News items tagged as Equality relate to treatment received by Canadian organizations, individuals and institutions by the federal government.

Refugee health cuts hidden in budget bill, immune from scrutiny

Photo by Patrick Doyle/The Canadian Press/Postmedia News

A controversial decision to strip certain refugee claimants of supplementary health benefits was apparently made behind closed doors without consultation, the government now admits.

Rick Dykstra, the parliamentary secretary to Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, revealed this week that the cuts were actually part of the government’s budget tabled in March. But because budget deliberations are subject to secrecy, there was no option to get input from stakeholders, many of whom have vocally opposed the decision. (...)

Prisoner reintegration group wins award, but funding in jeopardy

Photo by CBC

An Ottawa program that helps former convicts re-integrate into society won a community safety award last night, shortly after they learned they were losing federal funding. (…)

MAP — which stands for Mentorship, Aftercare and Presence — matches men and women recently released from the jail and prison system with "coaches" who can help them deal with all kinds of hurdles, including addiction, unemployment and homelessness. (...)

Too many aboriginal women have died. It’s time for action

Photo by Andy Clark/Reuters

(…) Some 600 cases of murdered and missing aboriginal women have been catalogued, half of them in the past decade. (…) The Native Women’s Association of Canada and the Assembly of First Nations have called for a national inquiry to probe this horrific litany of slaughter and propose a national action plan. Last Thursday and Friday, the ministers of justice, aboriginal affairs and status of women from all 13 provinces and territories gathered in Winnipeg to mull over the idea. The federal government refused to participate – an act so contemptuous one can barely find the words to describe it. (…)

Alberta veteran part of class-action lawsuit over benefits

Photo from CBC

An Edmonton-area soldier is one of six plaintiffs suing the federal government over changes to veterans’ benefits. (…)

The statement of claim, filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court, alleges the government violated the constitutional rights of the soldiers by discriminating against disabled people financially; that by passing the New Veterans Charter it failed in its fiduciary duty to support veterans; and that it broke the constitutional principle of "Honour of the Crown," by failing to keep the social promises Canada made to soldiers it sends into combat. (…)

Public service unions worry whether they can survive government campaigns

Chris Mikula/The Ottawa Citizen

Poilievre, the scrappy Conservative MP for Nepean-Carleton, has pledged to get his Tory colleagues on board his campaign to make union dues optional for members of the federal public service. (...)

It’s a move that would upset more than 60 years of labour law and practices in Canada. And there’s little doubt it would seriously weaken unions as a voice for employees in the workplace and as political opponents to government. (...)

Feds cut funding for native groups

Jason Warick / The Star Phoenix

The federal government is cutting millions in funding to First Nations groups across the province in what one professor called part of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's ongoing campaign to silence potential critics. (…) The core funding of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations will be cut to $500,000 per year from the current $1.6 million by 2013-14. Tribal councils will face cuts of 20 to 40 per cent. The Metis Nation - Saskatchewan, which holds elections Saturday, is also being cut. (...)

Number of protests increasing in Nunavut

Photo by CBC

An increase in the number of protests in Nunavut in recent months has some saying that people are more likely to take to the streets and internet to protest. (...) There was also a surprise entry in Iqaluit's Canada Day Parade - a protest float under the banner "Celebrating Canada, Not Harper!" (...) The protesters were reluctant to talk about the float but some said feeling ignored and muzzled by Ottawa made them take action. (...)

Federal budget cuts deeply affect the health of Aboriginal women

NWAC Health Unit

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is adding its voice to the numerous groups and organizations outraged by the recent cuts to Aborginal health funding. (...) "Today’s cuts to Aboriginal health and well-being will be tomorrow’s burden,” states Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, president of NWAC.

Abdelrazik taken off UN terror list

Abousfiak Abdelrazik

Abousfian Abdelrazik, the Canadian citizen labelled a national-security risk by the Harper government and kept in forced exile for years, was taken off the UN Security Council terrorist blacklist Wednesday, ending his nearly decade-long ordeal. On being told of the delisting, Mr. Abdelrazik “shouted for joy, and then he wept,” his lawyer, Paul Champ, said. “You could hear his children cheering and clapping,” at their home in Montreal. (...)

Equality denied in missing & murdered women inquiry

Women blocking traffic in the DTES, BC

The very same grassroots community of women who have been advocating for a public inquiry into the deaths and disappearances of women in the Downtown Eastside for over two decades are now denouncing the B.C. Missing Women's Commission of Inquiry as an insult to the women of this Vancouver community.