After over a year-and-a-half of lockdowns and sacrifice, Canadians are seeing the benefits of their efforts to stop COVID-19. The pandemic is not over, but we can now look beyond COVID to plan for our future. Now, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is writing “mandate letters” to members of the Cabinet with policy priorities that will support growth of the Canadian economy.
The Canadian Chamber’s Council for Women’s Advocacy has been monitoring the disproportionate negative impact of the pandemic on women throughout the crisis, and ensuring women have opportunities to fully participate in the recovery is essential for widespread job creation and sustained economic growth. This is not a women’s issue; it is an economic issue.
The Minister for Women and Gender Equality should:
- Work with the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada to apply a gender / GBA+ perspective to initiatives it develops and funds for training, upskilling, reskilling and job transitions. This includes rigorous labour market analysis to ensure that women are advancing into high-demand sectors and jobs, as well as tailoring upskilling and reskilling training to the realities of women’s learning styles and time availabilities.
- Work across government to create new opportunities for underrepresented business owners and those with diverse workforces to access federal contracts. Provide enhanced opportunities for underrepresented business owners to secure public procurement contracts, including metrics and resources targeted at supporting access for women-owned and other diversity-owned businesses and those diversifying their workforces.
- Work with the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada to remove tax barriers for childcare expenses. Make childcare an eligible business expense for SMEs, remove the requirement for the lower-income spouse to receive the childcare deduction and permit SME owners receiving non-eligible dividend income to claim childcare expenses against that income.
To see all 21 of our mandate letters to ministers, click here.