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Statement by the President-Elect of the Canadian Medical Association, and the President of Doctors of BC

Kelowna, September 5, 2017 – Today, a group of dedicated female physicians traveled to Kelowna, B.C., to express their frustration and concern with the government's proposal to change well-established tax planning measures. These changes will adversely affect female physicians and women entrepreneurs, and the government needs to be aware of the unintended consequences associated with their tax proposal. 

As female doctors, the current tax measures are instrumental in supporting family obligations, such as using passive earnings to accommodate maternity leave or to support a prolonged leave from work resulting from pregnancy complications. Also, women continue to assume the greatest share of responsibilities in caring for children*. We ask the government to consider how their proposal will impact women in the medical profession. With two thirds of family physicians under age 35 being female, the inability to fund maternity leaves and associated pregnancy and child caring responsibilities are very real issues.

As women business owners, we are confronted with indisputable challenges, and the proposed changes are an additional layer of stress at a time when we need to remain focused on delivering care to our patients. We believe that any changes to the existing tax structure will have a downstream effect on our ability to operate our medical practice. 

As a government with a feminist agenda, we ask Minister Morneau and the Liberal Caucus to consider how women entrepreneurs, small business owners, professionals, and doctors will be disadvantaged by the proposed changes. We respectfully request that the government consider our concerns in its gender analysis.

Dr. Gigi Osler, President-Elect, CMA                                        

Dr. Trina Larsen Soles, President, Doctors of BC

* In 2015, mothers provided 60% of care to children as compared to fathers who provided 44%