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House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on the Status of Women


NUMBER 002 
l
1st SESSION 
l
43rd PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1100)  

[English]

     If everyone would take their seats, we'll start our first meeting on WAGE, women and gender equality.
    Today I'm pleased to have four of the individuals coming from the Department for Women and Gender Equality. I would like to welcome Nancy Gardiner, assistant deputy minister; Lisa Smylie, director general, communications and public affairs branch, research, results and delivery branch—I don't know how you get that on your business card; Danielle Bélanger, director general, gender-based violence policy; and Kim Gauvin, director of women's program and regional operations directorate.
    They have asked for 15 to 20 minutes. We're going to allow them to give us this overview for 15 to 20 minutes, and then we'll take questions from there.
     I will pass the floor over to you.
    We're very happy to be here this morning to have this opportunity to present the department's overview, mandate and priorities. As the chair said, we asked for a little longer because there's a lot of information to present in the deck, so we will do that quickly. I'm sure everyone has a copy of the information.
     The purpose of the presentation today is to go over the history of the department, legislation, the mandate and the vision, some of our roles and responsibilities, the resources we have within the department, and departmental programming. We are here for questions you may have afterwards.
     The organization, not as it is today but in a different form, has been in place since 1976. It's been around for a long time. In 2015, the first minister responsible for the status of women was appointed. In December 2018, new legislation marked the creation of the new Department for Women and Gender Equality. That is a very important point in time for the department as well. We're transforming from an agency to a department of the Government of Canada.
    Page 4 outlines the legislation in terms of the expanded mandate of the department. There are two key features, and I will read them directly from this slide:
Advancing equality, including social, economic and political equality, with respect to sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression (SSOGIE).
Promoting a greater understanding of the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors (e.g., sexual orientation, race national/ethnic origin, Indigenous origin, socioeconomic condition, place of residence, and disability).
    This is a very important piece of the legislation. A couple of pieces that complement that are in the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act. The legislation also clarifies the department's role around gender-based analysis which promotes an intersectional lens as well.
    Page 5 refers to the mandate. It definitely mimics the legislation we've had presented in that year. More important is the vision. The vision of the department shows a Canada where people of all genders, including women, are equal in every way and can achieve their full potential in our country.
    Page 6 outlines the roles and responsibilities of the department. Within the Government of Canada, we play three key functions in terms of leadership for gender equality: convener, knowledge broker and capacity builder.
     Convener is a really important role. There are many departments that are having roles and responsibilities related to policies or programs related to gender equality. We bring folks together on that. We leverage resources from all different sections as well. We look at international stakeholders and work with international partners in many of the areas related to gender equality.
    Regarding knowledge broker, you'll hear a bit more from Lisa later. There's a lot of information that the department has related to research and expertise on gender equality. We also lead the Government of Canada's gender-based analysis. That's the knowledge piece.
    The capacity builder is a really key area of work. It's building the capacity of equality-seeking organizations on the ground. That helps capacity work for community organizations. Members would be familiar with that in terms of the roles of members of Parliament.
    Departmental resources are on page 7. We're a fairly small department, but mighty. We always say small but mighty. A program budget for us was around $66 million in the 2019-20 fiscal year, which is through grants and contributions. That's the framework we have in place around the Gs and Cs. It's a small operating budget. We have about 300 staff, not only in Ottawa but in the regions across the country to allow us to work directly with community groups focused on gender equality. As you can see, we have the regional areas in Moncton, Montreal, Edmonton and Toronto, and serve the whole country from those four bases.
    I'll spend a couple of minutes on the priorities of the department that we have under way this year. Then I'll turn it over to my colleagues.
    We're focusing on four main priority areas. One is strategic action, support and investment to address systemic barriers. I just spoke about that around our programning grants and contributions piece. Partnership opportunities allow us to work with the sector as well as other key partners to advance the priorities of the department.
    Commemoration is a really important area this year, and we've been working on it related to MMIWG. That is a very key piece of work for us. We also work with other partners around providing expert advice and guidance.

