Hon. Mobina S. B. Jaffer: Minister, I want to thank you for being here. You’ve made yourself available many times. I appreciate your presence here today. I also have a gender-based analysis question for you.
Before I ask the question, I want to recognize Senator Nancy Ruth who had done tremendous work on gender-based analysis. When I ask you this question, I think of her because she spent years trying to get governments to look at this issue, so I commend you for looking at this issue.
In the National Finance Committee, I asked you if you had started the gender-based analysis and I said that there was no transparency. We, as parliamentarians, cannot assess what kind of work you’re doing, how you are assessing it and what kind of information you’re gathering. Minister, at the Finance Committee you said — and I have your quote, but I won’t take the time to read it — you said these things take time and transparency will come as you go along.
May I ask: When will you be able to share with us, the parliamentarians, how you are assessing the work you’re doing, what you are doing, and how is it affecting the lives of women, gender-plus and the other communities affected by gender-based analysis?
Hon. Bill Morneau, P.C., M.P., Minister of Finance: First of all, let me thank you for the question. I think it’s an important opportunity for me to address not only what we’re doing but how we’re communicating it.
We have taken the view, as I mentioned, that we believe this is an important analysis which will help us to move forward in a positive way to deal with some significant gaps in terms of things like workforce participation and value for work of equal value for women and men.
We have been doing this work for a few years now. I think the quote you may be considering is one that would be from a previous opportunity to be here at the Finance Committee, but we’ve been getting the opportunity to get more and more expert along the way.
In the most recent Fall Economic Statement, if you take a look — and the honourable senator may have looked at it because she looked up to page 107 — you would have seen that we have outlined some of the gender analysis we’ve done. In our most recent budget, we gave an explicit understanding of the gender-based analysis we did in the actual budget document. It is there in black and white.
This year I asked each and every one of the cabinet ministers, in preparing their submissions to me, to make sure they have done that gender-based analysis so I could take what they did and put it right into the budget document itself.
We’ve given a great deal of transparency. Of course, we will always be able to do better. I expect Budget 2019 will have an even greater level of clarity on the understanding of the analysis. If you have advice for us on how we can do better, we’ll be open-minded to that advice.