Statement by Minister O’Regan on International Equal Pay Day


September 18, 2023              Gatineau, Quebec              Employment and Social Development Canada

Today, the Minister of Labour, Seamus O’Regan Jr., issued the following statement marking International Equal Pay Day:

“For every dollar a man earns in Canada, a woman earns about 90 cents. For a woman of colour, that gap is even bigger. Not only do women earn less on average – they’re less likely to receive bonus pay. When they do, it’s more likely to be less than their male counterparts. If trends continue, it will take around 268 years to close the gender pay gap worldwide.

Equal Pay Day is an opportunity to honour the advocates who have brought attention to this inequality, often at their own expense. We do not have equal pay for work of equal value yet, but thanks to those advocates, we are getting closer.

Our government brought in the Pay Equity Act, so that employers would look at their own operations and the pay gaps within them. You cannot change what you do not acknowledge. This time next year, employers who are subject to the Act will post their first pay equity plan and notice of pay increases. This will bring tangible change to workplace by reducing the pay gap and protecting pay equity for approximately 1.4 million workers in Canada.

This year we also announced the appointment of Canada’s new federal pay equity commissioner within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Lori Straznicky, to study and report on progress made to close the gender wage gap in federal workplaces and to support employers subject to the Act.

We changed the Employment Equity Act and will launch a new portal later this year. This tool, the first of the kind, will show the pay gaps in hourly pay, bonus pay, overtime pay and hours, affecting women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities in the federally regulated private-sector.

When we know better, we do better. Every worker deserves equal pay for equal work."

Associated Links

Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC)
Pay Equity – Canadian Human Rights Commission
Government of Canada announces that the Pay Equity Act will come into force on August 31, 2021
Backgrounder: New pay gap reporting measures in federally regulated workplaces

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For media enquiries, please contact:

Hartley Witten
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Labour and Seniors, Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Media Relations Office
Employment and Social Development Canada
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