OTTAWA, February 13, 2007 ( – The House of Commons Standing Committee on the Status of Women, on which the opposition holds the majority, is conducting four days of televised hearings on the topic of the potential impact of the funding cuts at Status of Women Canada, a federal government agency.

  The Committee selected the groups which were to testify before it.  The score: 27 groups who opposed the cuts and a total of only 3 groups who supported the cuts, including REAL Women of Canada.  Although REAL Women has extensive background knowledge about Status of Women funding, it didn’t even make the initial selection.  REAL Women notes that only after extensive pressure was the Committee prepared to hear it’s views on the subject.

  The 27 witnesses opposed to the cuts with only a couple of exceptions, are all funded by the Status of Women and according to their testimony, regarded these grants as their “entitlements.”  Having no other source of income but taxpayers’ dollars, they described the cuts as “anti-women”, crippling the involvement of women in the public debate in Canada.  REAL Women does not receive funds from the Status of Women and maintains its involvement in the public debate solely with the financial support of its members.

  In a release Real Women states, “This remarkable lack of balance in the number of witnesses appearing before the Committee raises the question as to why was a review held in the first place, since the Committee’s conclusions are obviously preordained?”

  REAL Women continues, “Since the committee proceedings are televised by CPAC, it is reasonable to conclude that the purpose of these hearings is to provide fodder for the upcoming election to attempt to back the claim that the Conservatives are, in fact, ‘anti-women.’  Not only have these special interest groups of women already received many millions of dollars since 1973 from the Status of Women – now this Committee is spending even more taxpayers’ money paying all the witnesses’ expenses in order to hoodwink the public into thinking that these cuts are offensive to ‘women’.  The cuts are only offensive to the special interest group of feminists whose extremist views are not supported by mainstream women.”