Lesser Slave Lake MLA and Alberta’s Minister for Children’s Services Danielle Larivee is even busier these days. In the recent cabinet shuffle, Premier Rachel Notley added Status of Women to Larivee’s responsibilities.
Reached by phone on June 29, Larivee explained to The Leader what that entails.
“Women are facing barriers,” she said. “For example, single moms facing financial problems, domestic violence and Indigenous women have even bigger challenges.”
Acknowledging those barriers and trying to do something about them is how Larivee sees the new job. As far as a game plan goes, Larivee sees three main areas to be tackled. One is the economic well-being of women. The new $25 per day child care program is part of the picture here – one that Larivee already had a hand in as Children’s Services Minister. So is supporting mentorship programs to help women start businesses and so on.
The second area of focus as Larivee envisions it is to deal with violence against women. This would involve partnering with and supporting organizations that work with vulnerable women and supporting efforts to educate both women and men. This would be in collaboration with other ministries.
“We don’t fund women’s shelters,” Larivee explained, “but we advocate for them.”
The third area of focus would be to “encourage women to take a leadership position and participate fully in our democratic society.”
An example of how this would be accomplished is support for a program called ‘Ready For Her.’ Larivee said it “encourages women to become candidates,” as well as promoting female participation in agencies and boards. It is known, she said, that women are less likely than men to put their names forward for such positions, “unless asked.”
Larivee replaces Stephanie McLean as the minister responsible for the status of women.