FEWO Committee News Release
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Standing Committee on the Status of Women
For immediate release
Serving Canadians in all their Diversity: Implementing Gender-Based Analysis Plus in the Government of Canada
Ottawa, June 15, 2016 -
The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women presented its report entitled Implementing Gender-Based Analysis Plus in the Government of Canada in the House of Commons today. The report is based on submitted briefs and testimony provided by witnesses in six meetings held on February 25, 2016 and from May 3 to 17, 2016.
Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is an analytical tool that can assist in assessing the possible impacts of government policies, programs or legislation on diverse groups of women and men, and girls and boys, by taking into consideration gender and a range of intersecting identity factors, such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income.
The Committee decided to study the implementation of GBA+ in the federal government following the tabling of Report 1 of the Office of the Auditor General of Canada’s (OAG) 2015 fall reports, entitled Implementing Gender-Based Analysis. The OAG found that in the 20 years since the Government of Canada committed to applying gender-based analysis to its policy decisions, “a GBA framework has been implemented in only some federal departments” and “the departments that had implemented a GBA framework did not always conduct complete analyses, and the quality of their analyses was not consistent.” The Government of Canada now has an opportunity to improve the quality of its policies, programs and legislation, to ensure that it equitably serves Canada’s diverse populations.
The Committee’s report makes 21 recommendations to the Government of Canada that aim to improve the implementation of GBA+ across federal departments and agencies. In particular, the Committee is convinced that many aspects of the GBA+ process should be made mandatory through legislation, as outlined in the following two recommendations:
That the Government of Canada, following consultation with federal departments and agencies, as well as civil society, introduce legislation by June 2017 that sets out obligations of federal departments and agencies with regard to the implementation of Gender-Based Analysis (GBA+).
That the Government of Canada introduce legislation, by or before June 2017, which legislates that:
• Gender-Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) is applied to all proposals before they arrive at Cabinet for decision-making;
• GBA+ is a mandatory portion of Privy Council Office, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and Department of Finance submissions for all departments and agencies;
• The Privy Council Office and Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat are mandated to return policies and programs that do not demonstrate the application of GBA+.
Furthermore, the Committee proposes the establishment of a new body to promote and enforce the implementation of GBA+ at the federal level, as highlighted in the following recommendation:
That the Government of Canada introduce legislation by June 2017 that will create the Office of the Commissioner for Gender Equality, based on the model of the Office of the Commissioner of Official Language; that this legislation establish the Commissioner for Gender Equality as an Agent of Parliament and set out clearly the powers and responsibilities of the Office of the Commissioner for Gender Equality; and that the Commissioner for Gender Equality be provided with all necessary resources to fulfil his or her mandate.
The report can be consulted on the Committee’s webpage on the Parliament of Canada website.
The Standing Committee on the Status of Women is composed of 10 Members of Parliament. It is chaired by Marilyn Gladu (Sarnia – Lambton) and its vice-chairs are Pam Damoff (Oakville North – Burlington) and Sheila Malcolmson (Nanaimo – Ladysmith). The other Committee members are: Sean Fraser (Central Nova), Rachael Harder (Lethbridge), Karen Ludwig (New Brunswick Southwest), Eva Nassif (Vimy), Ruby Sahota (Brampton North), Anita Vandenbeld (Ottawa West – Nepean), Karen Vecchio (Elgin – Middlesex – London).
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