NDP to Harper: Stop Ignoring Women; Equal Pay for Equal Work

OTTAWA – NDP Spokesperson for Labour, Libby Davies (Vancouver East) and NDP MP Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan) called today on the Conservative government to enact the recommendations of the Pay Equity Task Force, and legislate pay equity in Canada.

“After Monday’s multi-million dollar cuts to the Status of Women, Aboriginal health programs and adult literacy programs, it is no surprise that the Conservatives have rejected a report that calls for pay equity,” said Jean Crowder.

Despite the fact that all parties agreed on the need to implement the Pay Equity Task Force Final Report, the Conservative government recently announced their intention of rejecting the recommendations. Conservatives are set to completely disregard the two-year federal review of pay equity in Canada. Strong equity legislation is necessary to bring Canada in-line with its national and international obligations to human rights.

“Women have fought to bring pay equity to the forefront of the struggle for equality in Canada,” said NDP Status of Women critic, Irene Mathyssen. “After just a few months in power, the Conservatives are trying to turn back the clock on these fundamental rights,” she added.

“Canadian labour rights are rapidly eroding and we can’t wait any longer for fair and clear pay equity legislation,” said Davies. “For decades, women workers from across Canada have been embroiled in tribunals and fighting in court for fair wages because the law doesn’t prevent them from being discriminated against,” she added.

Public Service Alliance of Canada National Executive Vice President, Patty Ducharme, called the government decision outrageous. “Women have had to wait literally decades for their pay equity complaints to be resolved under the current law, with employers resisting all the way,” said Ducharme. “What’s needed is a new, proactive law now.”