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NARCC Denounces Federal Government Cuts
September 27, 2006
(TORONTO) The National Anti-Racism Council of Canada (NARCC) is denouncing the federal government cuts to vital social programs as part of a $1 billion spending cut announced on September 25, 2006. The Government targeted among other things a $55 million cut to Youth programs, $5 million cut to the Court Challenges program, $5 million cut to the Status of Women administrative budget and $4.2-million to the Law Commission of Canada.
The cut to youth programs is particularly vicious as it impacts on student employment programs. "NARCC hired two students this year under the Summer Career Placements program which successfully assists groups and small businesses to hire thousands of students across Canada each year," said Mirlande Demers, Vice Chair of NARCC. "My own organization, the NationalYouth Anti-Racism Network condemns this Government's failure to invest in youth, especially when we enjoy a record $13 billion surplus."
NARCC is alarmed with the elimination of the Court Challenges Program. "The operating budget for this important program has been virtually wiped out," Colleen Hua, NARCC Director said today. "My organization, Chinese Canadian National Council, accessed the Court Challenges Program as part of our campaign for the redress of the Chinese Head Tax and this year, this very Government issued a formal apology, which goes to demonstrate that the Court Challenges Program is an effective partner in social change."
NARCC is also concerned over the cuts to Status of Women. "The cuts to Status of Women Canada, one of the smallest departments, are appalling," Estella Muyinda, NARCC Executive Director, said today. "Who will take up the role as watchdog on gender issues in the Government? Who will conduct the gender-based analysis on policies and programs? Who will push to make issues like human trafficking of young girls a priority?"
"Our stated rights and freedoms have no value if people who face discrimination face barriers in accessing the justice system." Ms Muyinda added.
The federal government is reminded that the existence of these Programs is to the benefit of all Canadians regardless of background. Reinstating funding to the Court Challenges Program, Status of Women, and the Law Commission of Canada would alleviate the regressive path the government is embarking on.
NARCC is a not-for-profit community based organization with over
120 member organizations and 60 associates devoted to the elimination
of racism and other forms of related discrimination in Canada.