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NLFL pleased with pay equity, pharmacare promises in federal budget

Mary Shortall.
Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour president Mary Shortall. - SaltWire Network file photo

The Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour (NLFL) says it sees several bright spots in the 2018 federal budget.

Particularly pleasing were commitments to move forward on universal pharmacare and pay equity, the organization said in a news release.

The budget was brought down on Tuesday, Feb. 27.

“The NLFL and our affiliates have been working with the national labour movement, in advocating for a national pharmacare program, for several years,” NLFL president Mary Shortall said.

“Too many Canadians have fallen victim to the high cost of prescription medication, including the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. All Canadians, regardless of age, income, or where they live, should be covered by a universal prescription drug plan.”

Meanwhile, the widening gender wage gap has had a profound impact on both women and the economy, Shortall said, adding the organization is looking forward to working with the federal government in shaping its legislation.

“We are hopeful that the (Newfoundland and Labrador) government will now begin the process of fulfilling their promise for provincial pay equity legislation that was promised last March,” Shortall said.

A commitment to five days of paid leave for victims of domestic violence was another budget positive, Shortall said.

The NLFL have been lobbying the Newfoundland and Labrador government for some time to create similar legislation at the provincial level, the release indicated, and Shortall is optimistic it will become a priority.

“Our own province will be bringing down their budget in the coming weeks,” Shortall said. “We remain hopeful that our provincial government will take example from the federal government and invest in our province and its people in an economy that is fair, reduces inequality, creates good jobs for everyone, and makes (Newfoundland and Labrador) a place where people want to live and work – an economy that works for all of us.”

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