The following is a statement by NDP Memramcook-Tantramar candidate Hélène Boudreau:
The recent report that the Voices of New Brunswick Women Consensus-Building Forum is woefully underfunded and unable to achieve real results is more than disheartening. It is quite frankly appalling. It’s appalling because it is yet another example where the current government wants to set the women’s movement backwards. It is as if David Alward and his Conservatives won’t be happy until the women’s movement is set back two or three decades.
Other provinces, like Quebec, have not only brought in pay equity legislation but they also appointed a pay equity commissioner to ensure employers are meeting their obligations. Not in New Brunswick. Despite numerous calls to introduce pay equity legislation here, neither the Liberals nor PC’s have lifted a finger to make that happen.
For more than 25 years, women across Canada have had the right of choice when it came to reproductive decision-making. Not in New Brunswick. Women here have no voice. No voice to make their own decisions. As a Registered Nurse, I can’t think of one medical procedure decision that I can’t make on my own once I’ve received all my options, not one with the exception of abortion. In this case, it’s up to 2 physicians that make that choice for me. When a healthcare and social development professional provide a service, we don’t judge that person on why they chose to undergo certain procedures or make certain life choices. We just give the best care and information to them and hope they choose to make the right decisions for themselves. It should be the same for when a woman makes the decision to have an abortion. A universal access to abortion services is the only way in ensuring women have a safe choice as part in their decision making process. It is not a question of right or wrong, it is a question of a woman’s right by law.
This is why the recent news is so deeply disturbing to the point of sickening. Here more than anywhere else, we need a strong, vibrant body which can speak on behalf of New Brunswick’s women. Part of the reason why I’m running for the NDP this fall is because our party is committed to addressing these issues. As a mother and grandmother, I truly believe I need to ensure that my now adult daughters know that NB gives equal value to the women of this province. It is just very sad that in 2014, I even have to.