Close gender wage gap in Ontario: NDP

Ontario NDP Women’s Issues critic Peggy Sattler called on the Acting Premier in the legislature this morning to address the issue of the gender wage gap in Ontario and the government’s lack of enforcement of existing pay equity laws.

“At last week’s launch of the gender wage gap consultation, many of those in attendance raised concerns about the Liberal government’s lack of enforcement of existing pay equity laws.  In particular, the government has failed to live up to its own pay equity obligations for public sector workers in developmental services, in child care, and in home care.”

“Given that pay equity is a critical component of closing the gender wage gap, how can Ontario employers be expected to take the issue seriously, when the government is refusing to fund pay equity for some of the lowest-paid women workers in Ontario?” Sattler asked. 

Women who face the widest wage gaps in Ontario include racialized women, indigenous women and women with disabilities. Sattler said there are measures that can be taken immediately to close the gap, such as looking more closely at budget decisions and the impact of tax credits on women.  

“Speaker, there are several things the government can do now to narrow the gap, without waiting for recommendations from the gender wage gap steering committee.  One of these is to apply a gender lens to budget decisions, to look at the impact of tax credits and other budget measures on women.” 

“Will the Premier commit to applying a gender lens to the 2016 budget, especially the budget impact on women who experience the widest wage gaps, that is, racialized women, indigenous women and women with disabilities?” Sattler asked.