Real pay equity long overdue

In Canada, women still make on average 23 per cent less than their male counterparts.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s glib response on his Liberal cabinet’s equal gender representation is being put to the test with the passage of a motion to legislate pay equity between men and women in Canada.

That motion, put forward on Opposition Day by Sheila Malcolmson, rookie MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith, calls on the Liberal government to do everything in its power to tackle the wage gap between men and women in Canada. It passed with the support of the governing party, which agreed to recognize equal pay for equal work as a human right and strike a task force to develop a plan to legislate pay equity in the workplace.

In Canada, women still make on average 23 per cent less than their male counterparts – less still if that woman is indigenous, a minority or living with a disability.

Canada ranks 30th out of 34 countries in the OECD when it comes to pay equity.

Quite frankly, in a developed nation, which recognizes women’s right to participate actively in all levels of society, that’s unacceptable.

The government’s acknowledgement of this is one step in the right direction to ending wage discrimination in the workplace and alleviating some of the issues of poverty women are facing in this country.

How effective legislation to correct the problem in the private sector will be remains to be seen. But the federal government can show leadership by legislating pay equity for its own employees – it’s a bit surprising to learn it doesn’t already – with the hope that it creates a standard that will translate to corporations, industry and business across the country.

–Nanaimo News Bulletin