OK. So I’m not a tax expert, despite having aced fiscal in law school. I pay professionals to do my taxes, in part because they do it way better than I could but also because life is too short to clutter up your brain with such regulations, unless you’re going to make a career out of it. While I’m willing to believe there are measures in the various tax systems that may be unfair to men or women because of their gender (the way, for instance, one-income families are disadvantaged compared to two-income families, as Jack Mintz explained here), I have a lot of trouble believing Canadian tax laws are so inherently unfair to women as to require special, broad-based and forceful action instead of a few tweaks here and there as needed.
So when I see newspaper articles like this one, I shake my little head in dismayed protest.
OTTAWA – Canadian women will be at a disadvantage until federal taxing and spending decisions are made to advance women’s equality, a parliamentary committee concludes in a new report.
The committee on the status of women unanimously recommends forcing the government’s hand on the issue by requiring the Finance Department to publish a separate analysis on how the measures contained in all future budgets will affect men and women.
A majority on the committee — all opposition MPs — also recommends passing legislation by next April to enshrine in law the gender-based budgeting obligations of federal departments and agencies; and the appointment by December, 2009, of a commissioner for gender equality, which would be modelled along the lines of the commissioner of official languages, to audit and analyze government behaviour.
Gender-based budgeting obligations? Does anybody even know what those might be? And, er, aren’t elections already supposed to be audits of government behaviour?