Mr. Speaker, I am glad to give some examples of what I mean by the absence of gender equality mainstreaming and gender analysis in the budget. For example, when the minority Conservative government announced an unprecedented $1 billion cut in federal social spending on September 2006, women and other vulnerable groups disproportionately bore the burden. A kind of mainstreaming of gender analysis might have prevented this outcome.
As well, in the fall of 2006, the Conservative government, in a series of decisions, removed equality as a main goal of the women's program at Status of Women Canada. It cut $5 million from the operating budget of Status of Women Canada.
It changed the rules of the women's program to eliminate equality-seeking organizations from qualifying for funding. It changed the rules of the women's program to prevent groups from advocating on behalf of women. It changed the rules of the women's program to allow for profit groups to apply for funding.
It gutted the research and policy capacity of Status of Women Canada, etc. and, as I mentioned, closed 12 of 16 regional Status of Women Canada offices that in fact impacted prejudicially on the equitable distribution of social services to rural areas in this country. Any mainstreaming of gender analysis would have avoided all those outcomes.