March 30, 2011
Hon. David Alward
Premier, New Brunswick
Centennial Building P. O. Box 6000 Fredericton, NB
E3B 5H1 Canada
Re: Open letter urging the New Brunswick Government not to abolish the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women
I am extremely concerned and disappointed that in the 2011 budget the Government of New Brunswick eliminated the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women (NB ACSW). The independent nature of the NB ACSW gave women in New Brunswick and across Canada a strong voice to critique the provincial and federal government’s progress on advancing women’s equality.
In the 1990’s, the federal Liberal government abolished the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women (CACSW) folding its mandate into Status of Women Canada. When the CACSW was abolished the Liberal government, at the time, promised, like your government that the federal department could take on the same mandate and save the government money. This turned out to be false. Currently, Status of Women Canada (SWC) does not perform any of the functions that CACSW did; research, advocacy and lobbying activities of SWC have now also been banned.
2011 marks the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. Women in Canada have come far, but women still have not achieved equality in Canada. I’ve attached a newspaper article by Elsie Hambrook, the chair of the NB ACSW that describes why the advisory council needs to exist.
I urge to you to reconsider your decision and allow the New Brunswick Advisory Council on the Status of Women to continue its work on advancing women’s equality in New Brunswick and across Canada.
Irene Mathyssen, MP
NDP Status of Women Critic