February 28, 2000 (36th Parliament, 2nd Session)


Réal Ménard

Bloc Québécois

Mr. Réal Ménard (Hochelaga—Maisonneuve, BQ)

Mr. Speaker, I heard a little sigh of exasperation, as if I were using up too much time of the House. Please bear with me, because this was an excellent speech. I am sure all the members of the House will want to thank this noble-hearted woman and pay a glowing tribute to our colleague from Quebec.
We have seldom seen in Parliament a woman so totally dedicated to the cause of the poor. We know there is no stopping the hon. member for Québec once she has started off in a direction.
I would like to ask her a question in three parts. Since the hon. member for Québec is a practical woman, who has always sought concrete solutions to the problem of poverty, drawing her inspiration from the judicious advise of my friend, the hon. member for Chambly, I will ask her the following questions.
Can she tell us how a commissioner of poverty—since this is an issue that she is taking to heart—could make a difference?
Then, could she tell us how greater involvement from the banks, through community reinvestment legislation, could make a difference for the poor?
Given that I know she has worked on this issue, how could making social condition a prohibited ground of discrimination—not sexual orientation, but social condition—make a difference if it were included in the Canadian Human Rights Act?
I suggest that she take her time, answer the questions one by one and think hard. We will be happy to listen to her.

Topic:   Routine Proceedings
Subtopic:   Committees Of The House
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