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What do moms really need?

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When I was growing up, Mother's Day had teeth. Moms stood up against war, fought for a fair wage, and were a voice for other moms. Now, we spend too much time discussing flowers and brunch and, sometimes, we forget the activism. This Mother's Day let's take action to improve the lives of moms across the country and the world. There are so many opportunities, I am just naming a few. Let me know if there are others. 

You could support an affordable, quality, child-care program in every province in Canada. When I moved to Canada, the federal government had just approved a five-year plan with $5 billlion in funding for child care that was going to allow each province to develop child-care programs that met its needs. Then, on February 6, 2006, Stephen Harper won and instead families got a child-care subsidy that barely covers three days of care. Here is a great infographic from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives that lays out the difference between the rest of the Canadian provinces (average) and Quebec. Shocking isn't it! 

The Vote Child Care 2015 campaign kicks off with an exciting Canada-wide week of action for child care, from May 10 to 17. They need to hear from moms about the tradeoffs they make to provide child care.   

You could also demand that the leaders of the political parties, who are seeking our vote in October, answer questions like: How do you intend to address the ongoing wage gap between men and women? Today more women than ever before are graduating from university, entering new professions and running for public office, women still make up the majority of the poor, earn 20 per cent less than their male peers for the same work, and do twice as much unpaid work at home.

Up For Debate is an alliance of women's organizations, community groups and international organizations from across Canada. They want every Canadian to know where our political leaders stand on gender equality, and are demanding a debate dedicated to women's issues during the lead-up to the federal election. Sign the petition here.

You could also demand a public inquiry into the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. 

And you could support peace, and sign this petition demand a withdrawal of troops from Syria.

Today my friend's son's grade-school teacher asked him "What does your mom do?" He answered, "A lot." Flowers are great, but let's stand for issues recognize the important work we do and the importance of our lives.

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