Question ~ Pay Equity and the massive omnibus budget bill

Context : Supplementary Question

Mr. Peter Julian (New Westminster—Burnaby, NDP): No answer, Mr. Speaker, so we will try again.

Bill C-86 is a massive omnibus bill, a direct contradiction to the Liberal promise not to do this anymore.

The Equal Pay Coalition told finance committee that pay equity provisions in the bill are unconstitutional and will force women back to court to fight for rights. That is appalling. The Liberal bill would provide even less protection for part-time and temporary workers. That is worrisome.

Bill C-86 is badly botched on pay equity. Rather than ramming it through the House, will the government pull back and work with civil society, pay equity advocates and the NDP to fix the bill?

Hon. Patty Hajdu (Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, our government knows that pay equity is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for our economy. If we were able to close the gender wage gap and pay equity as part of that, we could see the addition of $150 billion to our economy by 2026.

We are committed to ensuring the effective implementation and enforcement of proactive pay equity in federally-regulated workplaces. Employees' right to equal pay of equal value will be protected and any proposed exemptions will be developed in consultation with stakeholders.

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