Evidence of meeting #70 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 study.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Laura Munn-Rivard  Committee Researcher
Pierre Charest  Vice-President, Research Grants and Scholarships Directorate, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Dominique Bérubé  Vice-President, Research Programs, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
Sheilagh Murphy  Assistant Deputy Minister, Lands and Economic Development, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development
John Gartke  Director, Trade Missions, Consultations and Outreach, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development

9 a.m.

Voices

Oh, oh!

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Ms. Damoff.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

I'm not saying necessarily that it's going to change, but if the analyst comes back and says this is strictly provincial, there's no sense in us spending a lot of time on it. I'm not saying this would necessarily change. I'm actually quite happy with the way Sheila worded this, but if there's something that's not worth spending our time on, I just don't want us calling witnesses. That's all.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Right. The reality is that we can begin and halt studies if it's the will of the committee. If we vote for this one, and we go and do that analysis, and we have further discussion of other ones that we want to put in the public space, then if we decide not to act on that one, we could start another one of these. You can actually have multiple studies going on concurrently.

Mr. Fraser.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Sean Fraser Liberal Central Nova, NS

That's for sure.

On the justice theme study, I expect the answer will be that there is going to be meat there that we could look at. The short answer is going to be something like: if it's the day-to-day administration of the justice system, it will be the provinces. But there's a huge opportunity for the federal government to fund different kinds of programs. I think exploring the kinds of programs we could fund would be worthwhile. I don't anticipate a conclusion without prejudging or that says you shouldn't bother looking at it. There's going to be plenty to look at on this issue.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

The motion is before you, the reworded motion 10, with the request for the analyst.

Ms. Ludwig.

9 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Ludwig Liberal New Brunswick Southwest, NB

I just wanted to raise the current news example of the young woman who was sexually assaulted. To get her to testify in court, they actually incarcerated her. It was an indigenous women. It's a true example of why this system, in many respects, is broken. That's not putting someone in a safe space by any means, considering what she had been through. It is a current news topic. Those issues are certainly coming to the surface, as they should, because they're wrong.

9 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Are there any further comments?

Seeing none, you have the reworded motion 10, with the action for the analyst to provide a summary of what's been done.

(Motion agreed to [See Minutes of Proceedings])

Good, so we'll do that.

What I would suggest we do, since we have some remaining time, is to bring forward other ideas that we can have in the pipeline, if that's okay with the committee.

Ms. Vecchio, if you want to continue with your reading of the....

9 a.m.

Conservative

Karen Vecchio Conservative Elgin—Middlesex—London, ON

Okay. This is a rough draft. It is that the committee undertake a study on the role of women in Canadian politics and how the Canadian government can take further initiative in an effort to increase the number of women in this field, with a focus on, (a) initiatives and programs that seek to increase the number of women in politics; (b) the advantages, disadvantages and specific details surrounding various legislative tools used to increase the number of women in politics, such as targets and quotas, etc.; (c) international models used to increase women in politics, whether these models have proven successful or not; and (d) the roles of prominent female Canadian politicians in modern-day Canada.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

I like that one.

Are there any other topics that you want to put in the pipeline?

Ms. Malcolmson.

9:05 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

This is also a notice of motion that I provided to the clerk:

That the Committee study the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women, November 25, 2016, “Concluding observations on the combined eighth and ninth periodic reports of Canada” recommendations; that the study includes, but is not limited to, a consideration of the following subject areas outlined by the report:

1. Access to Justice

2. Socio-economic Conditions of Indigenous Women and Girls

3. Poverty and Housing Strategies

4. Women in Detention; and

that the Committee report its findings to the House; that the Committee request a government response to its report; and that these meetings be televised.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Ms. Damoff.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

Pam Damoff Liberal Oakville North—Burlington, ON

I don't have this written, but when we've been doing some of these studies, they're quite large and we touch on a number of issues. One that I think comes up repeatedly is how better to engage men and boys in ending gender-based violence. If we can just put that as a similar situation, as a hold.... We have looked at it in the broader context, but it might be worth a couple of meetings just to really hone in on that.

9:05 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

I have a comment.

I have a memory of that being studied in the previous Parliament by status of women, so that might just need a check with the clerk or the analyst. I have a feeling that, although we weren't around the table, it's quite a fresh study that we need to spend some time on.

9:05 a.m.

