Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise to present a petition today that was given to me at the Welcome Centre Shelter for Women that serves Windsor-Essex. I visited with the women at the shelter, and they presented me with this petition. They are asking for better funding for feminist women's organizations.
They spoke about the fact that they have been struggling for decades to keep the lights on and the doors open due to a lack of federal core operations funding. They also talked about the fact that they are the most underfunded in Canada's nonprofit sector, but they are the single most effective means for building better lives for women.
The petitioners say that the current Government of Canada's program funding is insecure and competitive and takes workers' time away from helping more women. They also say that direct federal funding of women's organizations represents less than .01% of total federal program spending. That is only about $1 for every woman in Canada.
The petitioners are calling on the Government of Canada to immediately provide secure, multi-year core operational funding to feminist women's organizations and set national standards to ensure quality of access to services and protection of all women.