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Apr 11, 2006

Focus:Women
Action Request:Read
Location:Canada
FAFIA-AFAI

To Improve Federal/Provincial Fiscal Arrangements Federal Social Transfer Must be Strengthened, say Women’s Groups

April 11, 2006

While Premiers meet in Montreal today to discuss the “fiscal imbalance”,
FAFIA, a broad alliance of women’s and human rights groups, is calling on
governments to strengthen social programs and services for Canadians in all
jurisdictions.

Specifically, FAFIA is calling on the federal government to significantly
increase the funds transferred to provinces and territories under the Canada
Social Transfer (CST). They also urge the federal government and the
premiers to agree to common standards for programs and services that the CST
supports.

“Federal/provincial fiscal relations are not simply about governments: they
are about whether or not women, men and children have access to essential
public services of reasonable quality wherever they live in Canada,” reminds
Shelagh Day.

Over the past decade, the federal government has withdrawn funding and the
provincial governments have eroded and diminished many programs and services
that are vital to women.

According to a report released earlier today by FAFIA, Strengthening the
Canada Social Transfer: A Call to Account, programs and services that are
supported by the federal CST –social assistance, civil legal aid, child
care, and front line services for violence against women - have been crowded
out in most parts of the country by the need for health care dollars. They
have also been eroded by the removal in 1995 of standards regarding access
and quality.

The report calls for the immediate renewal of the Canada Social Transfer,
including a new infusion of funds, increased funding stability, and for
national standards for social assistance and civil legal aid to be attached
to the transfer.

“This would allow for greater accountability and transparency at both levels
of governments. It would also ensure that the federal government continues
to reliably contribute to the well-being of all Canadians, particularly
women” Day added.

The report stipulates that because of Québec’s distinctiveness, it makes
sense for the Québec government to design and deliver its own social
programs and services. Parallel but different delivery and accountability
mechanisms for Québec and the rest of Canada are appropriate.

“Federal-provincial/territorial fiscal arrangements are the means of
ensuring that Canada meets its human rights commitments to equality,
security of the person and an adequate standard of living for all its
residents.”

“A strengthened Canada Social Transfer would help to ensure that Canada
lives up to these commitments,” concludes Day.

To read the full report, follow this link (PDF file) PDF file
www.fafia-afai.org/Strengthening_the_Canada_Social_Transfer_FAFIA.pdf

posted at http://dawn.thot.net/fafia2.html

Read the French version at
http://dawn.thot.net/fafia2.html#fr


Visibility: Everyone
Posted: Tuesday April 11, 2006, 7:39 am
Tags: canada women equality fafia-afai canada-social_transfer [add/edit tags]

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Barbara Anello
female , married, 2 children
North Bay, ON, Canada
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