Oxfam Canada sends work boots to Minister in hopes for a budget that works for women world-wide.

March 20, 2017

Oxfam Canada delivered a pair of work boots to Finance Minister Bill Morneau today, in the hopes that he will wear them ahead of budget day 2017 to signal his support for women’s rights world-wide.

Almost every year Canada’s Minister of Finance buys new shoes to wear on the day the budget is delivered in the House of Commons. Oxfam Canada sent Minister Morneau an option to consider wearing this year: work boots – presented as a symbol of how women are driving economic progress, but still reap far too few of the benefits from that growth.

Over the past month Oxfam has polled Canadians on which shoes would best represent a feminist budget that ensures women’s work is fairly paid and equally valued. Participants were able to cast votes for moccasins, slippers, purple Oxfords, work boots and sandals.

Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, said: “Highlighting the Minister’s shoes is fun way to raise awareness about the importance of the Federal Budget and its impact on issues like child care and good jobs for women.”

She added “I’m hoping that Minister Morneau will put on his work boots for women! We look forward to Budget Day and to working with the government to ensure that women’s work is paid, equal and valued.”

Ottawa based Oxfam Canada supporter Angie Tan, who helped with the initiative, said: “Let’s ensure that for Canada’s 150 we show the world that our budget – and our economy – works for women.”

This initiative follows months of engagement in the federal budget process by Oxfam, including an official budget submission, testimony during the pre-budget hearings and public campaigning to raise awareness of the impact of budget decisions on women. Oxfam delivered a petition and open letter to Minister Morneau in January outlining recommendations for the budget.

Together with women rights advocates across Canada, the anti-poverty organization is calling for the Government to take the following actions in the next federal budget:

  • Encourage living wages in Canada and regulate Canadian companies working abroad to ensure decent work standards for women;
  • Close the gender pay gap and ensure women are treated fairly at work no matter what their job;
  • Invest in public services, like child care and elder care, that reduce and redistribute women’s unpaid care work;
  • Increase the aid budget to tackle global poverty and advance women’s rights around the world.

Oxfam Canada recently published its first annual “Feminist Scorecard” tracking government action to deliver on a feminist agenda. The category of ‘jobs and pay equity’ was where most progress remains to be enacted by this government.



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