Pay Equity

Newfoundland Labrador and New Brunswick

The following question was raised in the House thanks to the efforts of Shirley Ryan, UNDE HR Coordinator (NL/NB)

QP – Pay Equity – March 2, 2009

Siobhan Coady (St. John’s South – Mount Pearl) –
Mr. Speaker, pay equity has long been established in this country as a human right, not only federally but by the provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba.

Rather than moving forward on women’s rights and showing leadership to the world as we have done in the past, the government is regressive.

I ask the Minister this: How can the government take a recognized human right, such as pay equity, and make it an item that is now up for negotiation, contrary to what the provinces are doing?

Hon. Vic Toews (President of the Treasury Board) –
Mr. Speaker, in fact the member is wrong.

What happened in provinces like Manitoba is there is an ongoing duty to ensure that pay equity is recognized in the collective agreement. The first pay equity legislation was brought in in Manitoba in 1986.

I would suggest that it is high time that the federal jurisdiction follow it as well. Women should not have to wait 15 or 20 years in order to have complaints resolved.