March 6th, 2018

Horwath: After 15 years of letting us down on the gender pay gap, Liberals disappoint again

Ontario NDP leader Andrea Horwath released the following statement Tuesday afternoon

“This Liberal government has had 15 years to tackle the gender pay gap in Ontario. If it were a priority for Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, they would have already done it. Sadly, they have not, and today’s announcement does not improve the pay equity outlook for Ontario’s women. In fact, experts are saying Kathleen Wynne’s desperate attempt to win votes before the June provincial election is actually a step back for women in Ontario.

The proposed legislation does not even match current obligations under the Ontario Pay Equity Act or the planned federal legislation, both of which apply to both private and public sector employers with 10 employees or more. Wynne’s version applies only to the public sector.

In 15 years the Liberals have not even been able to ensure pay equity within the government. What Wynne has done is refused to restore funding to the Pay Equity Commission, whose job it is to enforce pay equity compliance. The Pay Equity Commission had its funding cut in half in 1997 by the last Conservative government.

It’s time to stop choosing between bad and worse when it comes to women’s rights in Ontario.

It’s time for changes that include funding the Pay Equity Commission, ensuring more women in the public service move into leadership roles, and immediately implementing the Equal Pay Coalition’s 12 recommendations to close the gender pay gap. It’s time for women to earn the same as male counterparts, dollar-for-dollar, and take their rightful place in Ontario’s workplaces.”