Ig­nati­eff com­mit­ted to pay eq­uity, women’s rights

The Compass - - OPINION -

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.”

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