FREDERICTON (GNB) – Premier Brian Gallant, who is also minister responsible for Women’s Equality, thanked participants of the New Brunswick Family Plan summit on advancing women’s equality today in Fredericton.

“Studies show that advancing gender equality strengthens our economy and improves the health of our families,” said Gallant. “Advancing gender equality is the right thing to do, and it will help grow our economy, strengthen our education systems, and improve health care.”

The summit brought together stakeholders and representatives who support initiatives to advance women’s equality, including New Brunswick’s first female minister of finance, Cathy Rogers.

Discussions focused on advancing women’s equality through areas of focus outlined in the New Brunswick Family Plan Framework.

Provincial government initiatives to advance women’s equality include:

  • Appointing more than 50 per cent of women on government agencies, boards and commissions.
  • Promoting women to positions of influence, including the Clerk of the Executive Council Office.
  • Using gender-based analysis in policy decisions.
  • Promoting gender-neutral names for position titles across government positions.
  • Supporting women in politics.
  • Advancing the status of women and gender diversity.
  • Reinstating funding and ensuring the independence of the New Brunswick Women’s Council.
  • Committing $35 million to help further pay equity for more than 3,000 people.
  • Encouraging pay equity in the private sector, crown corporations and unions.
  • Enhancing reproductive choices, including access to abortion, gender-confirming surgeries and birth certificate changes.
  • Expanding access to daycare spaces by 2,300 since October 2014 and doubling the daycare assistance budget for January 2018 to allow more women to participate in the workforce.
  • Increasing minimum wage to $11 an hour on April 1 to support women, who make up more than half of minimum wage earners in the province.
  • Introducing the Intimate Partner Violence Intervention Act to provide victims with additional tools to increase their safety while they seek more permanent solutions.
  • Providing support for the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

The recently-launched New Brunswick Family Plan Framework is intended to complement the Economic Growth Plan and 10-year education plans and aims to ensure that families are supported, resulting in a healthier province. In addition to today’s summit on advancing women’s equality, six other summits focused on the remaining areas of the Family Plan have been held.

The New Brunswick Family Plan Framework focuses government action in seven priority areas: improving access to primary and acute care; promoting wellness; supporting people with mental health challenges; fostering healthy aging and support for seniors; advancing women’s equality; reducing poverty; and supporting people with disabilities.