Yvonne Jones, Opposition Critic for the Status of Women and MHA for the
District of Cartwright-L’Anse Au Clair, is concerned that the Status of
Women Minister, Joan Burke, is not fulfilling her responsibility in
protecting the interests and concerns of all women in this province.
have seen in the past that this is a minister who likes to exclude certain
women from the decision- making process, especially based on their political
affiliation," said Jones. "Now, we see that she is being selective in the
types of women she considers important enough to intervene on behalf and
whose interest she would like to promote and protect.
"The Women’s Policy Office, under her direction and authority, is there
to benefit the interests of all women in this province, not just those the
minister sees fit to safeguard."
Jones questioned the Status of Women minister today in the House of
Assembly on a number of important issues relating to women, including those
women who are experiencing employment crises and the impact this could have
on the quality of family life. Jones also asked the minister to ensure that
the rights of those women in penitentiaries are protected and upheld.
"This minister took a nonchalant, if not a disinterested, approach to all
of these issues, including protecting the national child care strategy
created by the previous federal government and supported by a majority of
Newfoundland and Labrador women and their families . On this issue, it is
apparent that neither the premier, nor his minister of health, are
interested in making representation to the federal government on this
"Whether an issue is large or small, or whether it involves one or
thousands of women in this province, the minister is there to be a watch dog
to ensure economic and social equality for all women. This minister should
work diligently on each of these issues and be involved in all of these
files, but this is simply not happening. I would encourage the premier to
immediately consider appointing another minister who may be able to better
do this job, or be more willing to commit to the time needed to fully
address all women’s issues."