Rhonda Doyle LeBlanc
Margie Hancock – Staff Advisor to Women’s Committee
The Women’s Directors Sisters Rhonda and Angela will continue as co-chairs for this term.
Sister Margie distributed copies of the Atlantic Regional structure and outlined the roles and responsibilities of the Women’s Committee.
The PSAC Triennial Convention takes place this year and we want to ensure that the women’s agenda is brought forward including the important resolutions that have been passed. This committee recommends that all Council members attending the PSAC Convention as delegates make the Women’s Action Plan,which came from the two Atlantic Women’s Conferences and was also passed at the National Women’s Conference, a priority. Those going as delegates from this committee are Angela Decker, Dawn Hardy and Shanny Doucet.
It will be important to connect with allies and discuss with Atlantic Council and others the important resolutions which will be need to be supported and brought forward.
March 8 – International Women’s Day: Angela and Rhonda shared with the committee an update from the women’s conference call that took place on February 23. The call was chaired by Patty Ducharme and Robyn Benson and the purpose of the call was to update others on what events have been organized to commemorate International Women’s Day across the country. One of the interesting ideas being passed around was the event planned for the NCR/Ontario region called “Pink Slips”.
The Pink Slips represent the slips that women wear as well as the pink slips that employees get signifying the end of their jobs which is quite appropriate with the continuing cuts that are taking place in the Federal Public Service. Atlantic region is on board with the idea and we were encouraged to incorporate the “Pink Slips” into events that we currently have organized. It may not be possible for some events that are organized through others such as the Status of Women Canada but Angela and Rhonda will incorporate it into the events that they are helping to organize.
A one to three minute interview to be videotaped and placed on YouTube is also planned.
It was discussed that the ideas that were shared on the conference call were too late to incorporate for most events; the call should take place a lot sooner if women are expected to implement the ideas that are shared on the call.
Some of the other events in the region were shared including the PEI event which is being hosted by the Women’s Institute of PEI and involves doing a celebratory walk through Victoria Park
A lot of great material including pamphlets and stickers were distributed to the regional offices which will be used for International Women’s Day events and other events that will take place. They are to be distributed to RWCs and union locals. For those who haven’t yet received the information on the brown bag lunches, etc., Rhonda will send electronically.
March 1 – National Day of Action
Everyone is being asked to stand up at their workplaces and demonstrate to show that we are standing together and standing up to protest the thousands of job losses the Harper government is set to roll out in the 2012 federal budget. We also want to show Harper that we are not happy with the lack of funding for child care, his attack on pay equity and his plan to dismantle the long gun registry. As council members we need to remember that we will be called on to provide leadership at these and other events.
We should continue to take the opportunities to talk to our MPs and/or senators about issues that affect women and federal public service workers. RWCs need to be involved in lobbying as they have in the past; they need to stay engaged and focused on the women’s issues as a lot of work has been done in the past and we need to keep it up.
Sandy brought to our attention that the Minister of Transport changed the rules about flying out of and within Canada; if you do not appear to be the gender that is on your Canada identification card, they can refuse your boarding. Tran’s persons going through the transition stage will be dressed as the opposite gender and may be denied boarding. Air Travel Clause 5(C) (1) of the Identity Screening Regulation is stating that an air carrier may not transport a passenger if they do not appear to be the gender that is on their government issued identification.
This unfairly targets members of the Trans community and others who may not identify or look like the gender that is shown on their IDs. This discrimination is not acceptable.
The committeewould like to bring forward to the Atlantic Council a recommendation to support the effort to end this discrimination by offering their support. This can be done through various methods such as lobbying, letter writing and writing to the editor.
It was also suggested that our Regional Communications officer, Lesley, prepare something as a political action piece. Dawn will bring this forward to the Political Action Committee and Sandy to bring to human rights committee.
The issue of support to RWCswas discussed as some feel there is a disconnect. We will be pushing for the revitalization of current RWCs that are no longer functional. Summerside has expressed an interest in restarting their RWC and has the locals on board as required for RWCs. Locals that were interested in forming a women’s committee need to have the request recognized through their AGMs.
After the very successful Women’s Forum and Retreat, the question was asked as to what action has taken place, where they are now and how we can get action from what came from these events. Some participants felt that the ideas discussed and brought forward were all good but they also required training on how to proceed. Some of this training such as social media, lobbying, etc. were provided at the Women’s Conferences.
In order to keep the ball rolling, it was suggested that the list of participants from the Forum, Retreat, Conference, etc. be provided to the women’s directors so they could be kept in the loop.
It was also recommended to have the two women’s directors at the Atlantic schoolto use the opportunity to get the women attendees informed and involved on the women’s program.
Angela Decker and Rhonda Doyle LeBlanc
Co-Chairs, Atlantic Council Women’s Committee