Interventions in Committee
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View Michael Chong Profile
Welcome to the 48th meeting of the Standing Committee on Official Languages. Today is Tuesday, June 16, 2015, and we are here to discuss Jamie Nicholls' motion.
First, we have a notice of motion from Mrs. Day.
I would also like to mention that Lucie Lecomte had a baby.
A little girl.
View Michael Chong Profile
Babies are everywhere. Congratulations to all. We'll write that letter on the part of the committee.
Mrs. Day, you have the floor. You can give your notice of motion.
View Anne-Marie Day Profile
Thank you, Mr. Chair.
I want to welcome all the members.
I also want to use this opportunity to say goodbye to my colleagues, as this may be one of the last meetings of this Parliament.
Here is the motion I am putting forward:
That the Committee undertake, with regard to the Women's Program of Status of Women Canada, a study of the Government of Canada programs that promote women's leadership in francophone minority communities (OLMCs) in Canada in order to inform the Committee members about the challenges francophone women face in attaining decision-making positions and positions of responsibility and that the Committee make recommendations to the government so that it can implement positive strategies that promote equality among women and men in decision-making structures.
Mr. Chair, I would first like to discuss the considerable challenges at play.
We know that the representation of women in networks of influential contacts is low. That includes chambers of commerce across the country. Traditionally and historically, men have held chamber of commerce positions. Those networks are extremely important.
There are also other influential networks. Whether we are talking about hospital boards, boards of directors of banks or credit unions, or municipal, provincial or federal politics, the representation of women is still very low. If the trend continues and the situation remains the same, we might achieve equality around 2097. There will probably be some variables or disruptions that could push that 2097 target back even further if no concrete action is taken and no measures are put forward.
We have to work on boosting women's confidence. Many women hesitate to apply for decision-making positions. That even includes boards of institutions, such as school boards. Yet they follow their children at the primary, secondary and post-secondary levels. They hesitate to step forward. Self-confidence must be developed and promoted.
Moreover, it is difficult to reconcile work and family life. We know full well that it is very difficult for women with children to balance their work schedule and the school schedule. Schedules are not the same in the business world, in the world of boards of directors.
That is why I am moving this motion today.
View Michael Chong Profile
Okay, thank you.
Do you want to discuss it this coming Thursday?
View Lise St-Denis Profile
Lib. (QC)
I don't have a notice of motion, but it seems to me that we voted not to have a meeting next Thursday. We already voted on that.
View Michael Chong Profile
Yes, we did. You're right. We can meet next week, on Tuesday afternoon. Okay?
View Jamie Nicholls Profile
It's votable now because it concerns the work of the committee.
View Michael Chong Profile
Yes, we can. Is it the will of the committee to vote now on this particular motion in front of us? Okay.
Is there further debate on the motion?
Monsieur Gourde.
View Jacques Gourde Profile
Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
The motion is very interesting, but had it been proposed earlier, we could have adopted it and worked on all these issues. I suggest that you save it for later. It would actually be a really good idea to adopt it and work on it when we reconvene, in the 42nd Parliament.
We will vote against this motion because we don't have enough time left to undertake a study of this scope. I think we could easily hold six, seven or eight meetings on the topic. Thank you.
View Anne-Marie Day Profile
Mr. Chair, we are members of Parliament until the election. So we have plenty of time. The committee can keep sitting until the election. We have the time we need to do the work the motion calls for.
View Jamie Nicholls Profile
Nothing gets resolved until the election.
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