Evidence of meeting #29 for Finance in the 40th Parliament, 3rd Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was housing.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Hans Cunningham  Director for the Regional District Central Kootenay, British Columbia; President, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Eira Thomas  Member, Board of Directors, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
Judith Guichon  President, British Columbia Cattlemen's Association
Loretta Wallace  Vice-President, Procom Group, National Association of Computer Consulting Businesses Canada
Hilla Kerner  Vancouver Rape Relief and Women's Shelter
Jeff Richards  Treasurer, Surrey Board of Trade
Joanne Curry  Executive Director, Simon Fraser University, Surrey Board of Trade
Pierre Gratton  President and Chief Executive Officer, Mining Association of British Columbia
Gabe Miller  Director, Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Kevin Boon  General Manager, British Columbia Cattlemen's Association
Laureen Whyte  Vice-President, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
Donald Bassermann  Chair, Omineca Beetle Action Coalition; Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition
Rhona Martin  Chair, Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition
Margaret Mason  Canadian Association of Gift Planners
Bart Given  Director, Marketing and Communications, Sport B.C.
Brenda Kenny  President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Energy Pipeline Association
Asia Czapska  Co-ordinator, Justice for Girls
Shelagh Day  Representative, B.C. CEDAW Group
Laura Holland  Spokesperson, B.C. CEDAW Group

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

But isn't the idea to find a solution to stop the spread of disease?

12:30 p.m.

Chair, Omineca Beetle Action Coalition; Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition

Donald Bassermann

There are two things involved here. One of them is to try to slow the spread. In British Columbia, that proved impossible. It's migrated into Alberta, and I can't speak for the circumstances in Alberta. I'm not in a position to speak on that part.

Given that we were not successful in stopping the spread, we needed to try to mitigate the results of that spread.

12:30 p.m.

Liberal

Massimo Pacetti Liberal Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel, QC

Thank you.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Thank you, Mr. Pacetti.

You have time for a very brief round, Ms. Block.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.

I'd like to thank all of you for coming today. It's been good to hear from such a diverse group of people.

I want to focus my questions on the ladies over in the corner. Asia, Justice for Girls reported that you recently completed a three-year Status of Women Canada-funded project. Could you just quickly tell me if there are any funds available through Status of Women for you going forward? And then I'll ask my next question.

12:30 p.m.

Co-ordinator, Justice for Girls

Asia Czapska

Thank you. I'll make it short.

We did. We actually completed the housing strategy that resulted in these recommendations, and the money for that came from Status of Women Canada. Then we applied for funding for phase two of the project in order to advocate. As the representative from Vancouver Rape Relief was saying, there are now restrictions preventing groups from doing advocacy using that money. We applied for phase two of the project, which would be advocating for housing for girls, and we didn't receive that money. So we didn't receive money to continue with the housing strategy. We did receive some funds for an education project concerning human rights for girls.

12:30 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

Thank you.

Laura, I was confirming with my colleague the names of two pieces of legislation that I believe our Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development introduced in this last year. I just wonder if you could comment on the matrimonial property rights legislation and/or phase three, which is the treaty rights for women and children, and on the impact you believe they may have on some of the issues you raised.

September 27th, 2010 / 12:35 p.m.

Spokesperson, B.C. CEDAW Group

Laura Holland

I'm going to ask Shelagh to talk about the law specifically, but what I can tell you is about the lived experience and the effects it has on aboriginal women. Real matrimonial property rights are something aboriginal women have been dealing with for decades, if not centuries. To put it realistically, the issue has always been a problem.

It's almost impossible for a woman to leave an abusive or violent relationship or to leave a man who is violent or sexually violent towards her children. When she does leave, she is leaving a reserve and going to another reserve or a town or a city to live in poverty, and then the whole cycle of women living in poverty starts all over again. We think this is something that needs to be remedied, and it needs to be taken care of right away.

Bill C-3is Sharon McIvor's bill. I can tell you how it affects my life today. One of my grandparents was what we call disenfranchised in 1947 so he could actually go to work and have a paying job off reserve. He said he wasn't an animal and he didn't deserve to be penned up like one. He wanted to be able to travel and vote, so he was disenfranchised and he lost his Indian status.

I got mine back in 1986 under Bill C-31, as did my daughters. But my sons' father is white. My sons have the life experience of aboriginal men. They have the life experience of aboriginal men who have lived in poverty most of their lives, and they do not have status and have no chance of getting status the way it is right now, even with the way Bill C-3 stands today. It's still discriminatory against my children and me.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

Kelly Block Conservative Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar, SK

I have just one follow-up comment for Shelagh. I appreciate your observations and hope that we will take under consideration what you have recommended.

12:35 p.m.

Representative, B.C. CEDAW Group

Shelagh Day

Thank you very much.

Maybe I could add just one very brief comment about Bill C-3. As it stands at the moment, Bill C-3 still leaves out many hundreds--and perhaps thousands--of aboriginal women and their descendants, purely because of the sex discrimination in the Indian Act that for decades has preferred the male line of descent over the matrilineal line of descent.

So it is a very strong appeal to you to fix this problem once and for all and actually include the Indian women and their descendants who have been discriminated against. I thank you for raising the question, because it's extraordinarily important, and Canada has the chance now to get this one right. It would be wonderful if Parliament would do that.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Thank you.

I want to thank all of our witnesses for being here this morning and for your presentations and your responses to our questions. If there is anything further you wish the committee to see, please submit it to the clerk, and we will submit it to all the members.

Ms. Mason, you referenced two detailed proposals, I think, in your presentation. I don't know if those have been passed on to the committee, but I'm sure we would appreciate them.

12:35 p.m.

Canadian Association of Gift Planners

Margaret Mason

They have.

12:35 p.m.

Conservative

The Chair Conservative James Rajotte

Okay.

Thanks to all of you for being here this morning.

The meeting is adjourned.