The Canadian Association for Equality sent the following questionnaire to all Liberal, PC, NDP and Green candidates in the Ontario 2014 election, as well as mailing the same questions to each party headquarters. Parties and candidates had 2 full weeks before election day to provide responses.
We have posted copies of all answers received, unedited, in the order in which they were received.
Hi [Political candidate],
Thank you for your commitment and hard work toward equality and justice. I’m writing to you from the Canadian Association for Equality’s Office of Public Policy on behalf of many of our members who are constituents in your riding.
We have prepared a set of 5 questions which will help our members decide to whom to award their vote. The responses we receive may be posted, without modification, to our website and circulated to our members.
The Canadian Association for Equality is a public education charitable organization committed to achieving equality for all Canadians, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, family status, race, ethnicity, creed, age or disability.
In particular, we are interested in gender equality, that is on achieving equality for all men, women, girls and boys. While we support all efforts at achieving gender equality, we work for balance and fairness within this societal project by focusing our limited resources on those areas of gender which are understudied in contemporary culture.
This has led us to a current focus on the status, health and well-being of boys and men, where attention, investment and support for educational and social programs stands at a level that is far from equal to the seriousness of the problem, while also being significantly underdeveloped compared to the resources in other important areas of social improvement.
We provide current evidence-based research and balanced information. We also provide opportunities to engage in furthering this cause by participating in discussions, events and family-friendly activities. We sincerely believe the goal of true equality and human rights is best served by conducting inclusive conversations based on facts and evidence, not by promoting ideology or special interest agendas.
Office of Public Policy
Canadian Association for Equality
1 – According to Canadian studies in peer reviewed journals, boys are twice as likely to drop out of high school as compared with girls, consistently fall behind girls in academic achievement, and have far fewer same gender role models at all levels of public education. We know that dropouts have a 300% greater chance of incarceration. Do you believe this is a problem that needs Ministry of Education attention, and if so how would you tackle the problem?
2 – Since the early 1970’s there have been many academics that have altered their view of the causes and remedies of domestic violence. Originating with a model where domestic violence is universally seen as female victims of male perpetrators, the current research shows a more balanced view where men and women contribute almost equally to the problem of domestic violence. Do you expect to support legislation that recognizes the new understanding of how domestic violence should be addressed?
3 – Our society is held together by a system of laws and their implementation. Without access to justice many Ontarians are left without the benefit of this fundamental system. Cases exist such as the York University Community Legal Assistance Program (CLASP), whereby men are denied legal assistance when, on the other hand, women are given full aid. In cases like this, the CLASP program does not follow the principle of promoting access to justice in a publicly funded institution and program. Would you assure that all Ontario Legal Aid programs treat all Ontarians equally and move to deny funding to programs that deny equal access to justice?
4 – Recent research has shown that children attach to both their fathers and mothers with equal benefit to the child. Research also shows that fatherlessness has serious negative outcomes for girls and boys. However, Statistics Canada reports that children lose access to their dads in custody judgments at a 15 to one ratio and one in five children in Ontario live entirely without their father. Do you believe that maintaining a child’s attachment to both parents after break-up or divorce is a best outcome and can be accomplished by maximizing time with both parents after separation?
5 – The most recent available analysis of the treatment men receive in the criminal justice system show that men are treated much more punitively for the same criminal behaviours as compared to women. Men are more readily arrested, charged and given harsher sentences, even for a crime done jointly by the man and a dominant woman. Do you agree that this bias is unfair and unjust, and if so how will you endeavor to balance the gender inequality in the justice system?
Official Responses from Party Headquarters
Tim Hudak on behalf of the PC Party
Responses from Candidates
Keith McAlister, Green Party, London West
Anne Faulner, Green Party, Haldimand-Norfolk
Tim Rudkins, Green Party, Parkdale-High Park
Rachel Power, Green Party, Toronto – Danforth
Karren Wallace, Green Party, Dufferin – Caledon
Ted Arnott, PC Party, Wellington – Halton Hills
Pauline Thompson, Green Party, Scarborough – Agincourt
Shuja Syed, NDP, Scarborough-Guildwood
Rod Jackson, PC Party, Barrie
Lan Daniel, Conservative Party, Davenport
Laila Zarrabi Yan, Green Party, Brampton-Springdale
Angela Salewsky, Green Party, Etobicoke-Lakeshore
Nicolas Johnson, PC Party, Beaches-East York
Pina Martino, PC Party, Etobicoke Centre
Stacey Danckert, candidate, Green Party
Julia Munro, PC Party, York-Simcoe
Nancy Leblanc, Liberal Party, Parkdale–High Park
Emilia Melara, Green Party, Oak Ridges – Markham
Mark Vercouteren, Green Party, Essex