Thursday, October 27, 2016

Territorial Election 2016 questions for candidates

 The Yukon Status of Women wants to know the following of our candidates this year, please feel free to use these questions and share them widely!

Childcare: What will your government do to increase availability of quality, affordable childcare that works for Yukon families?

Access to childcare is essential to ensure women can return to the workforce and develop their careers after they have children. The most recent statistics show that there are only spaces for 29.6% of the children aged 0-12 years available in Yukon, and that monthly median daycare rates for infants is $739 and $649 for preschoolers, per child. Even when families qualify for daycare subsidies, the largest available subsidy falls short of these costs.

Violence against women: How will your government take a leadership role in addressing this pervasive issue in a comprehensive way and what resources will you commit?

Yukon continues to have violence against women rates that are three times the national average. This is a crisis that needs to be addressed.

Sexual assault Centres: Given our high rate of sexual assault, one in every four women in the Yukon, the community has been calling for the creation of a sexual assault crisis centre is this a priority for you and how and when do you plan to address this?

Yukon does not have a designated sexual assault centre, while every other province does.

Core funding: If your government is elected, will you commit to sufficient core funding for NGOs who deliver these programs, and will you commit to increasing that funding in pace with inflation, so that the staff may earn a living wage, have job security, and provide consistency to their vulnerable clients?

Yukon women's groups have been operating much-needed programming on temporary or project-based funding for decades. Staff of these programs must spend time that could have been spent delivering programming writing reports or funding applications, and cannot count on stability of employment.

Low-income housing: What will your government do to ensure that these most vulnerable among us have safe, secure housing that they can count on?

"Affordable housing" has been classed as anything that is below or at the median rent in Whitehorse. With our current lack of affordable housing, median rent is $900 per month. This is not "affordable" for the most vulnerable in our population, many of whom are women and children. 73% of lone parent mothers living below the low income cutoff. Women are forced to endure abusive relationships or leave with no assurance of a stable roof over their children's heads. Those in the rural communities outside of Whitehorse have even fewer choices.