June 7, 2017
Fredericton – The New Brunswick Women’s Council is recommending that government further develop a number of action items in the New Brunswick Family Plan that are meant to advance women’s equality. The council is also advising government that the plan’s commitment to increasing home- and community-based health and senior care in New Brunswick must address the challenging conditions that paid care providers face.
The New Brunswick Family Plan is comprised of seven pillars, including one dedicated to advancing women’s equality. Each pillar contains areas of focus and accompanying actions.
“The women’s equality pillar relies heavily on a number of actions that have already been executed,” said council co-chair Jody Dallaire. “While many of these actions are positive, the fact remains that if this plan is meant as a path forward then new pieces of work must be identified along with accompanying benchmarks for success and timelines for completion.”
The council has advised government that a number of actions listed in the pillar will require the development of more detailed plans. These include encouraging pay equity within the private sector and improving access to affordable, quality childcare.
“Pay equity in the private sector and access to affordable high quality early childhood learning and care are both human rights issues that require collaboration with stakeholders outside of government,” said Dallaire. “Progress on these issues will only happen if there is deep engagement and commitment from government to addressing them beyond temporary fixes and one-off tweaks.”
The council has also advised the Premier that government’s plan to shift health and senior care from institutional to home- and community-based delivery could negatively impact the sector’s women-dominated workforce unless low pay and precarious conditions are addressed.
“Demand for this work is increasing and providers will increasingly be asked to perform it outside of institutions that may afford them benefits and protections,” said the council’s co-chair, Jewell Mitchell. “Government needs to take steps to ensure the well-being of both clients and care providers are considered as they develop this approach.”
The New Brunswick Women’s Council is an independent advisory body on women’s equality issues.
Media contact: Linda Landry-Guimond, Office Manager, New Brunswick Women’s Council
[email protected] Tel. 506-462-5179