Mr. Speaker, I respect the member's dedication and passion to this issue. She did give a shout-out to Barb Byers, someone I have worked with over the last five or six years. I have a tremendous amount of respect for her as an advocate. I appreciate her body of work over that period of time on the national scene. She has done a great job.
In preparation, I was speaking with Gillian Hanson, a good friend of mine, about this just before we came to the House today. We agreed it was important to make one thing clear: pay equity is not a point of contention. Our government agrees that women should receive equal pay for work of equal value. It is a human right that is entrenched in the Canadian Human Rights Act. Our government shares the member's determination and commitment.
I would like to assure hon. members of the House that our government is not delaying this initiative. It is quite the contrary. Our government has committed to tabling new proactive pay equity legislation for the federal jurisdiction in 2018. We are proud to be bringing forward legislation after years of inaction from the previous government. This commitment is explicitly outlined in the minister's mandate letter, and work is under way to achieve this goal.
Pay equity between men and women and fair treatment of all workers in the workplace are going to create economic growth and a thriving middle class.
Our government has had discussions with provinces to draw upon their experiences and lessons learned. We have begun targeted consultations with stakeholders to hear their views on the design of a new proactive pay equity regime.
The bottom line is that we need to create comprehensive and effective proactive pay equity legislation. This will address gender-based wage discrimination related to the undervaluation of work traditionally performed by women. Our commitment to this goal is unwavering.
I should mention that in addition to future pay equity legislation, the government will be working to reduce the wage gap between men and women. We will also work to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles and the representation of women in good-quality jobs in skilled trades.
Gender equality is high on our government's agenda. As outlined in budget 2017, we are committed to ensuring that every Canadian has a real and fair chance to succeed. We will make sure that our decisions deliver results that are more equitable and more fair for all Canadians.