Ignatieff committed to pay equity, women’s rights
Random-Burin-St. George’s MP Judy Foote has voiced the Liberal party’s unwavering commitment to pay equity.
Mrs. Foote noted Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff had introduced a Private Member’s Bill in the House of Commons to restore the federal government’s commitment to pay equity as a fundamental right, instead of a negotiating chip at the bargaining table.
“ Today, women in Canada earn an average of 72 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. For women with children, that figure drops to 52 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues.
“ The Conservative government has launched a relentless attack on women’s equality in Canada since it was first elected. The Liberal party is fighting back to protect the rights of Canadian women.”
Mrs. Foote said two-thirds of all minimum wage earners are women, but looking at Canada’s top-earners men outnumber women by more than 333 per cent.
“Instead of addressing this serious inequity, this Conservative government cut the operating budget of Status of Women Canada by 43 per cent and removed the word ‘equality’ from the mandate of its women’s program. This Conservative government has also removed the Gender Equality Unit in the Human Rights Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.”
Mrs. Foote pointed to the recent celebration of the 25th anniversary of the enactment of Section 15 – the equality section – of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The section states every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal pro- tection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.
The MP insisted “ We still have much work to do to ensure everyone is treated equally under the law. While the Conservative govern- ment continues to attack the rights of Canadian women, Mr. Ignatieff ’s private member’s bill calls for implementation of the recommendations of the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force, including a new pay equity commission to ensure pay equity in the federal public service, crown corporations and federally-regulation corporations.”