Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean)
Mr. Speaker, I wish to congratulate the Minister of the Environment and Deputy Prime Minister because she began her speech by saying that we need women. I do not know her personally, but I think that she is a woman of action. We need women like that. She is in authority; she is now the Prime Minister's right arm. Right now, she is probably the most influential woman in Canada.
I also listened closely to her speech. She mentioned a country with values of justice and fairness and so on. However, like me, she must admit that even though we have very good intentions, right now, unfortunately, the country is not fair and just.
The Deputy Prime Minister must know that at least one family in five in Canada lives below the poverty line. I am now on the first subject that I want to raise, which is also the poverty of Indians living on reserves and in the far north; in their case, not one in five but one in two families in the far north and on Indian reserves lives in poverty. These are very disturbing statistics. We must deal firmly with these issues. There is a lot of discrimination in Canada and I think that is an example. Shortly, I will be asking her to say just how her government intends to proceed on these matters.
I also come back to the environment because I know that it is a subject which particularly interests her. With respect to the environment, we also know that the food chain in the far north is deteriorating, and I think that is one of the few places where an environment which was protected by the very nature of things is deteriorating. My first question is this: can she state what her thinking is on how to deal with this poverty, out of concern for justice and equity, for Indians on reserves and in the far north?
Second, does she with her government intend to put forward specific issues and ways to deal with the deterioration of the food chain in the far north as such?
Topic: Government Orders
Subtopic: Speech From The Throne