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12 Status of Women offices set to close [CA]

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Canadian Press
Publication Date: 
29 Nov 2006

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The Conservative government is taking an axe to Status of Women Canada, closing three-quarters of its regional offices and outraging critics in the process.

Heritage Minister Bev Oda said yesterday that 12 of the federal agency's 16 regional offices will be shut down by April 1.

Oda said the regional offices do little to serve women directly and money can be better spent by streamlining services.

But Liberal MP Maria Minna (Beaches-East York) called the move "reprehensible."

"Canadian women are still only earning 71 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts, more and more women are living in poverty, and we are still waiting for the government to create child-care spaces," she said.

Oda insisted that women will be better served despite the budget cuts and the office closings.

"What these offices don't necessarily provide is the help directly to women. There was a lot of lobbying groups, there was a lot of advocacy," she said.

The Commons status of women committee plans to hold two extra meetings in early December to discuss the situation.

Of the 16 regional offices, only Ottawa, Edmonton, Montreal and Moncton will be spared.

- reprinted from the Canadian Press

Entered Date: 
1 Dec 2006
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