Canadian Government Systematically Intimidating Women’s Groups

Please refer to this article for more details:
http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/804414–tories-accused-of-culture-of-intimidation

I beginning to think that being conservative in this day and age means being backwards, ignorant, hateful, spiteful and sometimes flat-out harmful.

Case in point: A Conservative Senator tells a group of aid reps to ‘shut the fuck up’ about abortion because of fears of retribution from PM Stephen Harper’s government.

Yes, the same Stephen Harper whose government that had to be shamed into including family planning in any form in this Canada-led G8 effort in support of maternal health around the world.

To date we don’t have a clear picture on what family planning means right now. But it is clear if you mention the ‘a’ word, you are going to get a smackdown.

The Canada I grew up in always put the needs of poor ahead of a political and/or religious agenda. That seems to be long gone with Mr. Harper in power.

Does he hate women or is he just trying to ‘put them in their place’? It seems the backward slide in North America continues.

From the article above:
“Since 2006, Harper has cut funding for women’s advocacy by 43 per cent, shut 12 out of 16 Status of Women offices in Canada and eliminated funding of legal voices for women and minority groups, including the National Association of Women and the Law and the Courts Challenges Program,critics say.”

Abortion is difficult subject at the best of times. The only question is whether a woman has the right to choose. And given that abortion facilities in Canada include counselling and procedures are done in a medically safe manner, my country has led the way.

Obviously Mr. Harper would repeal that if he thought he could. And now he is trying to take away one of the tools that can be used to stabilize maternal health around the world, particularly for poorer nations.

Why?

I think you would have to look at his religious views to understand the driving force behind this. He cares not a whit about women’s issues. He only cares that this particular aspect is not included. And he would have removed family planning as a whole (no doubt to be replaced by some useless abstinence-only program).

As difficult as it is to watch the US devolve in so many ways, we all need to remain on a forward path. Progress. Not the nasty ‘progressive’ label that the right has been throwing around. Canada was a leader, particularly on women’s issues for decades. And Stephen Harper wanted to make like he was going to continue that road.

Unfortunately Mr. Harper has no intention of doing what’s right and has chosen to adopt the mantra of the right – the political/religious right.

I don’t care if you are Canadian or not. Please write Mr. Harper and ask my dear Prime Minister to stop trying to quash women’s initiatives. Perhaps you could ask HIM to ‘shut the fuck up’ and get out of the way so we can do this right instead of for the right.

Stephen Harper: Harper.S@parl.gc.ca

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