Legislation & policy

Measures to promote gender equality in the Budget Implementation Act 2018, no. 2

Gender Budgeting

The Government recognizes the critical role that gender equality has in building a strong economy that works for everyone. Budgets are about making choices with limited resources. Gender budgeting is a conscious effort to understand how decisions affect different people differently, with a view to allocating government resources more equitably and efficiently. This is why gender budgeting matters. Through the deliberate and more consistent use of Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+), the Government is able to make evidence-based policy decisions that benefit all Canadians. GBA+ provides the foundation for gender budgeting—ensuring that the impacts of individual budget proposals on different groups of people are understood, supporting better policy-making, priority-setting and decision-making.

Department for Women and Gender Equality

On December 13, the legislation to create the Department for Women and Gender Equality received Royal Assent.

For more information please read the Welcome to the Department for Women and Gender Equality article.

Pay Equity

In Canada in 2017, for every dollar a man earned, a woman earned 88.5 cents on the dollar as measured in hourly wages for full-time workers. When comparing overall earnings on an annual basis, women earned even less – just 69 cents for every dollar earned by men.

The Pay Equity Act (An Act to Establish a Proactive Pay Equity Regime within the Federal Public and Private Sectors) received Royal Assent on December 13, to create a proactive pay equity regime that will ensure that women and men working in federally regulated workplaces, including the federal private sector, the federal public service, parliamentary workplaces, and Ministers’ offices, receive equal pay for work of equal value.

Under the regime, employers will be required to:

  • Establish a pay equity plan, within three years of becoming subject to the Act, that examines and analyses whether there is a difference in compensation between positions that are mostly held by women and those mostly held by men that are found to be of equal value;
  • Increase the compensation of those mostly female positions to the male average to eliminate differences in compensation identified within the plan; and
  • Revise and update the pay equity plan at a minimum every five years to ensure that no gaps have been reintroduced and to close them if they have.

A Pay Equity Commissioner will be appointed within the Canadian Human Rights Commission to oversee the new regime. The Pay Equity Commissioner, supported by the Pay Equity Unit within the Canadian Human Rights Commission, will be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the legislation.

Fall Economic Statement

The Government of Canada’s plan to invest in the economy and strengthen the middle class is working. Here are some highlights from the Fall Economic Statement 2018.

Canada Child Benefit

By the fall of 2019, a typical middle class family of four will receive, on average, about $2,000 more each year, as a result of the middle class tax cut and the Canada Child Benefit (CCB). Because of these changes, more families will be able to pay for things like healthy food, back-to-school clothes, and new winter boots for growing kids. They will also be in a better position to invest in their children’s future by contributing to Registered Education Savings Plans.

Every month, the CCB puts more money, tax-free, into the pockets of 9 out of 10 families, including those led by single mothers, and is helping lift 300,000 children out of poverty.

New National Housing Strategy

Providing more affordable housing for Canadians is a key element of the Government’s plan to help strengthen the middle class, promote growth for everyone, and lift more Canadians out of poverty. That is why, for the first time, Canada has a National Housing Strategy—a $40 billion, 10-year plan to help ensure that Canadians have access to safe and affordable housing.

The new National Housing Strategy will support vulnerable populations, with at least 33% of investments to support projects that target the unique needs of women and girls and that has already helped move 530,000 families into affordable shelter and reduce chronic homelessness by 50%.

Enhanced Canada Pension Plan

Starting in 2019, in collaboration with our provincial partners, the Government is enhancing the Canada Pension Plan (CPP).

The CPP enhancement will give Canadian workers greater income security when they retire and offers a number of advantages over other types of savings.

Funding for Care Services

$6 billion over 10 years for home care, to allow provinces and territories to improve access to home, community and palliative care services.

Improving Community Spaces

$77 million in additional funding for the Enabling Accessibility Fund to improve the safety and accessibility of community spaces.

Strengthening Employment Insurance

Making it easier to apply for Employment Insurance (EI) caregiving benefits, and introducing a new EI caregiving benefit of up to 15 weeks to support individuals who are providing care to an adult family member needing significant support to recover from critical illness or injury.