  (1105)  

     The second priority is the gender-based analysis, which I spoke about earlier, gender-based analysis plus, working to ensure there's a comprehensive integration of gender-based analysis throughout the policy, legislative, program development and evaluation cycle within the government. Also, we support finance in terms of the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act.
    The third priority is looking at preventing and addressing gender-based violence. A key area that we're working on here, which is the federal response, is supporting a gender-based violence strategy within Canada. As we mentioned, Danielle is here, and she supports that initiative within the department.
    The last piece is around strategic engagement throughout all of our partners as well as the private sector.
    That was a very rapid overview of the department in all of its areas.
    I'll turn it over to Lisa now. I think this is an important part of the presentation that this group would appreciate. It is really focusing on research.
     I get to answer the question everybody always has: What is the current state of gender equality in Canada?
    Prior to budget 2018, we had a GBA+ action plan, but there was something missing. What was missing was a framework for guiding us in our action on gender equality, what our priorities were, where we were heading and how we would know we got there.
    In budget 2018 we released the gender results framework. This framework comprises six pillars, six key areas of action, if you will. Within those areas of action, we have objectives and some indicators that we're paying attention to in terms of monitoring our progress on gender equality. It's with that framework that I'll walk you through what the current state of gender equality is in Canada.
    Starting on page 12 with education and skills development, in Canada, boys are less likely than girls to complete high school. Here's why a GBA+ and an intersectional lens is important. When you drill down and take a look at indigenous peoples in Canada, you see the story is much different. Indigenous women have lower high school completion rates than non-indigenous women. When you take a look at indigenous men, you see it's even lower. When we take a look at Inuit men in Canada, we see they have the lowest high school completion rate, at 55%.
    Women are under-represented in some fields of study and overrepresented in others. They're under-represented in sciences, technology, engineering and math. They're overrepresented in education, business and health.
    When we take a look at economic participation and prosperity, we see we've increased labour force participation rates of women in Canada, but they're still lower than men's rates.
    When we take a look at one key indicator of economic prosperity, the gender wage gap, we see that we have a gender wage gap of 12¢. We see women make 88¢ for every dollar men make, when we take a look at hourly wages.
    StatsCan just released this week some new data on this. When we take a look at annual income, we see that it's even worse. It's 70¢, and so there's a 30¢ wage gap.
    You also see a different wage gap when you take a look at fields, occupational segregation. We have the largest wage gap in the natural resources and agriculture sector. Women make 43¢ for every dollar men make.
    Second in line is trades and transport, the male-dominated fields. We have the smallest wage gap in the women-dominated fields, health and business.
    In terms of the wage gap, I note there are a lot of things driving it, such as gender norms around unpaid work and interruptions in the labour force for women in terms of maternity leave. We sometimes call that the motherhood penalty. We also know that women are more likely than men to work part time, and in temporary or lower-paying jobs.
    When we take a look at leadership and democratic participation, we see that in 2018 women accounted for 48% of employment, but only 33% of those who were employed were in senior management positions. Women account for only 10% of C-suite executives at Canada's 100 largest publicly traded corporations.
    When we take a look at GIC appointments, we see we're almost at parity, at 49%.
    When we take a look at corporate board memberships, we see that overall in Canada, women make up 18% of director seats. That's a slight increase from 2016. When we take a look at the top 500 companies in Canada, we see that women account for a bit more, 25%, and for the first time since 2001, at least 10% of all board directors in every single sector were women.

  (1110)  

    I'll move on to gender-based violence and access to justice. Women are overrepresented as victims of police-reported intimate partner violence, accounting for 80% of victims in 2017. When we take a look at homicide by an intimate partner, again women account for 80% of victims. When we look at sexual assault, only 5% of sexual assault reports come to the attention of police. Indigenous women are three times more likely than non-indigenous women to experience sexual assault, and though they make up approximately 4% of the population, account for 11% of all missing women and 16% of homicides in Canada. Those who identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual are twice as likely to experience violent victimization in Canada than those who identify as heterosexual.
    With regard to poverty reduction, health and well-being, the poverty rate is similar between men and women, but again, this is why GBA+ is so important. When you look at single mothers, single fathers, recent immigrants, indigenous peoples and two-spirit and transgender youth, they're much more represented among those who are living in poverty. It's the same thing for core housing need, where those groups are overrepresented. When we look at health, men and boys are three times more likely than women to die by suicide. However, women are three times more likely to attempt suicide. This comes down to the choice of method of suicide. Men tend to choose methods that are much more certain.
    On gender equality around the world, women's rights organizations are the most significant factor in influencing systemic changes and policy changes toward gender equality, but only 0.5% of the total aid earmarked for OECD gender-specific programming went to women's rights organizations in 2014. When we look at parliamentarians globally, we see an improvement between 1997 and 2019, from 12% to 24%. Women make up more than two-thirds of the world's illiterate population. In conflict zones, girls are 2.5 times more likely to be out of school than boys. When we look at gender-based violence globally, one in three women worldwide are estimated to have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence. At least 200 million women and girls worldwide have been subjected to female genital mutilation.

