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December 26th, 2013

Lowlight #6: Conservatives turn their back on women’s rights


Stephen Harper’s Conservatives had a very bad year. Plagued by an expense scandal and cover-up reaching right to the top of the prime minister’s office, Conservatives have shown they are a tired and out-of-gas government.

We are condensing a year’s worth of lowlights into a countdown of the top 15 examples of Conservative blunders, scandals and ineptitude.


For Canadians to understand the Conservative government’s approach to women, they really need to hop in the time machine they got for Christmas this week and head back to the 1950s.

Despite it being 2013, Canadians have seen Conservatives ignore women at budget time and then launch one attack after another on woman’s rights – in particular a women’s right to choose.

The top offenses include:

  • Minister Keith Ashfield made headlines in March when he congratulated Grace Moreno, a young woman from New Brunswick, by telling her she was a “great cook” and would “make a wonderful wife for someone”.
  • Despite previous failed attempts to reopen the abortion debate, Conservatives were back at it again this year when Langley MP Mark Warawa introduced a bill on sex-selective abortion.
  • Resolutions passed at the Conservative Convention in November clearly demonstrated, yet again, that Conservatives very much want to reopen the debate on a woman’s right to choose.
  • The attack on a woman’s rights wasn’t limited to Canada – Conservatives also cut funding to organizations that provide assistance to women and girls who are victims of war rape or child brides, and are seeking abortions.
  • To wrap up another year of sexism, the former Conservative candidate and current unelected and unaccountable Senator, Jean-Guy Dagenais sent an offensive letter to a democratically elected NDP MP, viscously attacking her for the NDP’s work promoting abolition of the Senate.

Canadians deserve better.

While other leaders have been missing in action, Tom Mulcair has been showing up to work on behalf of Canadians – holding Stephen Harper accountable and putting forward practical solutions to help families make ends meet.