Find out more in the Fall Economic Statement 2018.

Poverty Reduction Strategy

The Government of Canada has been focused on growth that benefits Canadians and investments that help develop the middle class and reduce poverty.

Every Canadian deserves a real and fair chance to succeed, no matter where they live or where they come from.

Since 2015, the Government of Canada has made significant investments for children, seniors, lower-wage workers and other vulnerable Canadians that are having immediate impacts on reducing poverty and making a difference in the lives of Canadians.

Read the full version of Opportunity for All – Canada’s First Poverty Reduction Strategy

Accessibility (Accessible Canada Act)

Following extensive consultation with Canadians living with disabilities, the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility is proud to propose accessibility legislation to Parliament. This meets the Government’s commitment to improve accessibility for all Canadians and applies to matters under federal authority.

The proposed legislation would lead to more consistent accessibility in areas within federal jurisdiction across Canada and ensure that the Government of Canada leads by example.

Once approved by Parliament, the Act would add to the existing rights and protections for people with disabilities, including the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Act and Canada’s approval of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

For more information, please Employment and Social Development Canada’s website.

Women Entrepreneur Strategy

A centrepiece of Budget 2018, the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy  is a comprehensive, whole-of-government plan to help women grow their businesses through access to financing, talent, networks and expertise.

The Strategy highlights the Government of Canada’s commitment to create a diverse, inclusive economy that supports prosperity and a better quality of life for all.

The Government of Canada recognizes that fostering diversity and inclusion is integral to creating an economy that works for everyone. The full and equal participation of women in the economy is essential to Canada’s future competitiveness and prosperity.

Obstacles Facing Women Entrepreneurs

The numbers demonstrate the challenges women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses face.

  • Approximately 16% of small and medium-sized enterprises are majority women-owned
  • Only 10% of high-growth firms are owned by women
  • About 8% of women-owned businesses export

Women-led businesses also face barriers in accessing capital. According to recent data, women entrepreneurs are less likely to seek debt and equity financing and are more likely to be rejected or receive less money.

Through the strategy, the Government of Canada will support women entrepreneurs in starting and growing world-class businesses that can compete and win on the world stage, boost economic growth and create good middle-class jobs.

United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) was adopted by the General Assembly on September, 13 2007. Today, the Declaration is the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

It establishes a universal framework of minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous peoples of the world. It also elaborates on existing human rights standards and fundamental freedoms as they apply to the specific situation of Indigenous peoples.

Canada’s Endorsement of the Declaration

In 2010, Canada issued a Statement of Support endorsing the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

In November 2015, the Prime Minister of Canada asked the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs and other ministers, in the mandate letters, to implement the declaration.

In May 2016, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced Canada is now a full supporter, without qualification, of the declaration.

Visit Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s website for more information.

Men & Boys Engagement Strategy

During the summer of 2018, the Department for Women and Gender Equality held 11 roundtables in eight cities with a wide range of stakeholders and individuals across Canada to inform the development of a potential strategy to engage men and boys in advancing gender equality.

From Yellowknife to St. John’s, Minister Monsef and Parliamentary Secretary Duguid engaged in open conversations to develop an understanding of how men, boys and members of the LGBTQ2 community experience gender inequality and how they contribute to advancing gender equality. This incredibly diverse group of stakeholders spoke to issues of intersectionality, sustainability, and masculinity, as well as reinforcing the value of gender equality for all.

Once available, a ‘What We Heard Report’ will be posted on our website.

Human Trafficking Consultations

Public Safety Canada, together with key federal partners under the Human Trafficking Taskforce began consultations in September 2018 to inform the development of a new national strategy to counter human trafficking.


Regional sessions in Vancouver, Winnipeg and Montreal promoted open discussion between the Government of Canada, law enforcement, provinces and territories, Indigenous representatives, and private sector and civil society stakeholders.

A discussion paper was developed to elicit discussion and comment.

For information on the consultations, visit Consulting with Canadians or email the Human Trafficking Taskforce.

To learn more about the government’s response to human trafficking, please visit Public Safety Canada’s website.

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