After the “Hats Off, Girls!” program, which encourages young women to choose non-traditional occupations, today we learn that the Couillard government is slashing the “Secondaire en spectacle” [High schools on stage] program. Yet another short-sighted decision, which shows that the current government, under the pretext of “fiscal restraint”, is pursuing ideological goals.
There is nothing illegitimate about the party in power redefining the size and role of government. This is an act of political vision that can be defended in the democratic game. On the other hand, using the argument of a balanced budget as a weapon to dismantle specific programs is at best misleading, and at worst, is an intellectual fraud and deceit.
I have written it enough in these columns and elsewhere – and I’m obviously not the only one -: there is no urgency or imminent disaster. To suggest otherwise, as do Philippe Couillard, Martin Coiteux and Carlos Leitão, is to downright falsify reality.
Friday morning, at the Reproductive Centre of the McGill University Health Centre. Each chair is occupied by a woman who wants to become pregnant with the help of science. Élodie Mantha, 33 years old, from Gatineau, is one of them. If they are so numerous, it is because the assisted procreation program – public and free – exists.
Created in 2010, the program was meant to cost 48 million annually. It costs 70 million. This popularity is not a passing fad: from 1992 to 2012, infertility* doubled in Canada – from 8.5% to 16%, one couple in six – for a series of factors that are more or less known.
And the older women are, the more they are infertile and the more they need the helping hand of science to get pregnant.
Women are more harshly affected by austerity measures than men, and recovery plans are less favourable to them as well.
IRIS researchers have observed a 7 billion dollar gap between men and women.
Women in Quebec have suffered from the collateral damage of the most recent economic crisis more than men. They have been more harshly affected by the “austerity” measures put in place in order to balance the budget and have not seen as many benefits of the economic recovery as men have.
A new study published on Monday by the Institut de recherche et d’informations socio-économiques (IRIS) reveals that the measures iimposed to straighten out Quebec’s finances are not “neutral” or “technocratic”, contrary to the Couillard government’s claims: they affect women more than men.
“The results are clear, the process of economic recovery since 2008 has had a negative impact on women, be it in the context of recovery or austerity measures”, states the study’s co-author Eve-Lyne Couturier. Continue reading →