Laura Munn-Rivard Committee Researcher

The committee did a study on violence against women, and there was a section on engaging men and boys, but it was not the focus of the study.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Are there other ideas?

Ms. Kusie.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

Sheila, is the UN study something we report back to them on, or is it comparative to other nations? Is it on Canada's role globally?

Can you expand upon that, please, and tell us whatever I wasn't able to grasp from your brief introduction of it? Thank you.

9:05 a.m.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson NDP Nanaimo—Ladysmith, BC

Fair enough, I didn't say anything about it.

Because Canada is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, every five years there's a report by that committee, looking at Canada's actions specifically around implementing its commitments. We only get that report every five years, and we got one in November. I can send you a link to it. It has all kinds of things. It will say congratulations to the government for doing this, or the government is still failing to do that.

It gives us a snapshot in time, but we only get that opportunity twice a decade, so it would be a great opportunity for us to dig into how we're doing as a country and what we could do better.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

Mr. Serré.

9:05 a.m.

Liberal

Marc Serré Liberal Nickel Belt, ON

Thank you, Madam Chair.

I just wanted to go back to having the men and boys study, a comprehensive.... We're hearing more and more that we're missing 50% of the population here and it's a big issue. We're not changing the mentality and the stereotypes and the thinking of teenaged boys and adolescents with a lot of the studies that we're doing. We're not reaching that area, which is vitally important to get to, to meet the objectives that we want to achieve. We're looking at women and girls, violence, empowerment, and the whole slew of issues that we're trying to address, but we really need to focus on men and boys, and that's something I wanted to ensure that we think about in subsequent studies.

9:05 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

I thank you for those comments, Marc.

Sheila, I like your motion on the United Nations one. Of the specific bullet points there, I was envisioning fitting the access to justice one—which we just put as a motion—in there as one of our bullets. You know how we like to do these studies that have multiple bullet points in them—and you had something about the socio-economics, which we've sort of already covered—but I wondered if it might be good to have that broader context, and then to highlight these specific items, starting with the one we have, and if we can, bring in any of these other ones that are identified as gaps.

If you can send the link around to the committee, that would be really good. I liked that one.

Any other ideas that we want to put on the record?

Ms. Kusie.

June 20th, 2017 / 9:10 a.m.

Conservative

Stephanie Kusie Conservative Calgary Midnapore, AB

I just wanted to expand upon the one Karen brought forward in regard to women in politics. For so many reasons, given the Prime Minister's initiative, it's just a fascinating time to look at women in politics in terms of the objectives of gender parity. Also, in this period in humanity, we've had so many incredible female leaders coming out of the fabric of the greater society of the world, including the U.K., Germany, and Chile. We recently had the head of state from that country as well.

It's really a fascinating time, and I'm also a big believer that certainly all of the problems that we examine here have some.... I believe Marc touched on this in terms of his recognition of men and boys. As our last witness said, men haven't gotten the message. These things ultimately come from some great systemic place at the beginning, and if I go back, where do our roles start? They start with legislators.

If we as women can get more women into power and into these roles, it should be for the benefit of humanity, so I think it merits taking a look at, given this point in history.

Thank you.

9:10 a.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative Marilyn Gladu

That's very good.

I was fascinated by the last bunch of witnesses with the discussion of quotas and targets. I know this is not always what you would expect to hear from a Conservative, but it seems there are a number of examples in the world where quotas and targets were effective, and that was certainly an area where I thought to myself it may be time for an intervention, if I look at the 40 years that we have really not been making much progress. Perhaps there's time to get a fact- and evidence-based view of these things and how they best worked, and to consider that. I would just put that out there as another opportunity if it slides into any of the studies that we're doing.

All right, with that, the clerk has got her instructions on what she's going to prepare on the motion that we voted on, and then the rest of these we will keep, and if we decide we're not moving forward on the existing study that's been proposed, then we'll go back to these other ones. Sheila, you'll send that UN thing around so we can take a look at that.

Now just a reminder of what's happening over the summer. We don't want you to forget all the great testimony that has been heard, so over the summer our dear analysts will be working very hard to put a summary of evidence together on everything we've heard up until today. You will receive that in late August, so that will give you the opportunity to start thinking about whether that is the way we want the report presented.

9:10 a.m.

Liberal

Karen Ludwig Liberal New Brunswick Southwest, NB

I think, Chair, it should just be a CD we listen to in our car.

9:10 a.m.

Some hon. members

Oh, oh!