Today is Equal Pay Day in Ontario. This day marks how much further into the next year a woman has to work in order to earn the same salary as a man in the previous year. In 2014, Equal Pay Day was April 16, but this year, women must work 4 days longer, to April 20.
New Democrats are well aware of the injustice of Ontario’s large gender pay gap. Women in this province, on average; earn approximately 31.5% less than men do each year. In some areas of Ontario the gap reaches as high as 40%.
Pay equity is a human right, but this Liberal government doesn’t treat it is as a priority, and women – especially racialized and indigenous women, women with disabilities and new Canadians – remain the face of child and family poverty in Ontario.
Despite promises by Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal government that they would develop a wage gap strategy to close Ontario's gender pay gap, after more than a decade of Liberal government in Ontario, the problem is getting worse, not better.
New Democrats believe that there are immediate actions that the government should take to address pay equity. They can start by enforcing existing pay equity laws. They can ensure that families across the province have access to safe and affordable childcare. The government should work to ensure that well-paying, full-time jobs are created in Ontario and that they stay in Ontario.
On Equal Pay Day, and every day, Ontario New Democrats recognize the full value of women’s skills and fight to achieve not only equal pay, but a more equal province for all of us to live in.