Candice Malcolm: Not in my name, Prime Minister

20161202_pg_02.jpg

(This column originally appeared in the Toronto Sun)

The federal budget was released Wednesday, and with it, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took his self-proclaimed “feminism” to the next level.

Trudeau and company proudly told us they produced the “first ever gender statement” alongside this year’s budget, which they told the Globe and Mail was Canada’s first “gender-based federal budget”.

What does a “gender-based” budget actually mean? Your guess is as good as mine.

Trudeau has taken his favourite gimmick — wow, he’s a male feminist! — and used it as an excuse to ram through his big government agenda.

To Trudeau, feminism includes increasing federal spending, burying the country in debt, saddling young Canadians with an unsustainable financial burden and maintaining high taxes on families and businesses.

Trudeau’s budget also features targeted measures aimed at appeasing the women’s lobby, including more taxpayer-funded child-care spots for a lucky few and more government handouts to middle class parents.

According to our top feminist, these are women’s issues.

Forget about spending, revenue, taxation, debt-to-GDP ratios and economic growth — the things of budgets past — our new budget includes more layers of bureaucracy to ensure each policy has been reviewed to consider the impact on women.

If this is the first budget to specifically include women, does that mean every other budget excluded women? Who knew?

I attended many budget lockups and presentations during my time with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, and I never knew I was being excluded from the process.

I was surrounded by bright and capable women — journalists, economists, accountants, industry representatives, analysts and experts — all of whom seemed engaged and interested in the fiscal side of the budget.

I guess we were just fooling ourselves. Luckily, Trudeau has benevolently expanded the budget process on our behalf.

Never mind the hefty price tag — a $28.5 billion deficit, to add to Canada’s ballooning $665.5 billion federal debt. I guess that’s the price we pay for our PM’s feminist ideology.

Of course, this is all nonsense.

Women are not, and have never been, a homogeneous entity. There are not a separate set of issues that affect all women.

It turns out women are a diverse bunch. Just like men.

Some women have conservative values, some want lower taxes and some would prefer the government to stay out of our lives.

Far from wanting the feds to adopt feminism in the name of women, a recent survey found 68% of Canadian women reject the label and don’t consider themselves feminists.

Trudeau should keep this in mind before ramming through policies that don’t help most women, and — through increased spending and borrowing — will hurt women in the long run.

What started as comedy has become a tragedy.

Trudeau loves to proclaim his feminism, in a cheesy, reality-TV-show, sort of way. He does yoga, he hosts Ladies Nights events and he tells us over and over that he is a feminist.

Many Canadians, including women, find Trudeau’s PR stunts embarrassing. Many of us roll our eyes at...(READ MORE)