policy advice, involvement on
interdepartmental committees, and resource development.
In 2003, the Ministry of Community Services provided BC ministries
with a Guide to Best Practices in Gender Analysis, as a simple, practical
tool to ensure gender considerations in all policy, program and legislative
development, implementation and evaluation.
The Government of Nunavut supports Qulliit Nunavut Status of Women's
Council in its activites to develop public awareness about issues affecting
women and women's equality. The Government will continue to
encourage Nunavummiut to discuss, exchange views, and to challenge
attitudes or situations that are harmful to Nunavut women.
The Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is examining
approaches to incorporate gender-based analysis in policy, program and
legislative development and review.
Yukon government departments continue to be required to consider
gender issues as part of their policy development and analysis processes.
The Women’s Directorate undertakes various initiatives aimed at
increasing the use of GBA, including development of a ‘quick guide’ to
the key concepts and questions; presentations on its mandate and services
(including gender analysis) as part of the Orientation to the Government
of Yukon course; development of a course that introduces the concepts of
gender and opportunities for policy analysts and directors,
communications and program officers to work with gender inclusive
analysis in the policy development cycle.
Appendix 3 – Gender-based Analysis
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Appendix 4 – Pay Equity
The following is an overview of federal, provincial and territorial approaches to pay equity.
Government
Government of Canada
Newfoundland and Labrador
Prince Edward Island
Nova Scotia
New Brunswick
A pay equity task force submitted its report in June 2004. It
recommended a stand-alone pay equity legislation, obliging employers
and employees together to develop a plan to implement pay equity with
dispute resolution and enforcement mechanisms.
In September 2006, the Government indicated that it would strengthen
support to federally-regulated workplaces to help them meet their
obligations under the current federal pay equity legislation through
increased education; specialized mediation assistance; and compliance
monitoring.
The Government and five unions agreed to conduct a review to the
classification system to see if there was systemic discrimination toward
female dominated classes. The result of the agreement was that the
female dominated classes received pay equity adjustments over a 10-year
period starting in 1999. All legal requirements under the original
agreement have been met.
Government and the unions agreed to implement a gender-neutral job
evaluation system. The Government is waiting for a decision from the
Nurses Union as to whether they wish to participate in the new system.
Pay equity legislation came into effect in PEI in 1988 and has been fully
implemented in the broad public sectors of the province. The province
continues to monitor the wage gap.
The Labour Standards Code, R.S.N.S. 1989, c.246, requires that men and
women be paid at the same rate for work of equal value.
Pay equity principles are a part of New Brunswick’s Employment
Standards Act. Between January 2005 and May 2006 (inclusive), the
Employment Standards branch received 13 enquiries related to pay
equity, which resulted in zero complaints being submitted.
New Brunswick is addressing pay equity within the bigger picture of
wage gaps. The Wage Gap Roundtable submitted a report in
February 2004. The government’s response to the report was a five-year
voluntary action plan called “Facing the Economic Imperative”.
Implementation of the plan began on April 1, 2005. A launch of tools to
assist employers implement pay equity will be held in November 2006.
The Plan seeks to address the wage gap by changing societal attitudes
with respect to women’s roles and their participation in the labour force,
and implementing initiatives to increase the sharing of family
responsibilities, reduce job clustering and increase the use of genderneutral pay practices in order to reduce that portion of the wage gap
attributable to the under evaluation of women’s work.
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Québec
A Ministers’ Employer Advisory Group, an Advisory Group with
representation from Women’s Groups, and a Human Resources
Professionals Committee are monitoring implementation of the plan.
Government has committed to eliminating the wage gap throughout the
public service by 2010.
Québec has specific legislation on pay equity, the Pay Equity Act.
Adopted in 1996, this Act requires employers to redress differences in
compensation due to the systemic gender discrimination suffered by
people who occupy positions in predominately female job classes.
