image National Features


La loi sur la formation nationale a été adoptée par le Parlement. Bien qu'il soit actuellement difficile de juger précisément quel sera son impact sur les femmes, on peut déjà entrevoir que ce texte législatif sera peu bénéfique pour toutes celles qui ont besoin d'une formation professionnelle, et qu'il ferme de nombreuses portes d'accès aux emplois bien rémunères, traditionellement réservés aux hommes.

Un seul organisme féminin, le CCPEF, avait présenté des recommandations au Comité directeur parlementaire de la main-d'oeuvre, de l'emploi et de l'immigration quant à ce projet de loi. Aucune des recommandations du CCPEF n'a été retenue par les législateurs.

by Susan McCrae Vander Voet

In June, 1982, CCLOW was informed that we could make a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labour, Manpower & Immigration -- on only 36 hours notice before the event. We kept in mind that no other women's groups or organizations would be presenting briefs; it was critically important for women's assessment of the act to be heard. We had contacted both the CACSW and Status of Women Departments in early Spring to find out what they were doing to assess the impact on women of this important piece of legislation. Alas, they had not even heard of it. CCLOW thus made its presentation to the committee with the expectation that little attention would be paid to our analysis and recommendations. As it turned out, we were absolutely right. The act was passed without our recommendations included.

Until the administrative regulations governing the Act see the light of day, it is not possible to calculate a total assessment of their impact on women's training opportunities. Our presentation to the committee was based on the background papers to the National Training Program released by CEIC in January, the Act itself and an understanding of women's learning needs. Our overall judgment is that the new package (Act and Program) offers little to meet women's learning needs. In fact, it removes many of the re-entry points and programs which women have accessed in the past on the arduous journey to well paid employment. Doors are being closed: those still open are harder to get through. A case in point is described in this issue's article on Action Travail des Femmes in Montreal. One of the few doors left open in the National Training Program is trades training, as many trades have been designated high priority National Occupations. Women's access to trades training has been traditionally blocked, but never more clearly than in the case documented by Action Travail des Femmes. The Montreal group's decision, to lay a complaint against CEIC before the Human Rights Commission takes on even greater importance in clearing the way for women to have access to trades training.

Although CCLOW's presentation failed to make an impact on the National Training Act, we will continue to push the points we raised and to be vigilant to the overt and covert sex discrimination in its implementation. CCLOW's recommendations stand as a matter of public record. The report is as follows:

Presentation to Parliamentary Standing Committee on Labor, Manpower and Immigration by The Canadian Congress for Learning Opportunities for Women, June 17, 1982.

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