Previously published in Examiner
Part 5 of the status of women series
Status of Women continued
Social programs for women with children
The Federal Family Allowance Act came into effect in 1944, partially as an act to keep children in school,. The 1940’s legislation saw the beginning of the social programs in Canada and the Family allowance act gave women monthly allowances for each child. The Federal Family Allowance Act often called the Baby Bonus was the first social program in Canada. It was given to all families with children under 16 years of age regardless of Income and it was designed to help in a time when wage freezes prevailed in the wartime economy. Canadian families still receive family allowance today. It is vitally important for low income families. However, the program has changed. There is a cut off for benefits as this program is now run to help families in need.
Portia White, from Truro Nova Scotia was the first black Canadian woman singer to grace the New York Townhall. She was called the Canadian “Marian Anderson” and she also had the chance to sing before Queen Elizabeth II in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in the 1960’s. Her career was not all glory though, she did experience racism like every woman of her generation. In her early career she was refused hotel rooms in all white hotels.
The Victorian Order of Nurses and other health services begin to teach prenatal classes, in an era when most women had babies through the help of a midwife in Montreal and other parts of Quebec