Centre des Femmes du Granit Takes Action

MÉGANTIC: Le Centre des Femmes de la MRC du Granit is constantly working to improve situations relating to women's issues within its region and organizes suitable actions so that these files can advance and effectively reach their goals. Already, on December 10, 2012, the Center took an active part in a demonstration aimed "at denouncing the commercialization of natural resources and its impact on women", in the context of a specific "24 hours of feminist action", of the World March of Women, in connection with the Northern Plan. In addition to taking this action, the Council for the Status of Women denounces the consequences of the development of the Northern Plan as likely to create negative repercussions for women, such as problems with prostitution on the building sites.

In face of a project of such scale, Innu women are also concerned and should be consulted by the existing provincial government, in this case the Parti Québécois. For the Centre des Femmes de la MRC du Granit, "the needs of Aboriginal women must be considered and measurements must be put in place to better integrate the community's Aboriginal into various development projects. It is imperative that the government responds to their appeal for help".

The Centre des Femmes de la MRC du Granit also believes that women deserve better conditions in regard to decent lodging, for a reasonable rent, which would enable them to provide for their needs. In noting the inexistence of a housing committee in the MRC du Granit, the center also points out the existing high cost of rents. The women tenants are thus confronted with deplorable situations which encourage them to move, far from their work or their everyday life or, they face problems with heating, with bad insulation, while undergoing obligatory cuts in their budget in order to maintain a minimal level of existence which inhibits the ability to be properly nourished and to be able to look after oneself.

All these crucial questionings posed by the persons in charge of the Women's Center, dealing with the current situation of women, have brought these issues to light, primarily due to their participation, in November and December 2012, at the "Commission populaire itinérante sur le droit au logement", organized by the FRAPRU (Front d'action populaire en réaménagement urbain"). In the municipality of Lac-Mégantic, there are 6 co-op housing units. The Center would like to see at least 12 more new units. For the Center, this type of social housing represents the solution which would, in the long run, help to improve the basic incomes for all these women.

Another issue touches precisely on the progressive health tax of $200, which is to be applied (2013), by the minority government of Premier Pauline Marois, according to a person's income. For the Centre des Femmes du Granit, "one quickly notices that the middle class and, in particular, the lowest paid more than they should, if it were truly to be a progressive tax".

During November and December of 2012, the Centre des Femmes de la MRC du Granit also mobilized in favour of "Pro-choice", within the framework of a national campaign against "the educational Campaign by the Minister for the Female Condition" (at the Federal level) which advocated the reopening of the debate on the abortion issue, a motion presented by Conservative MP Warawa. On this occasion, more than 750 letters, defending the "Pro-choice" position, were sent to Minister Rona Ambrose. The Center also forwarded a letter to the Minister stating their position: "It is for these reasons that we ask you, as Council for the Status of Women, to rule against MP Warawa's motion and to support decisions and budgets that will have a positive and real impact on the lives, the safety and the well-being of women and girls living in Canada".

For information regarding this campaign: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 819-583-457
Photo: Myriam Sainson