International Women’s Day

MP Carla Qualtrough highlights ‘gender equality’ federal budget in Surrey

Qualtrough was speaking at Fleetwood Community Centre to mark International Women’s Day

SURREY — Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement, was at Surrey’s Fleetwood Community Centre Thursday to highlight the “historic investments” that the government has made for gender equality in the 2018 budget.

Speaking International Women’s Day, Qualtrough said her government is inspired by the simple, yet powerful, idea of providing Canadians with an opportunity to realize their full potential.

“We want to empower women through our leadership on reducing the gender wage-gap, our commitment to the Canada Child Benefit and our support for the increased participation of women in the labour force,” she said.

Qualtrough highlighted the different steps that the government would be introducing through the budget, including the $3-million investment to support pay transparency requirements in federally regulated sectors.

“We can’t succeed when half of us are held back,” Qualtrough said on what inspired the government to bring in the changes. “It isn’t just a right thing to do, it’s a smart thing to do for our economy.”

The government would also be increasing support for women-led business under a new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy by making $1.65 billion available for over a period of three years. The amount will be available through the new financing option for women entrepreneurs.

“As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important to take stock of the situation of Canadian women,” Qualtrough said. “We are among the best educated, but we are less represented in the labour market than men and more likely to work part-time.”

Qualtrough also said that Government of Canada is committed 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.

Qualtrough, MP for Delta, was joined Thursday by Ken Hardie, MP for Fleetwood-Port Kells.

“When women have equal opportunities to succeed they can be powerful agents of change – driving strong economic growth, and improving the quality of life for their families and their communities,” Qualtrough said.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a press release also highlighted the 2018 budget and said that ‘gender equality’ is at the core.

“It lays the groundwork to close the gender wage gap, and promotes equality by helping more parents take parental leave,” Trudeau stated in the release.

“It includes investments to support women entrepreneurs and women-owned business, help women enter and succeed in the trades, and end gender-based violence, including on university campuses.”



yogesh.bala@surreynowleader.com

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