Seven small groups were created to discuss topics related to our CFUW-National Resolutions:

  • Pay equity
  • Universal daycare and parental leave
  • Poverty and homelessness
  • Universal Pharmacare
  • Climate change
  • Election reform
  • Indigenous issues  

The groups spent 25 minutes discussing their assigned issues, after which one group member delivered a 2 minute presentation to all the club members present.

Voting

Everyone was given three tickets which they used to vote to eliminate 3 of the topics from the list of issues.   

Universal Daycare and Parental Leave, universal Pharmacare and elections and Electoral Reform were eliminated. The following topics will be recommended to CFUW-National for further discussion with the Federal political parties:

  • Environment and Climate Change
  • Indigenous Issues
  • Poverty and Housing and Homelessness
  • Immigration
  • Pay Equity and Women in Non-traditional Occupations and Skilled Trades

Summary of Presentations

Pay Equity and Women in Non-traditional Occupations and Skilled Trades

Pay equity underlies everything we discussed this evening.  Our society believes that women are worth 30% of what men are worth.  If women were equally valued- daycare would not be an issue-poverty would not be an issue. We have a Federal Cabinet that is 50% women but this is not reflected in politics in general or in high-level jobs.  

Universal Daycare and Parental Leave

Compared to other countries, Canada has a good parental leave program.  Unfortunately, daycare is not so good and Federal intervention and control is needed to improve daycare.  As illustrated in the Province of Quebec, one of the benefits of universal daycare is more taxes collected by government.  The costs of universal daycare are actually offset by taxes generated by working parents.  Conversely, daycare worries are a detriment to parent employment.  Universal daycare provides a head start for children in all socioeconomic groups.

Poverty and Housing and Homelessness

1 in 6 people live in poverty in Canada. These numbers  were from a 2018 report by Citizens for Public Justice, taking into account three measures for poverty:  The report uses several low-income indicators, including the Low-Income Measure (LIM), the Census Family Low Income Measure (CFLIM) and the Market Basket Measure (MBM). Each measure of low income provides different information on poverty using different methodologies to calculate rates of poverty Children in one-parent families, single seniors, and single parents live below the poverty line in significant numbers.  The financial cost of poverty in Canada is over $70 billion per year.  Candidates need to address the issue of poverty and homelessness in this country. 

Universal Pharmacare

Provincial variations in pharmacare are broad.  Our drug costs in Canada are high (third highest in the world) and our population is aging.  As people age, they tend to require more medication and their incomes tend to fall. This combination of high cost and aging population has the effect of making drugs less accessible to people.  Pharmacare should be part of the Canadian universal healthcare package.  We may in fact see a reduction in the over-prescribing of drugs once they are fully government funded and controlled. If all drug purchase is universal and centralized there will be a need to be an additional source,, about $7.2 B, of funding (tax). Also number of drugs covered will probably decrease substantially i.e. New Zealand has lowest drug prices but only covers 2,000. Currently, Canada’s public plans cover  4,000- 8,000 and private plans 13,000.. Yes there is probably a lot of duplication but still large number

Environment and Climate Change

The UN believes we have 13 years left to make a difference in the environment before it is too late to reverse environmental damage.  Examples: Today, due to melting of polar ice, C02 is escaping into the atmosphere.  The forests are also releasing large amounts of C02 due to fires and decay.  This is critical and the government must act now.  Currently, CFUW-Stratford Club strives to eliminate plastics and unnecessary consumption of fossil fuels. 

Elections and Electoral Reform

We are frequently represented by governments that hold only roughly 30 percent of the majority vote.  First Past the Post is in need of reform.  Young people are going to begin to believe that their votes do not count.  Proportional representation is a CFUW Policy-to better reflect the popular vote.

Indigenous Issues

There is an ongoing need to educate and engage the general public on Indigenous affairs and to encourage Indigenous peoples to thrive in their own communities.

Immigration

Immigrants are critical to the growth of our Country.  We need young people to be workers in the future-as our current population ages.  In the future, we will need over 200,000 immigrants annually to meet our workforce needs. Canada is seen globally as an open, accepting country and we have a moral obligation to accept refugees. 

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