Recently I was watching Jack Layton on The Hour when he brought up the subject of putting Pay Equity back on the Canadian federal agenda. What’s interesting about this is that in Ontario at least, pay equity has supposidly been in place since 1987, but it hasn’t really happened.
Now with all due respect to Jack Layton, who to me is the more enlightened of the three old white men that represent the three key parties in Canada, I think he had a convenient episode of political amnesia during that interview. With women and children being the new issue Harper’s using to cover up his latest disgraces, I can see why Layton would bring this up, but what troubles me is the money that could potentially be wasted reinventing the wheel.
New Brunswick already has an excellent 5 year Wage Gap Strategy (pdf) scheduled to be complete this year, and Quebec has strong pay equity as well. Ontario is starving for the dollars that were stolen from the Pay Equity Commission by the Harris Cuts. Why not support the provinces and territories, rather than trying to enforce this one size fits all approach?
I’m sure you’ll be hearing more on this from me later; this spontanious focus on women and children is really grinding my gears. It’ll be interesting to see which women and children make it into the political spotlight in the months ahead.
SIDENOTE TO THE DISABLED COMMUNITY: Wouldn’t this be a great time address the rights of women with disabilities? Say at the G20 in Toronto??? (please comment if interested)
If you’d like to find out more about equity in Canada check out some of these other sites:
The Canadian Human Rights Commission
The Ontario Women’s Directorate … and I’m sure there are others
You can also watch the human rights summit live at this website February 17th to 19th: http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/