Manitoba

NDP will target gender pay gap in Manitoba private sector if elected

The New Democrats promised Monday that they'd "take concrete steps to close the gender pay gap" in Manitoba's private sector if re-elected next month.

PC 'plans for cuts and privatization would hurt women in Manitoba,' health minister says

Manitoba Health Minister Sharon Blady promises the New Democrats will work to end the gender gap in private sector pay equity if re-elected on April 19. (Chris Glover/CBC)

The New Democrats promised Monday that they'd "take concrete steps to close the gender pay gap" in Manitoba's private sector if re-elected next month.

"The NDP is proud to be a feminist party," Manitoba Health Minister Sharon Blady said in a statement. "We are the only ones with a strong feminist tradition of taking action on equality in the workplace and against gender-based violence."

Women in Manitoba's private sector make 82 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts, Blady said. 

The NDP would have the Status of Women office work on closing that gap by working with businesses and women's groups to achieve gender pay equity, Blady said Monday at a news conference at the Good Will Social Club on Portage Avenue.

Blady said the Manitoba Progressive Conservatives' vision for the province would undo progress already made in the fight for gender equality in the workplace. Manitoba was the first province in Canada to push through legislation 20 years ago that protected gender pay equity in the public sector, she added.

"Brian Pallister's plans for cuts and privatization would hurt women in Manitoba," Blady said.

"His plans mean firing teachers and nurses, and raising child-care fees. We know these decisions would have major consequences for everyday families, and especially working women."

The NDP promised to allocate $1 million to grassroots organizations working to reducing gender-based violence in Manitoba if elected this spring.

The New Democrats said they would also bring a renewed emphasis on the inclusion of women on government boards and ensure "provincial budgets are created with a specific focus on the impact they will have for women," they said in a statement.

Manitobans head to the polls April 19.

With files from CBC's Chris Glover

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