From the left: CDLC President Louise Lanctot, Kim Kent and CDLC Recording Secretary Elaine MacDonald are seen following the conclusion of the IWD dinner on March 3. Kent is holding a lunch box featuring Rosie the Riveter from the World War Two era, one of six won by guests. Thompson Goddard Photo

CORNWALL – Close to 70 people attended the International Women’s Day dinner hosted by the Cornwall & District Labour Council at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 297 in the Seaway City on Sun., March 2.

As the dinner began, CDLC President Louise Lanctot welcomed guests to the event and read a message from Bea Bruske, president of the Canadian Labour Congress.

“In 2024, women still earn less than men in nearly all occupations, including in sectors with the highest proportion of women.” said Bruske in her message. She noted how women on average earn 85 cents for every dollar a man makes and, in some instances, even less than that, stating how “Canada’s unions are committed to gender justice in all workplaces and communities, unionized or not.”

The keynote speaker was Kim Kent, a regional representative of the Canadian Labour Conference who spoke on several issues. She spoke on the unveiling of the national pharmacare plan by the federal government which will cover diabetes and contraceptives and other aspects of Bill C-64 and Bill C-68 which will prohibit the use of replacement workers during strikes and lockouts.

The gender wage disparity was then discussed by Kent, noting how “the overall age gender pay gap is 32percent.  She then continued how “immigrant women face a 55 percent gender pay gap, racialized women face a 40 percent gap, and the pay gap faced by Indigenous women is 45 percent.  The gender pay gap for women with disabilities is even higher – an astonishing 56 percent.”  She then noted how “Discrimination in the workforce, systemic and structural racism, and the unequal division of unpaid care works are major drivers of the gender and racial gaps.”

A time for networking and socializing completed the evening, providing an opportunity for people to learn about events which are happening in the local community.