Sarnia-Lambton MP Marilyn Gladu says she supports pay equity for men and women, despite voting against a motion last week that urged the government to close the wage gap.
On Feb. 4, Gladu was named chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women. The honour came one day after she rejected the Pay Equity motion in the House of Commons.
Gladu said the motion contained two key phrases she and her Conservative caucus couldn’t support.
“It stated that the Conservative Party had removed the rights of public service employees to have pay equity [in 2009], which was an untrue statement,” Gladu said.
“They also wanted to create a separate committee, with an additional budget, to look at the issue. But the Status of Women Committee already has a mandate to look at these issues.”
Gladu said creating another committee at taxpayer expense would duplicate work already carried out by her standing committee.
“I brought them an opportunity to amend the motion, to take out those inflammatory remarks and let the Status of Women committee do it,” said Gladu, whose amendment was rejected.
Her statement and the full proposal can be viewed on her Facebook page.
“Women must be entitled to equal pay for equal work — this is what our party believes and this is what I believe,” Gladu told the House, noting she is the first female engineer ever elected there.
“I was myself a victim of pay inequity on several occasions in my 32-years in engineering … I have two daughters who are just starting in the workforce, and I want to do everything possible to ensure they will be paid equitably with their counterparts.”
The pay equity motion, tabled by NDP MP Sheila Malcolmson, passed by a vote of 224 to 91 on Feb. 3 with the full support of the Liberals and NDP.
Gladu was elected chair of the Standing Committee on the Status of Women the following day. Malcolmson was named vice-chair.
“We did have some discussion on the committee about making sure that, if there are any issues that are not studied by this special committee that they’ve said they want to put together, certainly we’ll be able to bring them at our committee,” she said.
The standing committee meets twice weekly. Gladu said its priorities include an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, rolling out a federal program to eliminate violence against women, and taking further action on gender parity.