Dear Steven Del Duca, Doug Ford, Andrea Horwath, and Mike Shreiner.

We write, on behalf of the Equal Pay Coalition, to invite you to participate in a province-wide All-Party Leaders Debate on Women’s Economic Justice to mark Equal Pay Day on Tuesday 12 April 2022.

The Leaders’ Debate will be a hybrid event in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. It will be filmed live before an audience in-studio in Toronto and live streamed across the province in prime time from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm across multiple streaming platforms. The debate will be free to viewers, and will reach your audiences across the province.

This will be an accessible, welcoming, non-partisan format where you can speak directly to Ontarians on issues they care about. Questions will be posed by women who are experiencing the impact of the pandemic and inequality firsthand.

Voters care about women’s economic inequality.

Women’s economic inequality is one of the top issues on voters’ minds as we approach
the June election.

The January 2022 Environics poll on women’s equality shows that 89% of Canadians agree that government should do more to promote women’s equality. The concern is particularly urgent now. As identified by many studies, including the government’s 2021 Task Force on Women and the Economy and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce’s She-Covery Project, the pandemic has had a disproportionate economic impact on women: their employment rates fell to levels not seen since 1994.

Women are hurting.

Their rising poverty causes real hardship to women and their families. The All-Party Leaders Debate is a valuable opportunity for all party leaders to show solidarity on Equal Pay Day, and showcase what they will do to promote women’s equality and economic recovery.

Recognized globally, Equal Pay Day is a non-partisan day of international conversation on how to advance women’s equality and close the gender pay gap. (We’ve provided more background information about Equal Pay Day in the enclosed Backgrounder.)

The Equal Pay Coalition can deliver an audience and significant media coverage. The Equal Pay Coalition is a non-partisan organization that unites more than 40 women’s groups, trade unions, community groups and business organizations representing hundreds of thousands of women right across the province.

Since 1976, the Equal Pay Coalition has been and remains the main advocate for women’s pay equity in Ontario and across Canada.

Equal Pay Day is marked in Canada provincially and federally thanks to the efforts of the Equal Pay Coalition. Over the years, the Coalition has often been invited to and recognized in the Ontario Legislature on Equal Pay Day.

The Equal Pay Coalition has a well-established media presence and is frequently approached to comment on issues of women’s economic equality—never more so than around Equal Pay Day.

Each year, the Equal Pay Coalition organizes significant public events across the province. Our Equal Pay Day events earn significant media coverage leading up to and on the day across major mainstream media platforms as well as in community-specific media, student media, and broadly across all social media platforms.

We will begin our promotion of the Equal Pay Day Leaders Debate next week to ensure that the event is a can’t-miss event on the public calendar.

The Coalition’s member organizations, along with many other community organizations, have been holding 12 April 2022 as Equal Pay Day in their calendars for several months and are also ready to promote the event to their members and networks.

Women want to hear from the four main party leaders how their parties will take action to advance women’s economic equality. This is your opportunity to have a broad public platform to speak to women on issues they care about like:

● child care
● decent jobs
● a living wage
● paid sick days
● funding for health and social services agencies that women rely on
● action to support Indigenous women’s economic equality
● supports for women facing increased violence during the pandemic
● pay transparency
● and much more

We look forward to working with you on your participation in this event.

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