When you’re about to make a decision, do you do a gender-based analysis to make sure your decision won’t indirectly marginalize people? The federal government does, and though the policy has been on the books for over 20 years, some departments still need to hire consultants to tell employees what to do.
Looking at Department of Finance contracts obtained exclusively under Access to Information, I saw that the government had awarded $2,542 to Carmen Paquette for “other professional services not elsewhere specified.”
The Rebel got hold of her presentation, which revealed that an outsider is needed to teach government employees about government policy.
Part of this might be due to an auditor general report noting the federal government hasn’t implemented gender-based analysis even though it was made government policy 20 years ago.
Canada’s Global Affairs website even has a page explaining how gender-based analysis (GBA) “can tell us who has access, who has control, who is likely to benefit from a new initiative, and who is likely to lose.”
In Paquette’s presentation to Finance Department employees, she encourages use of a “GBA Checklist”—already mandatory in that department—and says that “each policy proposal going to the Minister for decision” requires a GBA done by specially designated analysis.
In other words, it doesn’t matter what it’s about: ministers have to review GBA findings in reports on new policies before they sign off on them.
This isn’t to say that groups haven’t been disadvantaged by government policy—look at how the middle class has been given the cold shoulder by government-driven costs, or how youth are disadvantaged by debt and deficits, or how men have been disadvantaged by affirmative action-inspired programs.
There are lots of metrics for advantage or "privilege", as some like to call it, so why only look at gender?
Government policy should be implemented based on whether it is good for everyone, not just along gender lines. This is something that requires a holistic look, rather than a convoluted GBA that even employees don’t understand how to use.