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MP Hajdu: working to end violence, promote job opportunities

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Claire Cudahy, Northern Sun News

Ending violence against women and promoting leadership and economic opportunities for women are at the top of the list for the newly appointed Minister of Status of Women Patty Hajdu.

The Thunder Bay-Superior North MP received her mandate letter last week and says she is excited for the opportunity to collaborate with other cabinet members and MPs to accomplish these goals.

“One of the main components is working toward federal strategy to end violence against women and pulling together the work that provinces, and in some cases municipalities and regions, have started and providing a federal framework for that,” explains Hajdu.

Part of the federal strategy is ensuring a gender-based analysis is applied to proposals before they arrive at Cabinet for decision-making.

“Often we make decisions without considering the full range of impact for both genders,” explains Hajdu.

The letter from Prime Minster Justin Trudeau tasks Hajdu with reducing the wage gap between men and women and increasing the number of women in senior decision-making positions and in the skilled trades.  

But Hajdu says she is aware that what works in urban centres will not necessarily work for women in rural and remote communities.

“For me…being a northern girl, and knowing the challenges not just geographically but economically for women in rural and remote areas will be something that we need to reflect in all of the work that we do,” she notes.

Hajdu will work with Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett to grow the number of shelters and transition houses for women fleeing domestic violence and to develop a process of inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. 

“You can imagine that there are opportunities to intersect with not just cabinet ministers, but MPs from across the region,” says Hajdu. “We have seven northern MPs as well, so there will be a northern caucus of MPs. I’m really looking forward to working with my northern colleagues on these issues and creating and strengthening economic opportunity for women.”

The mandate letters for all ministers can be read in full at www.pm.gc.ca. 

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