The National Council of Women of Canada
The 2004 Federal Budget
Ottawa, March 24, 2004
“The 2004 Budget is disappointing” says Catharine Laidlaw-Sly, president of the National Council of Women of Canada. This appears to be a “steady-as-she-goes” budget. Where are the bold new initiatives? Where is the Women’s agenda?
NCWC was pleased when the Canada Health Council was established (Dec. 2003) but asks “Will the Canada Health Council have assured funding so it can carry out its mandate as proposed in the Romanow Report? Or is it already on life support with a restricted role to play using a restricted budget?”
Once again, there is no integrated programme to address the needs of the quarter million Canadian children living in poverty. The well-intentioned programmes being introduced to assist poorer youth to access post-secondary education are mostly forward-dated commitments. The other measures designed to help today’s students are piecemeal measures and do not address the ever-rising tuition and living costs.
This Budget does not even begin to address the extreme poverty that is endured by Aboriginal women. This is an on-going source of shame for all Canadians.
There is no comprehensive programme with the necessary dedicated funding to house the Homeless.
Unpaid caregivers finally have recognition of their own out-of-pocket expenses recognized; the value of their work however, is still not acknowledged, though the cutbacks in social programmes have made it more necessary than ever.
“What is being done to help Canadians reduce their output of Greenhouse Gases, one of the causes of Global Warming?” asks NCWC, a long-time advocate for measures to implement the Kyoto Protocols. Environmental degradation is also causing long-term health problems that will surely increase Health Care costs for all Canadians in the future.
To sum up, there was $1Billion for the Beef Producers. But there is no beef for ordinary and low-income Canadians.
For more information:
National Council of Women of Canada
Catharine Laidlaw-Sly NCWC President Phone: 1-514-835-4884
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org