Government of Canada appoints Canada’s first federal Pay Equity Commissioner
News release, September 10, 2019
"When Canadians can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper and communities thrive. That is why the Government of Canada introduced and passed proactive pay equity legislation for the federal jurisdiction.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced the appointment of Karen Jensen as Canada’s first-ever federal Pay Equity Commissioner. Ms Jensen will provide leadership and direction for the administration and enforcement of the new Pay Equity Act." Read the entire release.
What is Equal Pay Day?
Equal Pay Day illustrates how far into the next year a woman, on average, must work to earn the same amount a man earned in the previous year. They are marked around the world.
BPW Canada Resolution: Declaration of a National Equal Pay Day in Canada: 2014 - 2016
- At the 2014 BPW Canada National Convention, the membership approved the resolution submitted by BPW Calgary: Declaration of a National Equal Pay Day in Canada. This resolution was included in BPW Canada's 2014 Brief to Government (Resolution #2) and was tabled at the Prime Minister's Office. This resolution was resubmitted in BPW Canada's 2015 and 2016 Briefs to Government.
- May 2016: Letter from BPW Canada to the Clerk of the Special Committee on Pay Equity recommending the Government of Canada declares March 18th as Equal Pay Day in Canada.
Motion 70, placed on Notice since September 28, 2016, to declare March 18th as Equal Pay Day, Text of the Motion:
"That, in the opinion of the House, the government should designate March 18 of each year Equal Pay Day." Latest Activity: Placed on Notice (2016.09.28).
Equal Pay Day Statement from Employment and Social Development Canada April 9, 2019: Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour Statement: “On Equal Pay Day, it is important to note how far Canadian women have come in the last 40 years. Greater participation of women in the workforce has accounted for about one-third of Canada’s economic growth. Advancing gender equality is not just good for women, it is good for all Canadians...click here to read the entire statement.
News Release, Employment and Social Development Canada, September 18, 2020: "Today, we celebrate the first International Equal Pay Day by recognizing how far Canadian women have come in the last 40 years. Canada is proud to be an active member of the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC)and to have supported the adoption of the resolution proclaiming September 18th as International Equal Pay Day..." Read the complete news release.
- 2012: BPW Canada declares Equal Pay Day in Canada is March 18th. Proclamation Request was denied at the Calgary City Hall. The Mayor of Calgary issues a Letter of Recognition (in 2013). However, the Mayor of Selkirk formerly proclaims Equal Pay Day.
- 2012 - 2020: Proclamations: BPW Selkirk has succeeded in proclaiming Equal Pay Day from 2012 to 2020. Proclamations have been signed by the Mayor of Selkirk.
BPW Canada Equal Pay Day Proclamation Challenge
BPW Canada is encouraging business and community leaders across the country to ask the Mayors in their respective communities to Proclaim March 18th as National Equal Pay Day.
What is Proclamation?
Proclamations are used to provide recognition of extraordinary achievements, to honour occasions of significance and to increase public awareness of issues of importance with the hope of improving the overall well-being of our communities.
Take up the Equal Pay Day Proclamation Challenge! To get you started to feel free to adapt the sample proclamation and guidelines posted below.
The February 2018, "Maclean’s has created two covers with two different prices—one at $8.81, the other at our regular price of $6.99—to reflect the 26 percent gap between full-time wages paid to men and women in Canada. It’s a cheeky way to draw attention to a gap that has barely budged in decades...."
News Release from Ottawa, Ontario Employment and Social Development Canada - December 13, 2018: Historic proactive pay equity legislation receives Royal Assent
"Advancing gender equality is not just good for women, it’s good for all Canadians. When Canadian women can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper and communities thrive. That’s why, on October 29, 2018, the Government of Canada introduced a proactive pay equity regime that will ensure that women and men in federally regulated workplaces, including the federal private sector, the federal public service, Parliamentary workplaces, Prime Minister’s and Ministers’ offices, receive equal pay for work of equal value." Click here to read the complete news release.
Statement by Minister Monsef on the Creation of the Department for Women and Gender Equality - December 13, 2018: Creation of the Department for Women and Gender Equality
Ottawa – The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality, today issued the following statement on the passage of the Budget Implementation Act, 2018, No. 2, which includes legislation to create the Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE): “Today is a historic day for gender equality in Canada. With the passage of this legislation, our government is fulfilling key commitments to advance gender equality, address diversity and inclusion, and grow our economy...". Click here to read the complete statement.
It's Time to Act - Report of the Special Committee on Pay Equity, Chair Anita Vandenbeld - June 2016, 42nd Parliament, 1st Session.
"Pursuant to the Order of Reference of Wednesday, February 3, 2016, the Committee has studied Pay Equity...The Committee recognizes that pay equity is a legislated human right and the Committee believes that the Government of Canada has the obligation to ensure that within its jurisdiction, pay equity is a human right that is promoted, implemented and enforced. The Committee believes it is time for the federal government to act...". Click here to read the complete report.
We need action, not just talk, to close wage gap between men and women: Editorial - October 8, 2015, Toronto Star
BPW Canada's First Vice-President, Linda Davis, named to Ontario's Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee.
Toronto Star, October 8, 2015: "...Gender Wage Gap Steering Committee that will soon begin holding province-wide public hearings and consultations with businesses to find ways to close the gap...The committee includes some high-powered, highly-qualified people including ...Linda Davis, past-president of the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs of Ontario and a current board member of the Equal Pay Coalition. That alone speaks to the government’s seriousness to move on this issue." Complete Article.
Labour Day: A Focus on Equal Pay, September 7, 2015: BPW Canada Press Release:
"As Canadians celebrate this labour day weekend by taking a final summer trip to their cottage, get together with family and friends at parades, festivals or even fireworks, and as parents shop at the malls to take advantage of Back-to-School sales with their children and teens, let us not forget why Labour Day was originally marked in 1872. It was a day set aside to give the Canadian workforce an opportunity to campaign for better working conditions or pay." Click here to read the complete news release.
BPW Ontario partnered with the Pay Equity Commission Ontario to develop a learning module: "You Are Worth it: Compensation Pitfalls and How to Manage Them". The module helps us better understand why the wage gap persists and how we can address it. This resource that can be customized and used by clubs across Canada, as well as non-members, to get the message out that “Economic Equality - Means Business”
The “You Are Worth it: Compensation Pitfall and Strategies to Manage Them” can help us better understand why the wage gap persists and how we can address it. It is a joint initiative between BPW and the Pay Equity Commission of Ontario and is a resource that can be customized and used by clubs across Canada to get the message out that “Economic Equality - Means Business”.
You Are Worth It Module Workbook - Ontario
BPW Canada members: there are more materials on this website, login to the BPW Canada site and look for the Career Achievement modules.