Zann encourages Nova Scotians to mark International Women’s Day

March 7, 2014

(Truro, NS) NDP MLA Lenore Zann is asking all Nova Scotians to take a moment on Saturday, March 8 to reflect on issues that impact women in Nova Scotia and around the world.

March 8 is International Women’s Day.

“While there has been significant progress made over the years to address women’s issues, there is still a great deal more that needs to be done,” said Zann.

“I’m very proud of the fact that I’m a female MLA whose party is led by the first female Finance Minister in Nova Scotia history,” said Zann. “The NDP also had the very first female leader of any party in Canada – the incomparable Alexa McDonough who I am honoured to call my dear friend and mentor. Presently there are 14 female MLAs representing all three political parties. When you compare that number to where we were 30 years ago – with only one woman in the House (Alexa), it is clear that progress has been made. I’m hopeful this trend will continue and more women will decide to seek public office.”

Zann is concerned however, that recent changes to the Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and Canada Jobs Grant program will have a negative impact on organizations that support women. She pointed to the potential loss of the Starting Point program in Pictou County and others like it as an example.

“Starting Point has helped hundreds of women in rural Nova Scotia enter the workforce. Because of the federal Jobs Grant program and changes to the LMA many organizations that help women, like Starting Point, are set to lose significant amounts of funding in just a couple of weeks’ time.”

 Zann says these changes will force groups to drastically reduce services and possibly close their doors , adding that “The Liberal government needs to act now to provide bridge funding to groups affected by the Labour Market Agreement changes.”

Zann says, “I ask Labour and Advanced Education Minister Kelly Regan to put a plan in place as soon as possible so groups like Starting Point can survive changes to the LMA. We need more organizations out there working to help women succeed in society, not less. And as a woman herself I’m sure she should appreciate that.”