Canada

Parti Québécois raises pressure on Legault to help women affected by pandemic

"The hill (women) will face once things return to normal ... will be even more steep."

PQ critic for the status of women Méganne Perry Mélançon says more must be done to balance home-work-study demands for women by increasing daycare access, grants and tax credits.

The Parti Québécois on Tuesday added its voice to the Quebec Liberals in calling for the Legault government to do more to help women whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The opposition party’s demand comes two days after Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade urged Premier François Legault to acknowledge women have borne the brunt of the fallout from the health crisis and to take action to deal with it.

With International Women’s Day approaching on March 8, Anglade accused the government of lacking any real concern for what women have experienced over the past year.

She called upon the government to create thousands of daycare spots, award government contracts to businesses run by female entrepreneurs and examine the effects that proposed legislation will have on women in Quebec.

PQ MNA and critic for the status of women Méganne Perry Mélançon ratcheted up the pressure Tuesday, telling the premier that “not to act is not an option.”

She said more must be done to balance home-work-study demands for women by increasing daycare access, grants and tax credits as well as improving internet service and equipment.

Perry Mélançon said the impact of telecommuting on women should be examined. She also stressed the importance of access to housing and employment legislation and revenue supplement programs.

She also called for increased funding for organizations that serve women.

The MNA cited several studies, most recently by the Observatoire québécois des inégalités and the Association pour la santé publique du Québec, that found women have been most affected by the economic fallout from the pandemic and that inequalities between women and men have become more acute over the past year.

“Experts agree that problems women are facing already existed,” she said, “and that the pandemic has simply exacerbated them.”

Perry Mélançon urged Legault and Isabelle Charest, minister responsible for the status of women, to admit that fact and take “concrete action to support women, considering that the hill they will face once things return to normal … will be even more steep.”

She said the government must take those issues into account when planning its post-pandemic economic relaunch.

  1. In all spheres of activity, women, far more than men, have suffered the repercussions of this crazy year, marked by an unprecedented health crisis, Quebec Liberal Leader Dominique Anglade said, and the government has not taken into account this reality.

    A pandemic year: Anglade makes heartfelt appeal to Legault on behalf of women

  2. A woman runs past a closed shop in Montreal Feb. 9, 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Women, older Quebecers more likely to respect COVID-19 rules, poll suggests

  3. Staff man the busy registration stations at the COVID-19 vaccination site at Décarie Square on Monday.

    Quebec updating vaccine priority list to address younger, vulnerable people

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