On June 7, 2018, Ontarians will vote to determine their provincial representatives and, ultimately, the Premier of Ontario.
In its role as an advocate for women’s economic priorities, the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce (CanWCC) encourages the future Government of Ontario to invest in policies that promote women’s entrepreneurship, assist women-owned businesses in succeeding, and foster economic diversity.
In particular, CanWCC recommends the following priorities:
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE ONTARIO WOMEN’S ENTREPRENEURSHIP ASSOCIATION
Ontario is the only province without a provincially funded Women’s Enterprise Centre. While numerous women’s organizations work to fill this gap, the excellent work they do is hampered by a lack of operational funding. The proposed Ontario Women’s Entrepreneurship Association is a promising step towards a provincially funded, coordinated, woman-focused, entrepreneurship strategy. CanWCC recommends moving forward with this plan to support women’s businesses.
APPLICATION OF GENDER BASED ANALYSIS PLUS (GBA+) IN THE ASSESSMENT OF ALL POLICIES AND INITIATIVES
Follow the lead of the Government of Canada and apply Gender Based Analysis Plus (GBA+) in the assessment of all policies and programs. GBA+ provides a significant opportunity for the inclusion of all population segments (women, men, youth, elderly, racialized, etc) in the development and delivery of services. CanWCC recommends that the Ontario government adopt this compelling and powerful tool to best craft initiatives that meet the needs of Ontarians.
CREATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE ELDER CARE STRATEGY
As aging Ontarians are the largest growing population segment in the province, a comprehensive elder care strategy, similar in scope and detail to Ontario’s Renewed Early Years and Child Care Policy Framework (2017) is crucial. In 2016, 70% of professional workers reported they were responsible for the care of an elderly family member or friend, and women are disproportionately the ones giving care in these instances. It is essential to support employers in managing the rising complex needs of their employees in this area. CanWCC recommends proceeding with a province-wide strategy to ensure the protection of its economy.
INCENTIVIZE THE CREATION OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICIES AND PROGRAMS WITH EMPLOYERS
Support employers in the creation of robust diversity and inclusion policies, procedures and training for their organizations, including racism, unconscious bias, and issues faced by non-gender binary persons. Regardless of the policy approach selected by the Ontario government, CanWCC supports incentivizing the creation and adoption of these programs in organizations of all sizes.
The Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce looks forward to working with the Government of Ontario as the voice of women in Canada’s business ecosystem.
To the women in Ontario, be sure to cast your vote on June 7. Make your voice heard!
For more information about the upcoming Ontario election, visit Elections Ontario.