Soon after Stephen Harper took over as prime minister, there was considerable controversy as his government slashed funding to Status of Women Canada. Progressives were up in arms, while social conservatives advocated that the program be ended altogether.
A lot more quietly, soon after International Women’s Day, the Harper government appears to have backtracked on the cutbacks. Here’s the news release:
Canada’s New Government Increases Funding to the Women’s Program
OTTAWA, March 7 /CNW/ - On the eve of International Women’s Day, the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Status of Women, announced an additional $5 million in new funding for 2007-2008 for Status of Women Canada and a new funding mechanism for the Women’s Program.
“Tomorrow, on International Women’s Day, Canadians will take the occasion to celebrate women’s accomplishments here in Canada and around the world. However, we must also reflect on the challenges ahead of us and the concrete action we can undertake to address these challenges,” said Minister Oda. “Canada’s New Government is proud to enhance the Women’s Program in order to make a real difference in the lives of Canadian women facing challenges.”
The budget of the Women’s Program has been increased by 42 percent, bringing it to its highest level ever of $15.3 million.
Huh. Way to break typecasting, guys. Nice job. Though I’d be interested in hearing the reaction of social conservative supporters to this move, and an explanation from other Conservative party supporters on why the government backtracked. Who convinced them to move? Is this part of a deal with the NDP to help them support the budget?
Battlestar Galactica ends in three weeks, just in time for science fiction fans to take up the third season of the revived Doctor Who in the UK and thanks to the magic of the Internet.
The CBC will apparently be showing the third season and, likely, The Runaway Bride this summer, after the Stanley Cup playoffs come to a close. This will be followed by Torchwood. I’ll now debate with myself whether to review each story as they appear in the UK, or if I should wait until the CBC airs the episodes.
Also related to Doctor Who comes news that Tom Baker’s scarf and costume was auctioned off at Bonham’s for ¬£24,600 in the Bonham’s auction. It had initially been expected to fetch just ¬£1,500-¬£2,000. By comparison, Alec Guinness’ Obi Wan Kenobi cloak went for ¬£54,000.