October 19, 2018 – Whitehorse, Yukon
Today marked the conclusion of the 36th annual meeting of the FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women. Over the past several days, the Ministers met in Whitehorse, Yukon and worked collaboratively to advance key priorities affecting women and girls in Canada.
Federal-Provincial-Territorial (FPT) meetings offer an important opportunity for leadership from coast to coast to coast to discuss shared priorities, strengthen collaboration, work together to make life better for all Canadians and build on our ongoing work.
The Ministers discussed the gender pay gap and efforts to prevent and address gender-based violence, and agreed to a common set of gender equality indicators to measure progress. They discussed skills-training and education in preparation for jobs for the future. Ministers shared information about co-funding solutions for women’s organizations that continue to lead advancements in gender equality work across the country. Ministers also took part in a discussion about women’s participation in the economy and leadership, and how to overcome systemic barriers, such as cyberviolence.
Ministers heard from experts who joined the meeting in person and via videoconference, including Colette Acheson, Executive Director for the Whitehorse Chamber of Commerce, Rhonda Barnet, Chair of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters National Board of Directors and Chief Operation Officer for Steelworks Design, and Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director for McKinsey & Company. The experts provided advice to jurisdictions to help improve the participation of women in the economy. Ministers were also joined by Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Canada on LGBTQ2 issues, who outlined what the federal government is doing to support LGBTQ2 peoples and non-binary individuals across the country.
For the second year in a row, in a gathering prior to the FPT meeting, Ministers received presentations from National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives (NILRs), which provided an opportunity to share information and co-build progress on some of the most important issues facing First Nations, Métis and Inuit women. Those who attended included representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, Native Women’s Association of Canada, Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada and Women of the Métis Nation. Meetings featured a roundtable discussion focused on the safety and security of Indigenous women and girls, followed by a community visit to Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
The community visit highlighted self-government and women’s economic empowerment with a panel presentation with Yukon Indigenous women leaders, including Judy Gingell, former Commissioner of Yukon and the former Grand Chief of the Council of Yukon Indians (now Council of Yukon First Nations), Chief Roberta Joseph of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in First Nation, Chief Doris Bill of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation, Gina Nagano of the Chief Issac Group of Companies and Joella Hogan, owner of Yukon Soaps.
Both the Status of Women FPT Ministerial meeting and the meeting with NILRs were hosted in traditional ceremony, beginning with a sacred fire and opening reception featuring local Indigenous artists on October 16th.
Going forward, the Ministers agreed to address human trafficking as an immediate issue and priority area of concern, participate in more co-funding opportunities, develop a common measurement approach to the gender pay gap, and work together to better support women to enter leadership positions. They also agreed to continue to engage with National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives, regional Indigenous organizations and self-governing First Nations on a variety of issues of mutual interest and continue to share best practices and their work on a renewed vision of gender equality for Canada.
Given the swearing-in, on October 18, of the new Cabinet following the October 1 general election, Quebec participated as an active observer but did not take a position in these meetings.
“Canada works best when we come together in a spirit of collaboration. I am grateful that Yukon co-chaired and hosted this important meeting in ceremony in beautiful Whitehorse. We gathered with colleagues from across the country to help find more areas of common ground: how to address human trafficking and cyberviolence; how to make good progress on engagement with the National Indigenous Leaders and Representatives; and how to address the gender pay gap. One year since MeToo, we are focused on using common indicators to measure real progress on gender-based violence. Canadians expect us to work together, and by pooling our resources and sharing best practices, we can. Together we can create more opportunities for women, girls and non-binary people in all aspects of life, find meaningful ways to advance gender equality, grow the middle class, and create greater security and prosperity for all. I look forward to continued collaboration with provinces and territories to help reach our common goals.”
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Status of Women
“It was an honour to host Ministers and leaders from across the country in Yukon, and share with them the important work of our local northern and Indigenous women’s organizations. We share a common vision of empowering women and girls, and providing support to the grassroots organizations that are challenging the systematic barriers holding women back in our society. By continuing to work together in a spirit of collaboration we can address and advance gender equality for all Canadians.”
The Honourable Jeanie Dendys, MLA
Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate
This week’s meeting of FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women was co-chaired by the Honourable Maryam Monsef, federal Minister of Status of Women, and the Honourable Jeanie Dendys, Yukon Minister of Tourism and Culture, Minister responsible for the Women’s Directorate and Minister responsible for the Yukon Workers Compensation Health and Safety Board.
FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women meet annually to share information, exchange best practices and explore issues that affect Canadian women and girls. They also discuss options for mutually-beneficial collaboration to support improved social and economic prosperity for women and girls and to prevent and address violence and abuse against women and girls.
This year’s FPT was attended by Ministers from Canada, Yukon, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Nunavut.
The next annual meeting of the FPT Ministers Responsible for the Status of Women will be hosted by British Columbia in Fall 2019.
The meetings took place during Women’s History Month. This year’s theme is #MakeAnImpact, celebrating the women in Canada who have made a lasting impact.