Some very good news today from Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff. He is presenting a bill that will put Canadian women back on track to receive pay equity. In the past four years the Reform Conservatives have pushed the women's movement back four decades. We need to reclaim our place so that we can move forward. If we have to constantly back pedal, we'll be going nowhere.
Mr. Ignatieff has already made a commitment to childcare and the Liberals third pink book is hot off the press. Finally some hope. Now if he can just get them to put 'equality' back into the Status of Women mandate and 'gender equality' into our foreign policy, we'll be closer to getting back the ground we lost four years ago. Yeah! ... I think.
Michael Ignatieff commits to pay equity
October 29, 2009
OTTAWA – Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff today tabled a private member’s bill that calls on the Harper government to repeal the flawed pay equity measures included in the 2009 budget implementation act, and to enact a truly proactive system.
“This bill recognizes what should never have been in doubt: a human right to equal pay for work of equal value,” said Mr. Ignatieff upon tabling the bill.
Earlier this year, the government hid behind the stimulus measures in Budget 2009 to attack the rights of Canadian women, undermining pay equity.
“It was wrong, it must be reversed, and with the passage of this bill, it will be,” Mr. Ignatieff said. “This bill repeals the measures in the budget that put pay equity on the bargaining table –because no human right should ever, ever be subject to negotiation.”
Mr. Ignatieff said that under the Harper government, the gender gap in Canada is growing. In an annual global survey that looks at the participation of women in the economic and political life, Canada is ranked only 25th in the world, and is playing catch-up to other countries that have worked to ensure full participation in all levels of society.
“We should be doing better, not worse,” he said. “Unfortunately, we have a prime minister who thinks women are a ‘left-wing fringe group.’ This is wrong on so many levels. All Canadians, regardless of gender, deserve the full protection of their government. All Canadians deserve equality in the workplace.”
A Liberal government would act swiftly to implement the full recommendations of the 2004 Pay Equity Task Force which, as a whole, represents a blueprint for how to properly reform this system.
Mr. Ignatieff committed to firm timelines for the implementation of a new pay equity regime “because Canadian workers have already waited far too long for these changes.
“I am confident that this bill will be met with the support of the House as we act on our shared commitment to protect the human rights of all Canadians,” he said.