  (1115)  

    Thank you very much. We really appreciate that.
    Are there any other comments before we take questions?
    No, go ahead.
    Excellent.
    We will start our first round of questioning. I recognize that we do have some new members. I would just give a reminder that every member has six minutes.
    We'll start with the Conservatives and then go to the Liberals, then to the Bloc and then to the NDP before we start round two.
    I will pass the floor over to Alice Wong for six minutes.
    Thank you very much for the presentation.
    I have a few questions about the education part. A lot of girls drop out for different reasons. One of the reasons could be cultural. I have an immigrant woman's background. From my previous studies in the community, it seems that internationally and even locally, in our own nation, which is known for working hard to improve the status of women and girls.... Can one of you shed light on that part?
    Sure. I'm just pulling up some statistics here, but unfortunately, I don't have any further breakdown in terms of the cultural reasons that women might drop out. However, when we look at visible minority women, they account for 81.8% of the visible minority population who complete high school. The 81.8% means that just under 20% of visible minority women are dropping out of high school.
    My other question is about care work. There's a reason why women's lives are probably affected in terms of work. The caregivers looking after those who need it, aging parents, sick kids and so on, are mostly women. They're the unpaid family caregivers. Is there any programming that will be helping these women?
    Well, we have several programs that support various issues with respect to the employment and the pay gap. The women's program is one program that's been around since the 1970s, and it's a program that looks at systemic issues. That program funds organizations across the country—local, national and regional—to look at some of these barriers. Certainly, that's an issue that comes up in terms of whether it has to do with the types of employment and some of the care issues that you talk about. These are things that are looked at in terms of systemic issues. Typically, the funded programs and projects are really around trying to address barriers that might be impeding women's ability to work, whether to work in a particular sector or to work at all in something more than part time.
    When I was the minister for seniors, we did a study on how the employers can assist unpaid family caregivers so that they can give flexible hours; they're working from home and also creating a supportive environment. Often, if you take too much time off, chances are your colleagues will have to take up your load, and they will ask, “Hey, why are you absent so often?” I think that, again, is an area we have not been able to look at, to support these unpaid family caregivers. That will also have an economic effect on productivity, because most of these women caregivers—including men, but mostly women—have arrived at a time when, whether they want a promotion, whether they want to change from full time to part time, there would be a loss to productivity, and therefore the economic situation of women...and you know....
    That is another area. This is never an easy issue, but I want to throw it out so that we are not limited to certain areas, because it's so complex and it involves so many different ages. Also, seniors age into disability, and many of them are women. In that process, again, it affects our programming. When we give grants and contributions to non-profit organizations, that might be an area we should look at.
    This is just my experience. I wanted to share with you and the rest of our colleagues that it is an area we might want to look at. For women, for girls—because I also came from an academic background; I used to be a professor in a college and then a university, a polytechnic—one of the things that we look at will be how we can encourage girls to go into the STEM areas, because again, they grow and they mature and if they do not pick that as one of their career choices, chances are that the wage difference between those areas and the other ones like health services and education, will be even bigger.
    Again, I'm throwing that at you just for your programming and your consideration.
    Have I used up all of my time?

  (1120)  

