Tuesday, April 10 is Equal Pay Day in Ontario. That means that compared to what
men earned last year, women have had to work until this day in the new year to match
that amount. Women who are racialized, disabled, or migrant will have to work until
May or June.
Amanda Stratton, provincial NDP candidate for Elgin - Middlesex - London (EML),
reports that the gender wage gap is as stark in this riding as it as across the
province. In 2015, the median after-tax income for women in this riding was only
70% of that of men. Province-wide, that figure is 74%. Even women working full-time
for the full year earned just a little over 80% of what their male counterparts
did in EML
"That's unacceptable to me, and to the Ontario NDP," Stratton says. "We can and
must do more to address this problem that's bad for women, for families, and for
By the numbers, the best place in EML to be a working woman is Dutton Dunwich, where
females working full time for the full year earn, on average, 92% of what men do.
The largest overall income gaps exist in Bayham and Aylmer, while the largest gap
for women working full time for the full year was in Southwold.
"The gender wage gap is real," Stratton says. "We know that qualified, experienced
women are still less likely to be offered promotions and raises. They're less likely
to be in management positions. They're less able to move up the corporate ladder."
Stratton noted those issues are compounded by women often being the primary caregiver
to children and other family members. Women are less likely to be able to take overtime
and extra shifts when they're offered, and more likely to miss days because someone
else in the home needs care.
"The last Conservative government drastically cut funding to the Pay Equity Office
that was supposed to be addressing this issue. The Liberal government waited fifteen
years then put forward a half-measure. Only the NDP has been strongly and consistently
committed to pay equity in Ontario," Stratton says.
NDP leader Andrea Horwath stated earlier this year, "It's time for changes that
include funding the Pay Equity Commission, ensuring more women in the public service
move into leadership roles, and immediately implementing the Equal Pay Coalition's
12 recommendations to close the gender pay gap."