News / Ottawa

'All talk no action': NDP casts doubt on Trudeau's feminist credentials

The party’s women’s critic Sheila Malcolmson released a report Tuesday with the NDP’s suggestions for how to improve the economic security of women in Canada.

Sheila Malcolmson is the NDP's critic for the Status of Women.

NDP

Sheila Malcolmson is the NDP's critic for the Status of Women.

The NDP is casting doubt on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s feminist credentials and demanding he move quicker on pay equity legislation and national childcare.

The party’s women’s critic Sheila Malcolmson released a report Tuesday, with the NDP’s suggestions for how to improve the economic security of women in Canada, which a house committee has been studying for months.

Malcolmson had planned to release her report when the committee resumed meeting this week, but that meeting was cancelled.

“So far they’re all talk no action, it’s time to end that.”

The NDP singled out pay-equity legislation as one area where the Liberals aren’t living up to their promises.

Currently, when women in a workplace believe they’re being paid less than men doing similar work the onus is on the women to prove the disparity.

New legislation that the Liberals have said they support, but have not yet introduced would reverse that onus forcing the employer to prove that the work is not equivalent.

“We have had nothing. The latest word we have had is 2018, but there is no rationale for that whatsoever,” said Malcomson.

She said bringing in the changes, which have widespread agreement, could be an immediate economic lift to women.

“If the government were to enact federal pay-equity legislation right now Canadian women would get the immediate benefit.”

The NDP is also renewing a call for national childcare as an economic benefit to women. Malcolmson pointed to the Quebec government’s experience showing that 70,000 women who otherwise would not have been able to work did so, because of affordable childcare.

“The lack of childcare can have lifetime impact on women,” she said. “They tend to be the parent who drops out of the workforce when they can’t find childcare and that can set them up for a lifetime of precarious employment.”

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