Iggy the Idiot, Part I

When my daughter was young, she watched a CBC-TV show called Under the Umbrella Tree which featured Holly and her three puppet roomies, Gloria Gopher, Jacob Bluejay and Iggy Iguana.

Perhaps our own Iggy the Liberal leader watched too much of that show.  Or maybe it’s just part of the attributes that attach to that name but the iguana Iggy was characterized as “thinking too highly of himself and unwillingly making mistakes.”

Iggy the Liberal has certainly been thinking too highly of himself and too little of others.

His support for Harper’s budget bill is a slap in the face to Canadian women.  Of course we shouldn’t be too surprised at this given the Liberal Party’s record with women.  Wasn’t it Paul Martin as Finance Minister who began the federal attack on women’s organizations funded through Status of Women Canada?  So, to see Iggy and his ilk support an attack on pay equity and infrastructure solutions that exclude women while still denying Canadian women a national childcare plan is really to be expected.

But Canadians have some kind of sick idea that the Liberals are better than the Cons.  Not me.  Liberal or Tory, it’s the same old story.  Tommy Douglas was right about that in his story of Mouseland.  Not that the NDP or any partisan organization will be the savior of Canada or Canadian women, for that matter.  But at least the NDP get it when it comes to women’s issues.  Mind you, it’s not quite to the extent that the Bloc Quebecois get it, but it’s good.

About Iggy the Liberal unwillingly making mistakes, well, I’m not sure.  It’s looking to me like he’s willfully making mistakes at the expense of Canadian women and children.

Building a wedge

Already, there are splits in Iggy’s Liberal caucus.  Two Newfoundland and Labrador Members of Parliament are threatening to oppose the federal budget unless there are amendments.  This is a result of constituent action.

If women are a constituency, then it makes sense that Canadian women contact the Liberal critic responsible for the status of women, Anita Neville, because the budget fails women in a huge way:

- continues the attack on pay equity in the civil service

- provides no support to the working poor or those living in poverty

- does nothing to provide desperately-needed childcare supports

- provides stimulus to male-dominated areas of the economy, further ghettoizing the “pink ghetto

Mention any and all of these (& more) in your communications with the Liberal MP, Hon. Anita Neville (Winnipeg South Centre):

Parliament Hill Office

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6
Telephone: (613) 992-9475
Fax: (613) 992-9586
EMail: Neville.A@parl.gc.ca
Web Site:* www.anitaneville.ca/
Preferred Language: English

Constituency Offices

Unit D – 729 Corydon Avenue,
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3M 0W4
Telephone: (204) 983-1355
Fax: (204) 984-3979

I mean, really, what century is this, anyway?

UPDATE:  As Beijing York suggests below, it wouldn’t hurt to also email the leaders of the opposition parties.  DuceppeLaytonIgnatieff.

An anti-woman rampage

As published in Regina’s Prairie Dog and Saskatoon’s Planet S.

AN ANTI-WOMAN RAMPAGE

Intentional or not, Prime Minister Stephen Harper delivered another bitchslap to Canadian women in the economic and fiscal update his finance minister, Jim Flaherty, delivered on Nov. 27.

Sure, he took swipes at political parties and unions and promised to sell off public assets, too. And he also attacked women’s right to equal pay for work of equal value within the federal civil service.

Harper apparently hates anything to do with equal rights for women. As a result, women don’t vote for him. Maybe that’s why instead of wooing us, he takes extreme measures to further punish us.

Just look what he’s done in the past: he smacked down a national child care plan, killed off the Court Challenges program, attacked women’s reproductive freedom by supporting Bill C-484, axed jobs at Status of Women Canada (SWC) and eliminated the word “equality” from its mandate, silenced advocacy groups, shut down community-based women’s organizations and stripped money from women’s agencies and programs.

And the list goes on.

Now, he spins a pay-out of “over $4 billion in pay equity settlements” as an extraneous expense for government? Hello? That’s money stolen from women! Women who performed work equivalent to men in the federal civil service were paid less simply because they were women. It’s money they earned. The Canadian Human Rights Commission said so in 1984. That was 24 years ago! In 1999, after 15 years of legal wrangling, the Federal Court of Canada agreed women had been short-changed and ordered the government to cough up.

Some women have died waiting for their fair share. But Harper’s revenge would see those payments slow down. And their right to pay equity subjected to contract negotiations.

And their right to strike eliminated.

Gilles Duceppe was the first to stand up to Harper, accusing him of using the economic crisis as an excuse to attack women’s rights. “[The government] has decided to attack women’s rights by submitting their right to pay equity to negotiation,” he said. “Since when are rights negotiable?”

Since when, indeed! Some women I know want Gilles as PM. Others, including the Ad Hoc Coalition for Women’s Equality and Human Rights, say that “the prospect of a coalition government means that things are definitely looking up for women.”

No kidding! What would be worse for women than another day of Stephen Harper as PM? /Bernadette Wagner

Cross-posted at rabble.ca

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