Women and children - Macleans.ca

Women and children

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Just before Sunday’s NDP debate, Paul Dewar released his platform on families.

Dewar is committing that as Prime Minister, he will: Give Canadian families a break on the cost of prescription drugs by cooperating with provinces and territories on a bulk-buying strategy; Give young Canadians a fair start by immediately reducing tuition fees by $700/year, reducing interest fees on student debt to prime rate and creating Your Canada Year to cover a year of tuition fees in return for a year of community service; Protect our retirement security by bolstering public pension plans and safeguarding unfunded pensions, severances and long-term disability benefits in bankruptcy proceedings; Support new Canadian families by ensuring a fair and transparent foreign credential recognition mechanism, supporting family reunification and strengthening settlement services;  Lift our most vulnerable citizens out of poverty by focusing on income security, housing and social inclusion, including achievable first steps toward an annual guaranteed income for seniors, the disabled and children living in poverty.

Peggy Nash has come forward today with her own promises for post-secondary education.

Respond to prohibitive tuition fees & the student debt crisis by: reducing tuition at public post-secondary institutions across the country through guidelines established by aforementioned Post-Secondary Education Act and supported through a dedicated transer payment to the provinces/territories; converting a significant portion of loans made by the Canada Student Loans Program into non-repayable, up-front grants through the Canada Student Grants Program; reducing the interest rates on student loans to prime.

And now Mr. Dewar has tabled his plans to achieve greater gender equality.

An NDP government led by Paul Dewar will: Guarantee that at least half the members of Cabinet will be women, while respecting regional balance; Encourage political parties to nominate women as candidates by tying public financing to the number of women each party fields as candidates; Move to a fairer voting system based on proportional representation, which will increase the proportion of women and visible minorities in elected office; Establish Status of Women as a full government department, and mandate it develop expertise in gender equality and gender budgeting in every department; Re-establish funding for women’s advocacy organizations, which has been systematically dismantled by successive Liberal and Conservative governments.