Dec. 4, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A forum on human rights and pay equity will be held by the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission in advance of International Human Rights Day
The forum, which will be open to the public, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Crowne Plaza Fredericton - Lord Beaverbrook.
"Pay equity is a human rights issue," said Gordon L. Porter, chair of the human rights commission. "With the passage of the Pay Equity Act for the public service, this forum will be a great opportunity to deepen our understanding of the human rights roots of pay equity, and the challenges that pay equity presents to us."
The forum will feature four expert panelists who will explore pay equity and its challenges through a human rights lens: Clarence Bennett, Michèle Caron, Norma Dubé and Johanne Perron. A discussion period will follow the panel presentations.
Clarence Bennett is a member of the labour and employment group of the Fredericton office of the Stewart McKelvey law firm. He counsels employers on a spectrum of labour and employment law issues. He is the editor of Atlantic Employers Counsel, a quarterly journal of Stewart McKelvey.
Michèle Caron has been a law professor since 1990 at the Université de Moncton, where she has taught mainly in the areas of employment, trusts and equality. Her research and social engagement activities have focused on human rights.
Norma Dubé is the assistant deputy minister for the Women's Issues Branch of the Executive Council. The mandate of the branch centres on violence against women, economic security for women and the elimination of discrimination against women.
Johanne Perron is the executive director of the New Brunswick Coalition for Pay Equity. The coalition seeks to extend pay equity to the private sector following the adoption of the Pay Equity Act. Perron is involved in various social justice and women's issues apart from pay equity.
As defined in the Pay Equity Act that came into force in June, pay equity means: "a compensation practice that is based primarily on the relative value of the work performed, irrespective of the gender of employees, and includes the requirement that the employer not establish or maintain a difference between the pay paid to male and female employees who are performing work of equal or comparable value."
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted on Dec. 10, 1948. In commemoration of this event, the United Nations has designated Dec. 10 as International Human Rights Day.
MEDIA CONTACT: Francis Young, human rights officer, New Brunswick Human Rights Commission, 506-453-2308.