Press Release


Provincial political parties questioned concerning pay equity legislation in the private sector


The New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity held a press conference in Fredericton on Friday November 27 during which it asked provincial political parties to take position on the specific question of enacting pay equity legislation for the private sector. As it marked the Pay Equity Day which falls on November 29 each year, the Coalition gave an overview of the four parties’ past commitments.

The minister responsible for the Status of Women, Mary Schryer recalled the Liberal government’s actions towards pay equity in a speech delivered by a civil servant from the Women’s Issues Branch. However, the Minister did not specify the party’s position concerning legislation for the private sector.
Opposition spokesperson on Women’s Issues Margaret-Ann Blaney stated that her party would present its position on pay equity legislation for the private sector when it unveils its electoral platform. She also mentioned that in 2005, the Progressive Conservative Party had made a commitment to legislate if voluntary measures outlined in the Five Year Wage Gap Action Plan had no” demonstrated results”. The MLA for Rothesay recognized that the pay gap between men and women has not receded in New Brunswick and that it might actually be increasing.
New Democratic Party (NDP) executive member Julie Michaud explained that her party is entirely in favour of enacting pay equity legislation for the private sector.
“It’s unacceptable that pay equity is not compulsory, across the board,” stressed Michaud.
The new leader of New Brunswick’s Green Party Jack MacDougall said he is in favour of pay equity in all sectors but is reluctant to make an official commitment until he gets better informed on the issue and has consulted with his party.
“Today we did not get a clear-cut statement of positions by all parties,” observed the Executive Director of the Coalition Johanne Perron. “The Coalition must continue its dialog with each of them. Pay equity is a human right and human rights should apply to everyone,” she concluded.
67% of all women who are on the job market work in the private sector. The Coalition created the Day for Pay Equity in 2001 to underscore the fact that women across the province lose the equivalent of one month’s salary per year because of gender discrimination.

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