Canada Taken to Task at UN on Human Rights: Women, Aboriginals, Refugees Report on Covenant [of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights]

Herizons, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Canada Taken to Task at UN on Human Rights: Women, Aboriginals, Refugees Report on Covenant [of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights]


Prime Minister Jean Chretien's Liberal government has been accused by a United Nations committee of balancing its books on the backs of the poor by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

At issue was Canada's obligations under the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, a UN document adopted 22 years after the original human rights declaration in 1948. As a signatory to the covenant, Canada is obliged to ensure its people are entitled to certain rights, including adequate food, clothing, housing, health care, education, working conditions. A delegation of Canadian non profit organizations representing women, First Nations, poor people, homeless people, immigrants and refugees made presentations to the Geneva-based committee in November.

The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) said in its report that the impact of social service cuts by the Chretien government has been harshest for Canadian women. More women are poor today than when Canada last reported to the committee in 1993, and their poverty is deeper. Single mothers have a poverty rate of 82%, with incomes almost $9000 under the poverty line and the committee agreed with NAWL that the burden of filling the gaps left by cutbacks to government programs has fallen disproportionately on women, increasing their load of unpaid care-giving work.

Shelagh Day, Special Advisor on Human Rights to NAWL noted that "The UN committee's observations make it clear that the Minister of Finance needs to consider himself also the minister responsible for human rights. The two responsibilities -- the budget and human rights-cannot be separated."

Committee members asked Mark Moher, Canada's ambassador to the UN in Geneva why aboriginal people were allowed to Five in "subhuman" conditions, and why "needless poverty" was permitted. Moher replied that Canada couldn't be held accountable because the federal government was no longer responsible for ensuring minimum living conditions were met, but that the provinces are.

The committee criticized the Government of Canada for deferring to the provinces, noting that the move towards a more decentralized form of government has "created a situation in which Covenant standards can be undermined and effective accountability has been radically reduced." The Canada Assistance Plan (CAP) was a cost-sharing agreement for welfare and social services; it set national standards for social welfare, and required that work by welfare recipients be freely chosen. The Canada Health and Social Transfer (CHST), introduced in 1996, eliminated theses features and significantly reduced transfer payments to the provinces. Canada has the capacity to achieve a high level of fulfillment, but has failed to do so; we are a wealthy country; yet spends only 12% of the GDP on social programs, low compared with other G-7 countries.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Canada Taken to Task at UN on Human Rights: Women, Aboriginals, Refugees Report on Covenant [of Economic, Social & Cultural Rights]
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.