Advocates want a feminist spending review as feds insist no social-program cuts
Erika Ibrahim, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, April 23, 2022 6:16AM EDT
The Liberal government is insisting that the goal of an upcoming federal spending review is not to slash social programs, while gender-equality advocates want to make sure it is done with women and marginalized people in mind.
The review during Stephen Harper’s Conservative government also comes to mind for Robert Shepherd, a Carleton University public policy professor who studies federal spending reviews. About 26,000 employees were cut from the public service and programs were either trimmed or starved of funding. “Not a lot got done under the Harper years, in terms of programs and services. It was a bunch of dead years. We didn’t really invest too much on very many policy aims,” Shepherd said.
Shepherd said he is concerned the federal government will do the review without collaborating with the provinces and territories, an approach that increases the likelihood of negatively affecting vulnerable groups. Women and marginalized communities have less input in that scenario, because they are more removed from the process in the absence of provincial and territorial involvement, he said.