As my colleagues know, it's one of my favourite topics, because when we've appeared here in the last two and a half years, we've talked about this as being like trying to turn a big ship around. I was thinking about it this morning, and I think we're heading kind of southwest at the moment. I think that ship is turning. It has a lot to do with leadership, which does come from the Prime Minister himself, but as well, many members in the current cabinet are speaking very vocally about gender-based analysis.
A huge leap forward has been gender budgeting. Nobody can make people act and react like the Department of Finance can. As long and as hard as we've been trying at Status of Women Canada, just that exercise alone has really changed how Ottawa is functioning. We are working together to think about what results the government as a whole is going to achieve on gender equality, which links back to our gender-based analysis role. If we don't have everybody marching in the same direction, these are hard issues to move on. They're hard societal issues to change and very entrenched issues. So we need everybody marching in the same direction, and part of that GBA work is to work with other levels of government and civil society organizations so that we all have a common vision for gender equality.
In our day-to-day work back at the office, our phones are still ringing off the hook. I continually receive panicky emails at nights and on weekends, but this is a good thing. People are taking GBA seriously, and they want to get it right across all of government. Many of them are doing a much better job than they used to be up front. What we're seeing—and this is a bit “processy”, but it's very profound—is that GBAs used to be done as a side product, as an afterthought to the core policy or program initiative. We've been working with departments across the government to make sure that it actually has an impact on the recommendations and options that are being put forward both for policy development and, very importantly, for implementation. It's still a process. We're not all the way yet. I would like to say that we're trying to work ourselves out of a job. Maybe we need to rebrand GBA a little bit. This needs to be an instinctual process for policy-makers and program implementation across all governments. Without really solid gender-based analysis, you're actually not developing programs and policies that are responsive to gender equality and to the incredible diversity that characterizes Canada. That's our big-picture goal.