Just do the Right Thing, Madame Robillard!

OTTAWA – The National Association of Women and the Law, the National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada and the Feminist Alliance for International Action are calling on Madame Lucienne Robillard, Minister of Human Resources for the government of Canada, to give Québec its full share of the maternity and parental benefit payouts for 2006.

“The federal government has been stalling and refusing to negotiate with Québec on this issue since 1997. There is a huge surplus in the Employment Insurance fund, and no shortage of money. It is high time that this issue be settled once and for all. Québec women should not have to wait any longer to receive their improved parental benefits, and the federal government should not be standing in the way of a plan that brings women closer to full equality” says Andrée Côté, Director of Legislation and Law Reform for the National Association of Women and the Law .

In 2001, the Québec National Assembly adopted a generous parental benefits law that significantly improves on the coverage as well as the level of benefits that the federal government currently provides under the Employment Insurance Act. However, this legislation has not been implemented, because of the federal government reluctance in agreeing on the amount of money that the Québec government will be able to keep in order to fund this program.