    You have 20 seconds, so you're really there.
    Thank you very much.
     Excellent. Thank you very much.
    We're going to pass the floor over to Gudie Hutchings.
    Gudie, you have six minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair.
    It's wonderful to see you again, ladies. Thank you for all the work you do on this very, very important file. It's a great department.
    You gave us a great overview of the evolution of the status of women from the 1970s, to 2015, to 2017, to 2018.
    Where does Canada stand globally? We have our Department of Women and Gender Equality. Are we proud of our record? Should we have done some things earlier? Are we headed down the right path? I know there's a lot more to do, but I'd love to know your comments on where we stand globally.
    There are a number of indices globally that we look at in terms of Canada's ranking relative to other countries. I caution you in looking at these indices, because it is relative, so if another country moves up, we move down, even if we've done the same amount of work. When we look at the global indices, we see that Canada is actually doing quite well, and we consistently have high scores in certain areas, like education. We've pretty much closed the gender gap in terms of the indicators that they look at globally.
    When we look, for example, at one of the main global indices, the World Economic Forum, we see that Canada placed first in North America and Canada placed 19th overall. It's up 11 places since 2015. When we look at Canada compared to other countries, we see we're doing well.
    As you said, there's lots more to be done, particularly in labour force participation and economic prosperity. That's where we tend to not do as well as others globally.
     Are there any other comments, ladies?
    The GBA lens we put on everything is incredible. My colleague across the way has a passion for seniors and I have a passion for rural areas. As many of you know, I come from a very large rural riding with many little communities of 200 and 300 people.
    You mention rural areas in a few places here, but do we have the resources and do we spend enough time on really seeing the difference between rural and urban? We know that rural women and senior rural women have much different issues than we have in the major urban centres and even in the suburbs of some areas.
    I would love your comments on the work we need to do in rural areas.
    It's a really important area, obviously, and we have spoken about it a bit before.
    I think the “plus” in the GBA+ lens is the critical part in terms of the intersectionality when you're looking at this. The rurality is definitely one of the key areas. We have done a lot of work now with our partners at Rural Economic Development. We now are closely aligned with that group in ensuring that in whatever initiative is being looked at and presented to cabinet, or presented in terms of program development, we're taking a look at the holistic approach, not only for the gender piece, but also for persons with disabilities and the indigenous lens.
     All of those pieces are part of the intersectionality in terms of the analysis. I think particular attention being paid to rurality is something that we're looking at more closely. Even for our folks who work in the regions and the projects we do every single day, a lot of these are not in urban centres. They are in the rural areas of Canada. I think that in that work, even in our small programming budget with our department, we are looking at how those projects impact the everyday lives of women and folks in rural Canada.

  (1125)  

    Do you have any other comments, ladies?
     Women and girls living in rural and remote areas do face higher rates of violence. That's certainly something we are addressing under our federal gender-based violence strategy. As Nancy said, we are funding a number of projects in terms of ending and combatting violence in rural areas.
    It's great, because in the time that I have worked with you what I love is there is not a cookie-cutter approach. We know that there's rural and then there's really rural, and there's urban and suburban, and there are different issues.
    I would also like your comments on this. You have referenced it here a few times, but in the last Parliament you did some great work on men and boys. I know there's much more to do there. Your comments on that and where we need to go would be appreciated too.
    You're right. There was a report issued in the summer of last year, I believe, on men and boys, and on the work and things we learned in terms of looking at the engagement sessions around what we need to do related to men and boys. We have a couple of projects that we're focused on, specifically on some of the areas of work.
    Danielle pointed out the gender-based violence piece. It's not only about looking at one side. There's definitely a huge role and a piece we need to play around what impact that has for men and boys in terms of a prevention element to that strategy. I think the piece around men and boys and what we learned around that work was that in every element of the work we're doing in terms of women and gender equality, the men and boys piece is really critical, as is ensuring that we're integrating that work in all of the aspects of the priorities that we're working on.
    Lisa, do you have any comments?
    I would add that engaging men and boys is absolutely critical if we're going to shift the culture, and we have to shift the culture in order to achieve some of these indicators on gender equality.
    I'll point out two things that already have come up here. Yes, we need to encourage more girls to enter STEM fields, but we also have to encourage boys to enter health and business in return. The other thing is paid leave. We have to encourage and shift the culture around care work so that more men are taking on care work and shifting the cultural perception that care work is women's work.
    Excellent. Thank you very much.
    Thank you, ladies.
    We're now going to switch it over.
     Andréanne, you have your six minutes.

[Translation]

    It's really something to see how new the department is. It wasn't created until 2015, so it's only four years old and is now entering its second mandate.
    Ms. Smylie, what work undertaken in the last session of Parliament do you think the committee should build on? Is there anything we absolutely cannot overlook or any issues that the new minister is continuing to focus on, issues that should definitely continue to be studied?

[English]

     One area that I would point to is the gender pay gap. We did a lot of work during the last mandate on understanding the gender pay gap. What we need to do now is to address the factors associated with the gender pay gap. They are things like the care work and family leave and things like encouraging girls and women to enter STEM fields and boys and men to enter traditionally women-dominated fields like health and business. It's doing work again to shift that culture. It's public awareness. It's education at a really early age to shift cultural attitudes so that, as I said, we can have more men doing care work and we not perceive science and engineering to be men's fields.

