REALity September 2018 Ottawa, ON
What greater problems can befall Canadians? Well, how about our municipal councils taking a turn at creating more difficulties for us. Rather than concentrating on their basic responsibilities – providing efficient city services, updating infrastructure, keeping spending under control, making sure taxation is not excessive – some municipalities are currently caving in to pressure from left-wing tax-funded special interest groups to set their policies. They are not consulting with Conservative organizations for their views. It is apparently only one-sided.
Under the feminist umbrella of Gender-Based Analysis-Plus, (GBA+) gender lobbyists have been attempting a “take over the government” in order to replace elected city councils with politically motivated social engineering. It is a stealthy power grab.
Often without any assessment of cost, cost-benefits or cost-tracking, GBA+ proponents claim to make cities more responsive to women, the LGBTQ etc. community, various ethnic groups, the disabled, the aged, the poor, etc. According to an Edmonton GBA+ report, “intersectionality” would expand gender equity beyond sex and gender to encompass “age, ability, education, ethnicity, geography, health, language, and socio-economic background”, and would “inform everyday experiences with an organization’s policies, programs, services and initiatives”.
The report lists, not surprisingly, only the following tax-funded groups as supportive of this “progressive” municipal over-reach: Women’s Advocacy Voice of Edmonton, the Accessibility Advisory Council, the Youth Council, the Community Services Advisory Board and the Poverty Elimination Council Initiative. Other add-ons could be Edmonton’s Indigenous Relations Office, Multicultural Relations Office, Child Friendly Edmonton and Age Friendly Edmonton. In the wings are the advisory committees on anti-racism, LGBTQ2+, and assessment frameworks on diversity and inclusion and social development. Not to leave out city funded training for Indigenous awareness, intercultural competency, anti-racism, and historic trauma about residential schools.
Such a power grab by left-wing, tax-funded lobbyists can weigh heavily on municipal budgets, duplicate federal and provincial responsibilities, which are already costly social adventures, both by-passing taxpayers and minimizing the influence of democratically elected city officials, not to mention that of conservative groups.
Writing in the Edmonton Journal on May 30, 2018, journalist David Staples asks “…should the values of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation or the Canadian Council of Churches also be allowed to directly and overtly shape city policy? How about a conservative women’s group, such as REAL Women of Canada? Should city staffers have to report back to them?” It is clear that the intention is that City Councils will only have to answer to politically correct organizations.
Taxpayers at all levels, federal, provincial and municipal, should beware of strident feminist gender-based ambitions, which defer to no boundaries, whether rational or fiscal. What they want is power, whenever and wherever they can grab it, and in doing so are trying to exclude the perspectives of other organizations.