Budget 2018: historic pay equity legislation will help close gender wage gap

News release

March 15, 2018                        Halifax, Nova Scotia               Employment and Social Development Canada

A strong middle class depends on a job market where both women and men have a real and fair chance at success. When Canadian women can count on equal pay for work of equal value, our economy grows stronger, families prosper, and communities thrive.

Today, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, was in Halifax to highlight Budget 2018 and to discuss how proactive pay equity can help close the gender wage gap.

In Budget 2018, the Government of Canada announced that this year it will introduce proactive pay equity for workers in federally regulated sectors. It is estimated that through this legislation alone, the gender wage gap can be moved from 91.4 cents to 94.1 cents for the core public administration.

While proactive pay equity legislation is an important element, it needs to be part of a broader array of policy tools to close the gender wage gap, such as the Government’s investments in early learning and child care, better financing of training and learning, enhanced parental leave flexibility, better pay transparency, and the continued appointment of skilled, talented women into leadership positions.

The Government will continue its ongoing consultations with employers, workers and other stakeholders in the coming months to ensure pay equity will be applied fairly and effectively.

This is part of the Government’s commitment to breaking down barriers to gender equality in education, employment and entrepreneurship, so that women and girls can contribute to—and benefit from—Canada’s success and prosperity.


Equal pay for work of equal value is a human right. Our government is taking a leadership role to close the gender wage gap by announcing proactive pay equity legislation in Budget 2018, because gender equality is not only the right thing to do for Canadians, it is also the smart thing to do to grow the middle class.”
- The Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board of Canada

“This upcoming legislation offers a welcome opportunity to open discussions about the gender wage gap with our women business owners. Female entrepreneurs in Nova Scotia have as much responsibility to lead in this regard as their male counterparts.”
- Tanya Priske, Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Business

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Matt Pascuzzo
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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