  (1130)  

    I'll add to that.
    In addition to the work that Lisa talked about, the department is also looking at a gender-based violence national action plan, and looking at what that means across the country, not only within the federal government but also in working with provinces and territories.
     Also, we talked earlier about the gender results framework. We need to put a strategy around that, a gender equality action plan that really puts a strategy around that framework to ensure that we're going to be meeting some of the areas that Lisa talked about, some of those pieces of work that we want to frame and put together as a building block for the overall plan for the department.

[Translation]

    To help guide your work, I would reiterate the fact that only 0.5% of the total amount of aid earmarked for OECD gender-specific programming went to women's rights organizations in 2014. Here, we talk about numbers. In terms of budgeting, what's your relationship with the finance department like?
    Do you think it's important to have a good relationship with the finance department and to ask for more money to advance certain issues and carry out all the studies you hope to?
    Do you need a larger budget?

[English]

    In terms of the global budget, I think that's a question that would be better answered by Global Affairs Canada. It certainly isn't my area of expertise since it's global. I am focused more on domestic, so I think it's a better question for Global Affairs officials.
    I would agree. We capture as part of the gender results framework an international component, but the piece specifically related to that would be with our Global Affairs colleagues.

[Translation]

    What about your department's relationship with the finance department? You have issues to address, studies to carry out and projects to complete. None of those things can be realized without the finance department's approval. Do you have anything to add? If not, I have another question for you.
    You said you keep an eye on what other countries are doing. Are there any particular models you're drawn to more than others? Is there anything you're looking into that would help you bring in new policies in Canada? It could be policies on domestic violence or gender equality, or perhaps measures to support indigenous women. Can you tell us about any such measures taken by other countries?

[English]

    We work directly with the Department of Finance, as you pointed out, in terms of the gender budgeting piece. We work very closely with them to ensure that for all proposals going to the Department of Finance, a gender-based analysis is done. In terms of the programming within our department, we prioritize the programming based on the needs and the priorities that we're working on at the federal government level. We do work with Global Affairs very closely. Our focus is domestic of course, but we have looked at many best practices across the world. Maybe I'll ask Danielle to talk specifically about the work we're looking at in terms of gender-based violence in Australia.

[Translation]

    Thank you for your question.
    In order to build a gender-based violence national action plan, we are certainly looking at models in other countries, including Australia and New Zealand. We are also looking to countries in Europe such as Sweden and Iceland, and we've even met with officials from other OECD countries. A lot of models are out there.
    Here, in Canada, we have to keep jurisdiction in mind, so it's more complicated. Of course, we are looking at the various models through that lens. The provinces and territories have adopted many models that are proving successful, so when it comes to establishing a national action plan, it's definitely important to incorporate the perspectives of the provinces and territories.
     I'm already out of time?

[English]

     Andréanne, it goes very quickly, I agree.
    Now we're going to Lindsay Mathyssen, for six minutes.
    Thank you very much for coming.
    It's very interesting to get into a lot of these issues that we'll hopefully be delving into in the committee going forward.
    You were talking about the wage gap and a lot of things that you're encouraging. In terms of direct action for pay equity, a pay equity bill, we know certainly that the provision of a national child care program would actively help in terms of that legislative side. Are there movements on that? Are you working on that? Do you provide stats on that?

  (1135)  

