BURNABY – Union women celebrated International Women’s Day with a breakfast that included bread and roses, as well as inspiring and moving words from Adrienne Montani of First Call Child and Youth Advocacy Coalition and BC NDP Leader Carole James.
Angie Shira, secretary treasurer of the BC Federation of Labour, kicked off the morning talking about the importance of reaching out to community-based women’s organizations that have been marginalized by the BC Liberal government.
Citing B.C.’s dubious record of having the highest child poverty for six years running, Adrienne Montani said that there is a “serious lack of political support to help the parents of poor children.” And two budgets last week – one in B.C. and one federally –will not make things better. Montani said that despite recommendations by First Call and other advocacy organizations there were no new investments in child care or affordable housing, and no commitment to reduce poverty. She reminded us that as recently as November 2009 the Canadian Parliament passed a resolution to develop an immediate plan to eliminate poverty in Canada.
Carole James said she is ashamed by what the B.C. Liberal government has done to increase inequality. But she reminded us that “things can change.” James, who attended the breakfast with a large group of female NDP MLAs, strongly encouraged political activism to get more progressive voices around the table.