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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Canadian Conservatives Eroding Women's Rights

FEMINISM - Women's rights are falling to the side and being ignored in Canada, and its largely due to the Conservative Party of Canada which has been deliberately unraveling the rights of women.

For example, lets take the Conservatives' new "Equitable Compensation Act".

It has NOTHING to do with equal pay.

In fact, it's the opposite. It removes any chance women in the federal civil service have of fighting for pay equity by denying them the right to complain to the Human Rights Commission, or to go to court, when they believe there is discrimination. Instead, pay equity issues are to be solved as part of the regular bargaining process but - get this! - if anyone (including unions) agitates on the basis of pay equity, they face a $50,000 fine.

Ergo the Conservative Party is forbidding a woman from fighting for herself and, simultaneously, penalizing her union $50,000 from fighting for her.

Once this proposed legislation is passed, a woman working in the federal public service will have fewer rights than women working elsewhere in Canada.

This is nothing new either. Prime Minister Stephen Harper began attacking pay equity for women years ago when he was director of the right-wing National Citizens Coalition. He has been dead opposed to women receiving equal pay for equal work for as long as he's been in politics.

And what is even sadder is that the Liberals and NDP are quite powerless to stop this new Act because it was part of the recent February 3rd budget, which has already been passed and is now being tweaked, which the Liberal Party supported so that Canada didn't go to a new election. There has been a tiny bit of fuss about the new "Equitable Compensation Act"... but otherwise it has been largely ignored.


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