    This would be the purview of ESDC, so they'd be in a better position to talk about the progress on those initiatives. What I can say is that we worked very closely with ESDC in the early stages of this, providing technical expertise and our research. We continue to do so as they progress on these initiatives. We continue to work closely in terms of monitoring the gender pay gap and, again, providing that technical advice.
    I had an interesting meeting with a woman who had recently been up in the north in Ontario. She was working with an indigenous community. Her specialty is sex trafficking and human trafficking. She talked about the community in which she was working. They experience a rate of 80% to100% of sexual violence. That just destroyed me. I couldn't even imagine what that would mean in terms of growing up with that being normal and what you saw and experienced every day. We asked where you go with that. How do you start to break that entire cycle?
    She mentioned sex education as being a key part of that. She talked about what it meant for young people to be able to figure out their own autonomy and so on. Do you have program funding for that? Is that something you're focusing on? Is that somewhere the federal government needs to grow and go? I know that a lot of it is covered provincially, so it becomes a bit complicated, but could you talk about that as it fits into your gender-based violence framework?
    That's an excellent question.
    As you point out, it's a very difficult area to work in, especially for folks on the ground and people who live that experience. Danielle's team is focused on the gender-based violence strategy that we have right now at the federal level. The aspects around prevention and awareness and what they mean in that strategy is something that we still see now as areas where we can build more and increase our work and our programming.
    As we mentioned earlier, the idea of building a national action plan around gender-based violence.... Those two pieces around awareness and prevention are areas that are still coming up as really critical pieces that we need to build on at a very early age, like you pointed out, with young women and young men. What are the programming pieces that we can put in place that will address that?
    Maybe Danielle would like to add something.
     I would say there are certainly specific needs for indigenous communities. How they navigate that, how they think about their own bodies and their own sexuality are all very unique and specific. Is that taken into consideration as well?
    On that point, we are working very closely with the indigenous colleagues and organizations that we work with to ensure that whatever strategy we put in place aligns with some of the really specific needs that folks have identified in communities.
    We're working closely as well with our colleagues at CIRNAC and ISC and MMIWG as well, because there are some similarities around the gender-based violence piece. We really want to make sure that those two strategies are very aligned.
    Just to add to that, going back to the sexual health education, within the federal government the Public Health Agency of Canada leads on this piece. We recently provided technical advice and guidance on the Canadian guidelines for sexual health education that have now been released. Those guidelines very intentionally included skills for healthy relationships in order to prevent gender-based violence. I know the Public Health Agency of Canada also has programming to address this, including programming among indigenous organizations and in the north.

  (1140)  

     That's led, too, by organizations like NWAC or ONWA?
    You have 30 seconds.
    She wanted to finish. Go ahead.
    I wanted to add that, in terms of the programming we do, we also tackle it from different angles. You spoke to the education aspect. In terms of the men and boys, there are funding projects that support indigenous youth to understand various issues related to the ongoing struggles. There's also different funding for gender-based violence to support survivors up in the north. There are different techniques that look at cultural practices that are appropriate for the different communities.
    Excellent. Thank you very much.
    We're now going to the second round. We're going to start with Jag Sahota.
    Jag, you have five minutes.
    Thank you, ladies, for appearing here today and for your presentation.
    I have a question in regard to the six pillars that you spoke about. How did you decide those were the six pillars? Were there any other ideas or other pillars that were left out for any reason?
    There was a lot of work, actually, to come to decide on those six pillars. It wasn't just our department. We worked very closely with the Department of Finance, as well as with Global Affairs. Looking at all of the aspects that had to be covered, the six pillars actually bucket very nicely a lot of the elements that fall within. There were many other pieces that were looked at in the development of the pillars.
    When we developed the gender results framework, we did a really comprehensive scan of what was going on in Canada and where we were seeing gaps in gender equality. We also worked with international partners and took a look at international models and frameworks and distilled all of that down to these six themes.
    In terms of what would be left out, when I look at the six pillars at this point, I don't know that there's anything that couldn't be fit under those six pillars. As far as our understanding of gender equality in Canada right now goes, it's pretty comprehensive.
    You also spoke about including boys and men in programs, and looking at that. Are there any specific programs that are under way or that you're looking at, at this point?
    Recently, in the context of the strategy that's being worked on, we looked at a few projects to support work that's going on in that area. There are a number of projects that really look at supporting men who are currently advocates for women's issues, that look at sexism in the workplace and how men could be disrupters, and that look at working with youth—boys—to help them to see the issues from various perspectives.
    You also spoke about the gender-based analysis. You said something about the department having legislative responsibilities to lead and promote the application of GBA+ in all government activities.
    Could you lay out what those activities are and how you would go about ensuring that everybody's on board on that?
    We are the department that leads on the gender-based analysis. We are the centre of expertise around information and knowledge for GBA+ for all departments.
    Every department now, though, also has their own gender-based analysis unit within the department to allow them to do analysis on any of the policies that departments will be putting in place, such as memorandums to cabinet or Treasury Board submissions. There's a gender-based analysis aspect to those documents, and they're required.
    We provide expertise and guidance to departments that are maybe having a bit of a challenge related to research, data or statistics. For any of that type of analysis, our team will actually work with departments to help provide them with that bit of expertise that they may need.
    There's more work to be done in this area for sure, such as looking at how to be a bit bolder and how to ensure that all aspects of government programming does look at that gender-based analysis plus. The plus is very important, as we talked about earlier.
    Kim talked about programming, which is grants and contributions. When you're actually putting grants and contributions in place, how do you actually look at that through a GBA+ lens? Right now we're working on what that means and how we expand that to many aspects of government work. I would say there's been huge progress in the work that departments do around the GBA+.

