Equal Pay Coalition

Equal Pay Coalition

April 08, 2014 16:29 ET

Ontario Government Commits to Eliminating the Gender Pay Gap

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 8, 2014) - "The Ontario government has today taken an important first step to recognize the injustice of Ontario's 31% gender pay gap by committing in the Legislature today that the gender pay gap must be eliminated and recognizing April 16, 2014 as Equal Pay Day," says Mary Cornish, Chair, Ontario's Equal Pay Coalition.

"In Ontario, where a women's pay is critical to family, community and provincial prosperity, a 31% gender pay gap is both a human rights crisis and a failure to harness the economic potential of Ontario women who constitute almost half of Ontario's workforce," says Linda Davis, President, Business Professional Women's Clubs of Ontario.

"Ontario needs to join many countries around the world such as the US, EU states and Australia, who have declared such days on annual basis to recognize the value of women's work, the hardships created by the economic inequalities women face and the need to make concrete plans to close the gender pay gap. We are disappointed the government's recognition of Equal Pay Day was limited to this year," says Nancy Hutchison, Secretary Treasurer, Ontario Federation of Labour.

Cornish states: "While it is progress to hear that the Government is finally moving forward to engage in a dialogue on this issue, dialogue is not enough - urgent action is required. The Equal Pay Coalition has called for an Ontario without a gender pay gap by 2025. We need to hear from the Government what its target and plans are for such closure. It is not enough to recite what has been done to date as those actions have not been enough as evidenced by fact that the gender pay gap increased 3% - from 28% to 31% based on a latest years of data available," says Cornish. (Statistics Canada, Table 202-0102 - based on average annual earnings.)

The Coalition looks forward to the Government committing to follow the steps found in 10 Ways to Close Ontario's Gender Pay Gap, a Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives April, 2013 Report. The CCPA's 2014 Report, "Growing Concern, Ontario's Gender Pay Gap" - to be released next week - highlights practical policies and measures to get on track to close the gap. The Coalition is asking all political parties to co-operate to achieve this goal.

Equal Pay Day this year is on April 16, one week later than last year to mark the increased pay gap. The Equal Pay Coalition working with men and women across Ontario are holding Equal Pay Day activities focused on 6 cities, Toronto, Windsor, London, Ottawa, Kingston and Sudbury.

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