Evidence of meeting #145 for Status of Women in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was work.

A video is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Nancy Gardiner  Assistant Deputy Minister, Department for Women and Gender Equality
Lisa Smylie  Director General, Research, Results and Delivery, Results and Delivery Unit, Department for Women and Gender Equality
Danielle Bélanger  Director, GBA Plus, Policy and External Relations, Department for Women and Gender Equality

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Perhaps you know, or perhaps you can get advice from your colleagues about this, but I'd be interested to understand some of the organization changes in the transition from Status of Women to WAGE. Did this mean an increase in funding for the department or an increase in support and the number of officials in the department?

10:20 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Nancy Gardiner

Over the last three years, and since I came into the department, there's definitely been an increase in capacity—about four times the amount of support contributing to the work we are doing. Because we've received a large number of new programming dollars, there has been support to increase the capacity not only in Ottawa, but across the country in our regional offices.

We have also increased support for policy, such as new policy areas and increasing the ability to continue to do the type of key policy work we need to do in support of the new mandate, as well as the mandate of the past Status of Women before we became WAGE.

Lisa's area is also brand new to the department over the last year, I would say.

Lisa, do you want to speak to the research and data piece?

10:20 a.m.

Director General, Research, Results and Delivery, Results and Delivery Unit, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Lisa Smylie

In budget 2018, we got dollars specifically to support data collection and research in support of GBA+ and the gender results framework to ensure that our policies and programs are being informed by evidence and research.

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Was that not available previously?

10:20 a.m.

Director General, Research, Results and Delivery, Results and Delivery Unit, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Lisa Smylie

That was not available previously.

10:20 a.m.

Liberal

Rachel Bendayan Liberal Outremont, QC

Okay.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

Rachel, thank you very much. Your time is up now.

We are able to go into a next round, or we could vote on these main estimates. I'm going to take it to the committee to decide.

Are there more questions from committee members, or would we like to go to the vote? If we go into another round, we're talking about another 15 to 20 minutes.

I just want to see what the will of the committee is.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

I have a couple of more questions.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

That's not a problem.

I'll do a reduced going-around. We will start off with CPC. We'll go three, three, and then back to Irene to finish off. Is that okay?

We'll do our very best. It will probably be two to three minutes, but I'm looking at what we have done to this point.

You have the floor. Rachael or Rosemarie—who's taking the question?

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

Rachael Harder Conservative Lethbridge, AB

I will give our three minutes to Ms. Mathyssen.

10:20 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

You're passing on that? Okay. Doing that is allowed

Go ahead, Irene. You have the floor for three minutes.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Thank you very much, Madam Chair.

I have a couple of questions. There was some discussion relating to our study on the violence experienced by women in the military and at work in terms of sexual assault and harassment. To what degree you have worked with DND with regard to the recommendations of Madame Deschamps?

One of our witnesses indicated that if DND were to pursue the recommendations of Madame Deschamps' report, it would be a very effective kind of approach and resolution to the issue. Are you familiar with the report? Has it come up in your discussions? Does DND seem to be working around that report?

10:20 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Nancy Gardiner

I would say that we're familiar with, but not in a position to speak to, the details of the report.

10:20 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Okay. Thank you.

There was some discussion, too, about the event coming up in Vancouver in June. It's a conference called Women Deliver. We have heard there's a parallel conference called Feminists Deliver, and it's happening at the same time in response to concerns about a lack of funding for women's organizations to participate.

Has the department ensured that all women's organizations can effectively participate in this conference, which Canada is privileged to host, which has been described as once in a very long time frame?

10:25 a.m.

Assistant Deputy Minister, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Nancy Gardiner

We have been working very closely with Feminists Deliver. Our team has been on the ground with them in Vancouver. We have provided support to them as well. Early on, they did recognize the concerns that you have recognized as well, including the concerns of indigenous women and folks who are working and living in the Downtown Eastside. We will continue to work with them right up until the conference.

Also, we have been working with CanWaCH, an organization that we have provided support for and to, to allow for bursaries for Canadian organizations to participate in the event. Also, in the lead-up to the event, there are a number of local events that will ensure that local organizations and local women are given the opportunity to participate.

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Just very quickly, the minister indicated that funding is already in place for a future Daughters of the Vote.... Can we—

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

Irene, if you could hold your question, you will still be able to ask it as your last question.

We're going to pass it over to Bob for his three minutes and then we'll come back to you for your final question. You've used Rachael's three minutes.

10:25 a.m.

NDP

Irene Mathyssen NDP London—Fanshawe, ON

Okay.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

Bob, you get the floor for three minutes.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Bratina Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

My question is about the relationship in the budgeting process with StatsCan. Are you satisfied with the available data to make good decisions on budget allocations? Moving forward, how do you work with StatsCan to get the information you need?

10:25 a.m.

Director General, Research, Results and Delivery, Results and Delivery Unit, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Lisa Smylie

There's always more that we can do. Certainly we have a great working relationship with Statistics Canada. We work very closely together to make sure that we're aware of the needs of those working on the front lines of other levels of government, of our own departments, in terms of data, and to make those data available.

Moving forward, with Statistics Canada we are going to continue to work closely with the end-users of data, again to identify their needs and make sure that we're targeting our data and research dollars to fill those knowledge gaps.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Bratina Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

We have a number of things related to that in the departmental plan. It says the Department for Women and Gender Equality will “undertake and fund research...to fill existing gaps in knowledge”. Theoretically, that relates to the information coming down from StatsCan.

10:25 a.m.

Director General, Research, Results and Delivery, Results and Delivery Unit, Department for Women and Gender Equality

Lisa Smylie

That's correct. For example, through our gender-based violence strategy, we have funding that we send to StatsCan to work on three new national surveys to fill data gaps on gender-based violence. We also have funding that goes to Statistics Canada to help fill data gaps on the gender results framework, from a national perspective.

10:25 a.m.

Liberal

Bob Bratina Liberal Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, ON

Thanks, Chair.

10:25 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Karen Vecchio

I'll pass it over to Irene for her last question.