  (1145)  

     I would add that one important part is also legislative.
    In 2018, a new piece of legislation was passed, the Canadian Gender Budgeting Act. That's really around looking at the actual funding, the money that goes behind a lot of our different initiatives.
    When we look at models internationally, it's important to also look at how GBA+ is hard-wired in a lot of the work that the Government of Canada is doing.
    Excellent. Thank you so much.
    Your time is over. We're going to turn the floor over to Anju Dhillon.
    Anju, you have five minutes.
    Thank you, Madam Chair, and thank you to my colleague Sonia for giving me her time.
    Thank you to all of you for being here this morning.
    I'd like to talk about leadership and democratic participation. Would you please tell me where you got all these statistics?
    The majority of our statistics come from databases held by Statistics Canada. They compile quite a number of data sources, such as labour force participation and tax holdings. They bring that all together. That's where we get our data.
    Would you be able to get a breakdown of the women who are part of these percentages?
    For example, with respect to 48% of employment, 10% of C-suite executives, 53% of GIC appointments and 25% of corporate board membership, can you give us a breakdown of how many are visible minorities, indigenous, people with disabilities, and the LGBTQ community?
    I'd have to look into what data is available to disaggregate by. The difficulty with data is that sometimes when you drill down into certain groups they're so small that numbers can't be released. I'd have to go back and verify what we can and cannot provide.
    One thing you mentioned, GIC appointments, is the one source of data that StatsCan does not provide. That data is provided by the Privy Council Office. I'd have to go back to them to ask what data is available beyond disaggregating by gender.
    I went on the website, and as of July 18, 2019, it said 53% were identified as women. That's 1,280 appointments made. Out of those appointments, only 150 are visible minorities, only 115 are indigenous and 38 are people with disabilities. Can you please explain how we can improve these statistics, how people who are marginalized, people of colour, can be better included in such positions or other senior positions?
    In terms of the work we do, I'll go back to the gender-based analysis piece. In all of those elements, we look at not only gender but all of the intersectional pieces. We are working with other departments as well in terms of programming that they have specifically for LGBTQ2 communities, for indigenous folks, persons with disabilities, and looking at visible minorities as well.
    We have programming within Women and Gender Equality Canada specifically looking at leadership and other projects that may look at all of those aspects, not only the gender piece, as I said, but the intersectionality to those programs.
    Kim, is there any programming or projects that you want to highlight?
    I can speak to it generally.
    When we're looking at funding projects, we use the GBA+. In terms of identity factors, that's something that is considered throughout.
    In looking at addressing leadership, we've supported a number of projects. In terms of trying to support women who are under-represented, a number of projects have done research.
    Typically, of course, our projects involve the affected women. That's one of the key things in terms of how we address these issues, to make sure everyone has a seat at the table to be able to put forward what the actual barriers are so there is a clear understanding not just of a dominant perspective, but of all the different perspectives that come forward.

  (1150)  

