MP hopes to see more women in HOC

  • Mar. 14, 2017 6:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield


Participants in Daughters of the Vote filled the 338 MP seats in the House of Commons March 8 on International Women’s Day.

But on every other day in Ottawa, women comprise just 26 per cent of the House seats.

North Island-Powell River NDP MP Rachel Blaney would like to see that change.

“I hope to see a lot of young women take up the charge and see them running in elections in the future,” Blaney said in a media teleconference Wednesday. “We have to always be asking, ‘What are those barriers that are preventing women from thinking that they should be in these roles?’”

But action is also needed to deal with issues such as pay equity, which for some time has been in front of the House.

“The research is in,” she said. “In many sectors, women are paid 74 cents to a man’s dollar.”

A Stats Canada study released last week, titled Women in Canada: Women and paid work found that on average, women earned 87 cents for every dollar earned by men in Canada in 2015.

Blaney feels legislation is needed to address this and other issues such as poverty among senior women, and affordable child care.

She believes a National Action Plan is also needed to end violence against women and girls.

“That means making sure we are funding, properly, the networks of shelters for women who are fleeing violence.”

Tax workshops planned

Next month in Courtenay, Blaney will host a disability tax credit work- shop as she tours the constituency.

During last year’s tour, she said many people received “substantial returns.” Though a tax credit precludes some from receiving it, Blaney’s team has learned that families with children with Type 1 diabetes are often eligible for the credit.

On another note, the NDP last week introduced a motion in the House requesting government to address the issue of tax evasion schemes.

“Really, this is a motion about having everyone pay their fair share,” Blaney said. “I get a lot of calls from members in the riding who talk about how aggressive CRA is when taxes are

owed, and how hard it can be to pay back fines and interest.” When millionaires are caught cheating, she said the fines are


often forgiven.

“We’re calling on the Liberals


to launch a full investigation into this issue, and really, to dis- cuss the role of Canada Reve- nue Agency in moving forward. It’s very concerning when we see people who have a lot not paying their fair share, hiding

their money. And when they get caught, not having to pay what an everyday, hard-work- ing Canadian has to pay.”

The disability tax credit work- shop is Wednesday, April 19 at noon at the Filberg Centre in Courtenay. It will be presented in collaboration with Courtenay-Alberni MP Gord Johns.

For more information, call 1-800-667-8404, or email Ra-