Mungall Pays tribute to Women’s Work, honours women’s groups after sexist comment from Premier

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Mungall Pays Tribute to Women’s Work

MLA Michelle Mungall’s Private Member’s Statement of October 31st had a two-fold purpose. The first was to honour the tireless work of women’s auxiliaries in the region. The second, was a rebuttal against sexist remarks the Premier had made in the House the previous week; sexist remarks directed at the women of the Opposition Caucus.

The comments came as heckles and were not captured in the official records of the proceedings, but the Premiere admits that she referred to female NDP MLAS as the “women’s auxiliary.”

“The Premier degraded the women MLAs with her comments, implying that the concerns we raise in the house are not as important or as “tough” as those of men,” says Mungall. “She further negated the tireless work by many women who have dedicated countless volunteer hours in their community.”

Mungall pointed out in her statement, Monday, that the women’s auxiliaries in her constituency have been raising funds for programs and organizations where the provincial government has fallen short or cut off funding completely.

“These auxiliaries have been raising funds for services that empower women and help us create equality in our society; some of them for decades and even centuries. If the Premiere’s comments likened our work as a caucus to those endeavours, then perhaps only that takes the sting out of what was said,” says Mungall.

Mungall’s words were greeted with much applause. The Speaker of House noted that Mungall’s words were in “the true spirit of a private member’s statement.”

View the video transcript: October 31, 2011 ~ Members Statement: “WORK OF HOSPITAL AUXILIARY SOCIETIES IN KOOTENAY AREA” ~ Michelle Mungall, MLA Nelson-Creston


M. Mungall: Well, a woman’s work is never done, so they say. Take, for example, Jane Tierman from Erickson. When she retired from her work at the lab in the Creston Valley Hospital in her 60s, she began volunteering with the Erickson Ladies Hospital Auxiliary. For the next 20 years Jean joined other women to make gifts for patients and raise funds for the hospital needs.
Heading north along Kootenay Lake, women there have been active since 1902, as the Victorian Hospital of Kaslo Auxiliary Society. Since then women on the auxiliary have baked, knitted and pulled raffle tickets out of their purses to sell in the community. Husbands help too, you’ll read on their website, taking the lead from their wives.
After 2001, though, they faced some big changes — not only at the hospital, which was demoted to a health clinic, but they also began a new social enterprise, the local thrift store. As savvy businesswomen, the auxiliary has increased its fundraising and makes major contributions, like the $26,000 to the palliative care room.
In Nelson, Salmo and south Slocan the Kootenay Lake hospital also has had an auxiliary, dating back to 1898. Talking to young parents, they are all smiles when dressing their bundles of joy in hand-knitted toques and booties from the auxiliary.
And Nelson’s Fraternal Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary has been working for communities since 1947. On November 19, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., they are inviting everyone to join them for a bowl of famous West Kootenay Russian borscht to raise funds for services that empower women and help us create equality in our society. For only $7, Mr. Speaker, you can get in on this great food for a great cause.
A woman’s work is never done. Whether it’s knitting for newborns, raising money for hospital equipment or the movement for equality, ladies auxiliaries have fearlessly stepped up and gotten the job done. [Applause.]
Mr. Speaker: The true spirit of a private member’s statement.