    Can you please tell us what the barriers are to having more women of colour, indigenous, and those with disabilities? What are the barriers such that, of these 1,280 appointments, maybe 640 cannot be from these marginalized communities?
     The barriers are so complex, and perhaps different for each of those groups. While we don't like to think about it, some of those barriers are unconscious or conscious bias, so we have to shift the culture, shift cultural attitudes towards certain groups.
    We also need to create more inviting spaces for certain groups, for example, for indigenous peoples. Part of not only getting indigenous peoples into leadership positions but keeping them there is creating spaces that speak to their cultural traditions.
    It's a question, then, of changing attitudes, creating spaces and, going back to education, of making sure that the education environment is also inviting and speaks to the realities of specific groups; for example, when we're teaching certain subjects in schools, making sure that we're including either literature or examples in math that speak to different groups, so that people can see themselves in the educational system.
    Thank you so much.
    This is where the clerk is going to kill me, because I'm going to start screwing around with things. We have only about eight minutes left. If I followed the five and five route, we would be discounting one of the groups. What I would like to propose is that we give three minutes to each side—three minutes for Raquel and three minutes to Salma—so that they both get to ask additional questions.
    Is everybody okay with that?
    Some hon. members: Agreed.
    The Chair: Raquel, you're popping in at three minutes.
    I want to ask about the $66 million in grants and contributions. How is this money distributed regionally?
    I also want to mention that I noticed you had four regional offices. The Edmonton one would also service Manitoba, I imagine. Manitoba makes up 4% of the population. How much grant funding goes to Manitoba?
    We don't have that level of specificity here, but we can get back to you on some of it.
    I would appreciate that.
    Our programs are not distributed by region or by province.
    What's the need?
    We ensure that when there is a call for proposals, as an example, there is an effort to make sure that all of the country is represented when we have projects that are operating in every aspect of Canada. That's what we do to make sure it works.
    The reason I ask is that Manitoba, as I'm sure you know, has one of the largest indigenous populations, and we're significantly impacted by gender-based violence, It's the highest rate in the country. It also has the highest child apprehension rate in the world.
    I just want to see whether you had any indication of how much funding is going towards gender-based violence and the indigenous women in Manitoba.
    We'll get back to you on that level of specificity.
    That would be great.
    I also want to ask about the three-year strategic plan that was announced at the FPT meeting in December. Can you shed some light on that and the outcomes you're hoping to achieve? I know it's regarding gender equality across the country, but particularly for me, being a Manitoba MP I would like to know how Manitoba will benefit from the strategic plan and whether it's going to be part of your strategy.
    We work with an FPT table. The minister has colleagues who come together. At that particular meeting there was a discussion around priorities related to gender equality. One of the main priorities that came up and I think was agreed upon was focused on gender-based violence. The jurisdictions across the board felt this was an area in which there is a real, identified need.
    It's a priority in every jurisdiction. There's an agreement that there's work to be done, work that we can be doing together. As we build a national action plan, this is a piece of work that we will be working on with our national colleagues.
    I'll just conclude by saying, please consider Manitoba as a high priority, considering our population makeup and what we're facing, particularly with the child apprehension rate and gender-based violence.

  (1155)  

    Thank you.
    For our final round of questions, we're going to pass it over to Salma.
    Salma, you have three minutes.
     Thank you, Madam Chair.
    Thanks a lot to all of you for coming out today and for all the work that you do on this important issue of gender equality.
    In your presentation, you mentioned the six pillars that are used to measure and monitor how we are moving towards gender equality. Economic participation and prosperity is one of them. When you measure economic participation and prosperity, is there any data you get specifically in regard to minority women or new immigrants?
    I represent a riding where I come across a lot of new immigrant women, minority women, and they talk about the barriers they face. Is there any effort being made to address that?
    I do have a bit of data in front of me. When we take a look at, for example, labour force participation, we see that women's labour force participation is slightly lower for immigrant women than for other women in Canada. It's the same for immigrant men's labour force participation.
    When we take a look at other indicators of economic prosperity, when we take a look at employment, we find the same trends. I could flip, and I could find the exact same trends throughout.
    To answer the question, we do have that data. We do take a look at it. What we find is that, traditionally, immigrant women fare far poorer than others in Canada.
    Is there anything specific that we're doing to overcome that? Are there any considerations we can look into to make sure that we can help those women to overcome those barriers?
    Certainly, in terms of the grants and contributions funding, we've had a few calls focus specifically on economic security and prosperity. As I mentioned before, we always look at the GBA+ to look at some of those factors. We support organizations that are specifically geared towards supporting under-represented groups, specific groups, as well as projects that are targeted in these different areas.
    I'd like to ask you one quick question before we end.
    You mentioned in your presentation that the budget for the department is $66 million for this year. How has it grown? What was it four years ago, back in 2015?
    Traditionally, since the 1970s, the women's program was the only grants and contributions funding that the department had. That was a budget of $19 million. Over the years, it has grown. The gender-based violence program was added on with another $9 million in grants and contributions funding. Then we received additional funds over the last few years through various budgets, specific targeted funding for capacity building, for the commemoration of missing and murdered indigenous women and so forth.
    Thank you very much.
    We'll be suspending for about two and a half minutes before we go in camera.
    [Proceedings continue in camera]
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