Save our Advisory Council | Sauvons notre conseil consultatif

Victor Boudreau, NB Liberal Leader

Excerpts from questions put to David Alward by Victor Boudreau, NB Liberal Leader, during Daily Question Period in the  Legislative Assembly on March 23rd (click here for video of Question Period):

“The salaries that the Premier is paying for the jobs of his two campaign cochairs as a gift for their political work could fund the entire Advisory Council on the Status of Women for the coming year. Why did he choose to axe this lobby group for women and use that money to pay for two political henchmen? Does this now make him the new minister responsible for the status of women, since the Executive Council answers to him, shutting out women he has in his caucus and in his Cabinet?…

On that point, just to come back to that, the Advisory Council on the Status of Women was established in 1977 as an arm’s-length body to advocate on behalf of women. What the Premier did yesterday was to eliminate that and bring it into government, into the Executive Council. It is bad enough . . . When we look at the issue of pay equity, there is not a mention of it in the government’s platform, not a mention of it in the speech from the throne, and not a mention of it in the state of the province address. Now, there is not a mention of it in the budget.

There is one thing that was in the government’s platform. It did say: “Actively engage with important stakeholder groups such as the Advisory Council on the Status of Women . . . to enhance the inclusiveness of our government’s decision-making authorities.” I do not think that the 15 minutes’ notice that was given to the advisory council yesterday should qualify as “inclusiveness of our government’s decision-making authorities”. Why did the Premier cut the Advisory Council on the Status of Women?…

Ce qui est triste ce matin et ce qui était triste dans le budget d’hier, et je le répète, c’est de voir que le premier ministre a opté et choisi d’embaucher les deux coprésidents de sa campagne plutôt que de mettre en place le financement pour le Conseil consultatif sur la condition de la femme, et ce, avec cinq femmes autour de la table du Cabinet et quelques autres femmes autour de la table du caucus. Ma question est pour le premier ministre. Comment peut-il justifier choisir deux emplois pour ses coprésidents de campagne au-dessus du financement du Conseil consultatif sur la condition de la femme?”

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