Mr. Speaker, federally regulated women employees have been waiting too long for proactive pay equity legislation.
The previous government stalled on introducing pay equity legislation and the current government, with the support of the official opposition, introduced regressive legislation that has turned back the clock on women's equality.
Human rights do not belong on the bargaining table. Collective bargaining is a process of negotiating and compromising. Human rights are non-negotiable and there must never be a compromise. Women's rights are not a bargaining chip.
The Bilson report unanimously recommended that the best process to achieve pay equity is to separate it from collective bargaining. The report states that using the collective bargaining process to achieve pay equity will not only reinforce the gendered nature of the report, it will undermine pay equity, which is at the heart of our purpose.
New Democrats are furious that the Public Sector Equitable Compensation Act will be implemented in the new year and that women in Canada will once again be denied equality in the workplace.