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Historic Investments for Gender Equality and a Stronger Middle Class

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MONTREALMarch 8, 2018 /CNW/ – The 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.

When women have equal opportunities to succeed, they are powerful agents of change—driving strong economic growth, bringing new perspectives, and improving the quality of life for their families and their communities.

Today, on International Women’s Day, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour was in Montreal to discuss how investments in Budget 2018 help the Government take the steps needed to enable the broader participation of women in the workforce and build an economy that works for everyone.

Through Budget 2018, the Government is taking a leadership role in addressing some of the long-standing barriers to gender equality. Some measures include confirming that this year it will introduce proactive pay equity for workers in federally regulated sectors; announcing enhanced parental leave flexibility; and introducing a whole-of-government tool called the Gender Results Framework, which will guide government priorities and measure progress in achieving gender equality.

Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to take additional important steps towards gender equality, such as:

  • Investing $3 million over five years to support pay transparency requirements in federally regulated sectors.
  • Introducing a new Employment Insurance Parental Sharing Benefit that will provide up to five additional weeks of Employment Insurance parental benefits when parents—including adoptive and same-sex couples—agree to share parental leave. Quebec—as well as other countries that have implemented similar benefits—have found that they can play a significant role in who takes time off to provide caregiving.
  • Increasing support for women-led businesses under a new Women Entrepreneurship Strategy by, among other actions, making available $1.65 billion over three years in new financing for women entrepreneurs through the Business Development Bank of Canada and Export Development Canada and providing $105 million to the regional development agencies over five years to deliver nationally coordinated and regionally tailored support for women entrepreneurs.
  • Building on Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and providing an additional $2 billion over five years to help those in need around the world.
  • Investing $19.9 million over five years to pilot a new Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women, to encourage women’s increased representation in male-dominated—and better-paid—Red Seal trades.


« The Government is building a stronger economy that works for all Canadians. New federal investments and initiatives are ensuring that women and girls have the skills and opportunities they need to succeed, and that inclusive participation in the labour force will drive innovation and support the middle class. »
– The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour

The Government is also helping families that need it most, including many led by single mothers, by proposing to make the Canada Child Benefit even stronger so that it keeps pace with the rising cost of living as of July of this year – that is, two years ahead of schedule. Over 3.3 million families are receiving more than $23 billion in annual CCB payments, helping them invest in the things that give children a good start in life—like a safe place to live, healthy food, music lessons or sports camps.

With equality of opportunity as a guiding principle, Budget 2018 takes the next steps in the Government’s plan to create good, well-paying jobs, improve lives and grow the economy for all Canadians.


For further information: For media enquiries, please contact: Matt Pascuzzo, Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu, P.C., M.P., Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour,, 819-654-5613; Media Relations Office, Employment and Social Development Canada, 819-994-5559,

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