The Government of Québec has implemented additional measures to
enable companies to complete and expedite their pay equity exercises.
Ontario
Manitoba
Saskatchewan
Appendix 4– Pay Equity
The application of the Act in Québec companies has yielded significant
results. Preliminary data indicates that one third of the completed pay
equity exercises will lead to salary adjustments representing on average
salary increases of between 3.9 percent and 8.1 percent. Other positive
results include improved working climate and relations, increased
productivity, a more positive perception of fairness within companies, a
better understanding of jobs involved and updated or newly introduced
wage policies.
Ontario has complaints-based pay equity legislation. The Pay Equity
Commission (http://www. labour.gov.on.ca/pec/index_pec.html), is
mandated to promote pay equity across the various sectors, and is
composed of two separate and distinct bodies. The Pay Equity Office is
responsible for implementing and enforcing the Pay Equity Act. It
investigates, mediates and resolves complaints and provides programs,
tools and services to help public and private sector employers, employees
and bargaining agents understand and comply with the Act. The Pay
Equity Hearings Tribunal is responsible for adjudicating disputes that
arise under the Pay Equity Act.
Proxy pay equity adjustments are benefiting women workers in the
lowest paid female sectors of the broader public sector. 1,002 cases have
been resolved since 2003. Over $400 million has been paid to broader
public sector jobs over six years.
The Manitoba Pay Equity Act (1985) promotes pay equity principles
generally. It applies to Manitoba's civil service, universities, Crown
corporations and health care facilities. There is no individual complaint
mechanism under Act.
Manitoba's Human Rights Code applies to equal pay for equal work. The
Employment Standards Code applies to equal pay for equal work for
women and men doing the same or substantially the same work in the
same establishment.
Saskatchewan has no specific pay equity legislation. However, The
Labour Standards Act provides that no employer shall discriminate
between male and female employees by paying a female employee at a
rate of pay less than the rate paid to a male employee, or vice versa,
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where the employees are employed for similar work that is performed in
the same establishment under similar working conditions and the
performance of which requires similar skill, effort and responsibility,
except where payment is made pursuant to a seniority or merit system.
Alberta
British Columbia
Nunavut
Northwest Territories
Yukon
Appendix 4– Pay Equity
The Government implemented pay equity and internal equity in the
public sector, through the 1997 Equal Pay for Work of Equal Value and
Pay Equity Policy Framework. Internal equity applies pay equity
principles to all jobs, whether male or female dominated. Jobs are
classified and compensated relative to all jobs in a single organization on
the basis of relative worth. The policy mandate covers Executive
government, Crown corporations, and the health sector. There has been
some limited, voluntary implementation in the education sector. The
Framework has achieved gains for most female employees and some
male employees in most organizations, and has narrowed the wage gap in
every organization in which it has been implemented.
Alberta does not have specific pay equity legislation, however, the human
rights legislation provides for equal pay for equal work within the same
establishment (i.e. branch office, franchise store).
Equal pay for equal work is protected under section 12 of the BC Human
Rights Code, which prohibits discrimination based on gender for similar
or substantially similar work. The legislation is supported by education
and awareness through ministry-funded activities such as consultations
with and training for employers delivered by the Human Rights Clinic,
and public information such as pamphlets and Web sites.
The Government of Nunavut is drafting a new Public Services Act that
will include pay equity provisions.
Equal Pay provisions of the NWT Human Rights Act came into effect
during the reporting period. Under this legislation, no person shall, on the
basis of a prohibited ground (including gender), pay an individual less for
work that is the same or substantially similar.
The NWT Public Service Act also contains equal pay provisions that
require that there be no difference in the rate of pay between male and
female employees of the same establishment who perform work of equal
value.
The Yukon Government is bound by the provisions for equal pay for
work of equal value as outlined in the Yukon Human Rights Act. In
addition, the Job Evaluation System used by the government for its
workforce is predicated on the notion of equal pay for work of equal
value.
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