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What happened, Finance Committee? I remember, back when we first met, you asked me for my pre-budget submission and I gave it to you. You cared about my priorities. You asked me over for the Finance Committee’s Pre-Budget consultations. We talked. I felt like you really heard me.

We made plans together. I told you about my (economic) insecurities — how single female parents still struggle to pay for safe housing and food; how indigenous women and women with disabilities experience disproportionate levels of poverty. We even talked about children (you had me at “Federal Child Care Plan”).

I didn’t mind that you were seeing other women’s organizations. Really. I never thought we were exclusive. I just thought you still cared.

But today, when I went to make my annual submission to the Finance Committee’s Pre-Budget Consultation, what did I find? A drop-down list. And women weren’t on it. I’m not even on your menu. How can I ever get back to the table with you?

Why are you freezing me out FINA? I thought I meant something to you.

It’s not like there wasn’t anything in it for you. Close the wage gap, I told you, and you can boost GDP. Provide affordable child care, and you can increase employment and tax revenues. End violence against women, and you could save yourself billions in health-care costs, lost revenues, and lost productivity.

FINA, you go talk to your friends, talk to my friends, talk to me (talk to me). 
But I don’t know if we are ever, ever, ever getting back together.

Kate McInturff is a CCPA research associate and an expert on gender budgeting and women’s human rights.