Gender equality

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In a rare unanimous decision, the Supreme Court of Canada recently confirmed the constitutionality of the federal government's provision of parental benefits under Employment Insurance (EI). The federal government now has no excuse not to do a better job of ensuring that this essential social program is meaningful for all employed women and men.
HALIFAX: Single parents face a monthly shortfall of between $180 and $415 while attending university according to study released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.  The study, “Fairness in Education for Single Parents in Nova Scotia,” presents the first detailed examination of income and expenses for single parent-university students in Nova Scotia.  The author, Katherine Reed, of the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre, examined what would be the income and expenses of several single parent families, if the heads of the families were university students.
On June 9, 2005, a bare majority of justices of the Supreme Court (four of seven) overturned decisions of two lower provincial courts by ruling that there was a constitutional right for Quebecers to buy private insurance to obtain services already available in the public health system. While applying only to Quebec and potentially to be stayed for 18 months, this decision nevertheless opens the door for anyone in Canada with sufficient funds to try to buy their way off waiting lines by getting care in the private sector--and, by extension, to more privatized care in general.
OTTAWA — The federal government's current budgetary process is leaving women behind. A new report by Isabella Bakker, released today by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) and the Canadian Feminist Alliance for International Action (FAFIA), concludes that if women are to be equal benefactors of federal budget surpluses, the federal government must stop ignoring its domestic and international commitments to undertake gender budget analysis in Canada.