July 30, 1956 (22nd Parliament, 3rd Session)


George Alexander Drew (Leader of the Official Opposition)

Progressive Conservative

Mr. Drew:

Mr. Chairman, the house is now dealing with this matter in committee. As has been indicated in the remarks that have already been made, it will be necessary to wait until the legislation is before us until we see the exact wording of the measure that we are all anxious to support. I want to point out, however, that the introduction of this resolution represents a very gratifying and, I should think, very heart-warming reward to the hon. member for Hamilton West for the efforts she has made now for

many years to bring this matter to the attention of the house and of the people of Canada.
The hon. member for Hamilton West brought similar legislation forward in 1953, again in 1954 and again in 1955. It was not debated or voted upon in 1953 but there were debates and votes in 1954 and 1955. On each occasion the government saw fit to oppose this legislation. I am not going to elaborate on that point now. We welcome the fact that the government has adopted this principle. Already it is in effect in five of the provinces of Canada and it has been giving satisfaction where it is in operation. One of the things that I should like to mention is the fact that, far from placing the men at a disadvantage in any way, this legislation should actually be welcomed by men. The very fact that women workers are placed upon a basis of equal pay for corresponding work is in itself an advantage to men and an assurance that the wage level will be maintained. This is therefore a matter of just as great interest to the men who are in the ranks of our workers throughout Canada as it is in the case of the women. Nevertheless, there is a special reason why we all welcome this legislation. It is one of those steady and progressive changes in our society to indicate the extent to which we realize that there should be no differentiation between men and women in the return they receive for the work they do.
I believe that this is a very desirable piece of legislation. I shall await the legislation itself. Certainly, we agree it is expedient that legislation of this kind be brought in and once again, in supporting this resolution, let me express my congratulations to the hon. member for Hamilton West on seeing this positive result from the steady and constant efforts she has made to arouse interest in this subject.

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